Here’s “Part 6” of my series on creating an awesomely intentional life, and this one’s all about the first tool in my arsenal… which is my journal. I’m on journal #50… and my habit of recording my thoughts in my journal has been a super-important part of my success.
Video Transcript and Relevant Links
So the last few videos have been talking about intention, about the idea of intentionally thinking about the life you want, designing the life you want, and then going and creating that life. And I’ve shared some of the tools, some of my practices, that I’ve developed over the years, or have learned over the years. And now, here’s one more.
And that is my journal and the idea of journaling. So this is something I started out… this is probably the first practice, or the longest-running practice I’ve got in this whole intentionality piece. Because this is actually journal number 50.
So one of the things I do is, each new journal, I’ll actually write down which journal because I’ve got a lot of these sitting around. This is … Well, I’ve got 49 other ones sitting around. So I don’t want to mix them up, so I always just write down what number it is. I put my name in the front, what number it is, the date, and then I go with it.
So over the years, I’ve used many different types of journals. This is a Moleskine (brand), probably the last 25 or 30 have been Moleskines. A lot of people are using Moleskines now, you can get them pretty much anywhere, at almost any bookstore. It used to be hard to get these, so the world has caught onto that idea.
One of the things I do, is I go through, and I put page numbers in. I don’t know if you could see that. I’ll actually number the pages, and then I’ll always, when I start out, I’ll leave a few blank pages. Here I’ve got three blank pages at the beginning, and then when I’m done with the journal, I’ll create an index.
So I’ll go back after I finish (after I fill this up), I’ll go through it, and I’ll go through and I’ll find if there was a significant idea, significant thought, significant memory, or whatever, I’ll write down what page that was, and what the thought was. So I just create an index so I can always go back and find them.
Speaking of, like do you actually go back through these things? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It all comes down to, and this is the number one thing I want to convey, is that there is no right or wrong to this. Well, there is one wrong to it. And one wrong is being militant about it and saying, “I have to journal every day, and if I don’t journal every day, I’m a loser.”
There’s too many of these things I’m talking about. I’ve talked about the morning ritual, and I’ve talked about planning your year, and I’ve talked about meditation. And every single one of these, you don’t want to be too rigid. You don’t want to be too rigid, and you don’t … It’s not about judging yourself negatively if you fall down for a bit, if you get out of the practice. It’s about coming back to the practice.
And so there have been days, many days, most days, I don’t journal. There have been weeks I don’t journal. There have been gaps of months where I don’t journal. But I still … I’m working on filling out number 50 here. And usually takes me about three or four months to go through one of these. But it’s the number one thing, is you’re doing this to create an amazing life. You’re not doing this to create a yardstick or a weapon to beat yourself up. It’s about making yourself better, not about feeling worse.
So journal when it’s right for you. I typically, it’s usually something that’s towards the end of my morning ritual, if I do it. I’ll sit down, I’ll write for five minutes, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes it’s longer. But it’s usually just five to 15 minutes, and it might be me reflecting on what’s happening in my life. It might be me recording stuff because I get to do amazing (crazy amazing )stuff in my life, and I want to remember them.
And I especially want to celebrate them because I think too many times, we don’t celebrate the great things in our life. We don’t appreciate, we don’t have the gratitude for all those amazing little things and big things in our life. So this is a place to actually make sure you know those great things, and then, you can go back and reflect on them.
Sometimes I’m simply trying to figure out what I want in my life, what I want for that day. Sometimes it’s planning a work project.
One of the things I do is, I’m actually not doing this now. Sometimes I’ve done this, it depends on how integrative I feel. Is sometimes I’ve gone front to back, start here and go through it with personal stuff, and then I’ll flip it over, and I’ll go back to front with work stuff. It’s like if I feel like creating a separation in between personal and work. Right now, it’s all integrated, so like this is all personal stuff here. This is a work project. So this can be anything, for me. You can do it any way you want, it’s your life, it’s your journal, define it how you want. But just make sure you define it in a way that you win, not in a way that you’re making yourself feel bad.
But I will tell you, this has been huge for me. It’s been huge, it’s been great to be able to go back and see where I was back at a certain time in my life. Where my brain was, where my heart was, what my feelings were, what I was thinking.
And it’s also great to go back and sometimes look at some of these, where I’ll record goals, and say, “Wow. I did that. I got that. I got that.” Or, “I’m still in alignment with that.” It’s just, it can be an amazing journey. So think about it, and then get, and it doesn’t have to be a moleskin, it doesn’t have to be fancy. But just … If you’re going to lead the life we’re talking about, the life you want to lead, an intentional life, then it’s worth recording. So try writing it down.
I’m Jeff Walker, wherever you’re watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me. We’re … I don’t know how many. This is like, whatever, our sixth video on intention. And I’ve been enjoying doing them. Let me know if you’re enjoying them. I’m actually, I’ve been having enough fun, where I might end up creating a product around this.
So let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in… Or, let’s say, not a product, but a training, to make your life even more intentional. I don’t have anything planned right now, but you never know.
So scroll down, leave a comment for me. Let’s go get them this week.