What 1,000 Journal Entries Revealed About Who I Am
It’s been over 1,000 days in my journal.
I use the Day One app and I love it. Here’s the link: Day One
Now that I’ve gone almost 3 full years consecutively, I’ve noticed a lot about myself.
But it wasn’t always this way…
I started journaling in high school. I think that I was going into my freshman year and my grandmother on my Dad’s side gave me a journal that I could write in and use. At that point, I began journaling almost every night for a few years.
Eventually, I lost interest and stopped for some reason during high school.
Even when I first came to college in 2015, I didn’t pick it back up right away.
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” — J.M. Barrie
But, I don’t think you should hear it from me. Here is what some other people have said about journaling if you’re on the fence about it. I’ll share my experience with journaling.
Benjamin Hardy wrote a great piece called, “Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life”
He talked about the challenge with journaling. And especially the difficulty with journaling on a regular basis.
“Journaling daily is the most potent and powerful keystone habit you can acquire. If done correctly, you will show up better in every area of your life — every area! Without question, journaling has by far been the number one factor to everything I’ve done well in my life.” — Benjamin Hardy
Benjamin Hardy is someone that I greatly admire and for good reason. He is one of the few people that I’ve come across who is as dedicated to learning and continuous growth as I am. There are not many people who squeeze the lemon and continue squeezing until all the juice is out — but they don’t stop there — they eat the peel too, leaving nothing to waste.
He goes into great detail about the benefits of journaling and shares 19 direct benefits of journaling as well as the benefits of a gratitude list and other things. Linked here.
Ayodeji Awosika is someone else that I admire for many of the same reasons. For all the success that he has created for himself, he remains incredibly humble and willing to share all his learnings and experiences with others.
“Journaling is a step above thinking and daydreaming.” — Ayodeji Awosika
Ayo focuses upon the tactical benefits of journaling and also connects journaling to his successful and impactful writing career. There are so many different ways that people can journal, here are a few of things that he does. Linked here.
In another piece, Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP writes that journaling can help to, “Resolve disagreements with others. Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. And you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict.”
Journaling is nonjudgmental and helpful in many ways. There are other psychological benefits that I did not realize at first when I started writing. There are things like reducing stress and increasing the ability to solve problems effectively that result from journaling. The author recommends beginning with a pen and paper and 10–20 minutes in a morning. Then you’re on the way. Linked here.
WHAT MY JOURNALING REVEALED ABOUT WHO I AM
Looking back, I can’t read my handwriting from my high school journals.
I knew that it would be better if I could journal on my phone. That’s when I searched and found Day One. It has been a great application for me.
The first journal that I have in this new location is July 3, 2017.
Since July 3, 2017 I have continued journaling. Initially I would spend the evenings doing a recap of the day and highlighting certain things that stood out to me. Over time though, I decided that it would serve me better to begin each morning with a journal entry rather than to end my nights with a journal entry.
More than anything, I’ve noticed that there are few things that draw me away from the center — especially lately.
I’m more centered than I ever have been.
My journaling structure has shifted a little bit from when I started.
I now wake up and begin with a gratitude list of 5–15 things that come to mind right away. These could be tangible things or intangible things — it depends.
We are all busy. We are all doing so many different things. How often do we truly take time to reflect, be grateful…The importance of gratitude and being grateful | Medium.com
I also end each night by writing 3 things that I did well today and 2 areas to improve upon for the next day.
These small additions have made huge differences.
I’m more aware of all the things that I am doing throughout the day as well as the way that those things are impacting me. Whether it’s another person or a certain event, I’m more aware now than ever before about the way that I respond.
When I go back and review the past journals, the biggest thing that I notice is the way that my emotions have fluctuated. I notice certain events have been expanded upon while others were seemingly overlooked. Today, those same events might not even rattle me for a moment.
It’s very interesting to see at a deeper level the way that I’m progressing as an individual.
I can also see quite clearly the change in my goals. Through my actions and overall flow of the day, I can see how certain things were one way before and now totally different today, in 2020.
When I started journaling in 2017, I was just getting back into the habit of reading. It was not much of a discipline at that point in time, it was something I did.
3 years later, I listen to audiobooks about 80–90% of the time that I’m driving alone and read 20 pages almost every night.
That’s just one thing though. I am also able to visibly observe and recognize that my fitness regimen has not been the most consistent — though I already knew that. I’m working on establishing some greater boundaries for myself and a deeper level of discipline but like anything else — it’s a process.
As I continue to move forward in my journaling, I want to utilize the capabilities that DayOne has and print up a bound journal for myself.
My goal with journaling remains simple.
I journal to develop a better understanding of who I am.
I journal to learn myself at a deeper level and tap into my full potential.
“Actions show, words tell. Actions speak, words whisper. Actions prove, words argue. Actions are, words could be.” — Harrison Wendland