Ever since I got interested in self-development some ten years ago,
I’ve heard people talk about the benefits of journaling every day.
It’s helped them improve clarity, focus,
it’s helped them keep track of their goals
and get all of their thoughts down unto the page.
So, I thought why not try it out for thirty days
and see if I could see those benefits as well.
But if I’m being completely honest,
I couldn’t help but think that it was complete bullshit.
And it was,
until it wasn’t.
There’re a ton of different kinds of journalling methods
You could have a dream journal to track the things that happen while you sleep
the food journal to track everything that you eat,
a workout journal to track your gains,
and a bullet journal to track your tasks,
habits and prioritize your work.
The key word across all these methods is track.
By tracking what we do, charting our progress
we’re able to see growth where it might not be evident.
Day to day progress is elusive
And as we easily get knocked off course,
journaling is supposedly a powerful way
to get a bird’s eye view of our lives.
For 30 days, I’m gonna be committing
to writing free form for 10 minutes a day
to track my overall state of mind
to possibly confront things I otherwise wouldn’t
and hopefully to understand and get clear on my own thought patterns.
Either great secrets could be unlocked through the power of journaling,
or it’ll be a complete waste of time.
So, this is not my first time journaling.
These are 6 journals that I’ve kept over the past 8 to 10 years.
And I have failed at journaling in the past for two main reason.
One, I just found it so difficult to, as you’ll see, to fill up a journal.
And then the other thing if you look through these journals,
you’ll see that there was just no consistency at all.
I would sometimes miss weeks, sometimes months,
and then I get back to it
and then I’m like apologizing for myself
for not keeping up with the journal.
But that was the glimmering hope that I had for these 30 days
was that the act of doing it everyday would tip the scale.
Because with every other habit that I’ve built in the past,
whether it was going to the gym, reading every day,
these habits helped and really made a difference
when I built them 3, 4, 5 days a week.
So, the thought process was if I could do this for 30 days straight,
it might be long enough to see the benefits.
Instead of using one of these large moleskin journals,
I decided to use a small pocket-sized journal by Baron Fig,
But really I didn’t want to feel like I had to fill up every page.
And I wanted to only write a little bit each day.
And also since I’m traveling a lot this month,
I wanted a journal I could just throw in my pocket and take with me anywhere.
So, I started writing.
Each day, I set aside 10 minutes to fill up a few pages.
I wrote about my work
the things I’m grateful for,
our travel plans,
the big move we had planned for the end of the month.
Anything that came to my mind in the moment
I write down until I got bored.
And the boredom usually came pretty quick.
As the days went on into this challenge,
I felt more and more like
this was something that I had to do
and not something that I wanted to do.
I kept forgetting, saving it to the last minute.
I’d be in bed at 10pm, journaling out a few thoughts.
And that was probably the biggest hurdle,
was just finding the time and also enjoying the process.
Because it did feel like an obligation, something I had to do.
The one small benefit I did see early on was
that it helped with my perfectionism.
As a chronic over-thinker,
it was therapeutic in a way that just write what was on my mind
without the chance to edit later.
When you’re working on the computer, everything is editable,
which is a place of solace for a perfectionist like me.
When I’m writing or editing a video,
I feel like I have full control.
I can screw up, make mistakes,
change my mind about an edit and start all over.
But you don’t have that same opportunity with jounaling.
I wrote early on, there’re times to think things through,
and then there’re times to vomit onto the page.
This journal is primarily going to be vomit.
Even so, I still hope to get something more out of this whole journaling thing
Things were going so well for me.
I have a great relationship, I have great family and friends,
my work is fulfilling, I’m really passionate about it
financially I feel stable
So, the journal felt like boasting
it was just like brag like,
“Yeah, things are going really good right now.”
It just felt silly, it felt kind of counterproductive ,
like “what I’m doing here?”
I don’t really have any struggles to write about until I did.
As Nant and I wrapped up a trip overseas
and we moved department two days after returning,
I faced some of the worst anxiety I’ve had in my life.
It caught me off guard, it was like nothing I’d experienced before.
It was likely caused by a combination of factors,
the travel, the move, the pressure I put on myself.
旅行 搬家 自我施压
But right at a moment when I thought everything was going so well
I was forced off track.
So, this is May 20th of 2019,
Nant and I just moved into our new apartment. And I write
I’m really hoping that after a good night’s rest, I’ll wake up feeling like myself again
I don’t feel like cleaning the apartment, unpacking
or getting back to my work.
My mind and body feel completely unsettled.
There’s a tension, a nervousness, an anxiety
紧张 敏感 焦虑
I hate this feeling.
I just wanna feel comfortable again.
I just hope that I wake up feeling better again.
I know I might sound like a broken record,
but when you feel like this, it’s all you can think about.
Simply writing this down didn’t fix my anxiety
It didn’t make everything better.
But it helped me to accept how I was feeling.
It stopped me from running away from the thoughts I was having
or pretending like they didn’t exist.
I continued to journal for the next few weeks
as I recovered and gave myself the time and space to get back on my feet
I had ups and downs, in aggregate things got much better.
I went from feeling sick, dizzy
and having zero motivation to rebuilding my routines, my health and getting back to work
Now recording this a month since we moved,
my anxiety has reduced to a light hum.
It pops up every now and again
but it’s not getting in the way of my life.
Among many other things journaling has been a helpful tool for me
to gain clarity when my mental health was at its worst
So, the moment of truth after 30 days of journaling
因此 坚持写日记30天后 说真的
would I recommend it? Yeah.
I’d recommend it, I’d recommend you try.
I think it’s definitely… it was a worthwhile pursuit
while I did have some breakthroughs
and it did help me during some of my low points
It wasn’t… I just didn’t like the process enough to keep up with it
I like the idea of journaling more
than I actually like it in practice again and again
and I kept feeling it like a chore.
It’s something that I will likely come back to
when I face struggles and I have certain things
that I’m trying to work through.
But as a daily practice
I just don’t think it’s something that worthwhile for me to continue to keep up
Do you have a journal in practice yourself?
I would love to hear about some of the things that you’ve gotten from journaling
Let me know down in the comments below
That’s it. Thanks for watching! I’ll see you next time.
就这样吧 谢谢观看 下次再见
Ever since I got interested in self-development some ten years ago,