I mostly write nonsense in my journal. In fact a lot of the time I use my pens to write to myself about pens. If, in a hundred years, my papers should be discovered by some eager historians, they are going to come to some very strange conclusions about life in the 2010s.
I do, however, have a couple of journaling habits that have some purpose: one old, one new.
The old is my three plus one habit. Mary Collis recently wrote about doing something similar (and this is in fact what prompted me to write this). Each day, currently (like Mary) in my Hobonichi Techo, I write down three good things about my day: just a sentence. Then I spend some time writing about one more good thing in some depth. (I also make a pictorial note about the weather. I’m British.)
No matter how bad the day might have been it’s always possible to find some good in it. In almost three years I’ve never missed a day.
My new habit was prompted by some thoughts about New Year’s resolutions. I’m 45 and I’m pretty sure I’ve never once kept a New Year’s resolution for more than a day. This year I decided that rather than pick more habits to fail to keep I would instead make some resolutions about how I would like to live my life. To keep these in my mind every day in my Traveler’s Notebook I ask myself these three questions:
How was I creative today?
How did I make the world a better place?
How did I show those I love that they are loved?
I’d better be very clear that these are aspirations and I’m far from being the person I’d like to be. Asking myself these questions every day is helping me, slowly, to become that person.
What are your purposeful journaling habits?