30 Day Challenge #2: Write In a Journal Every Day
“After the writer’s death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.”- Jean Cocteau
Yes it’s Time For Another Challenge!
I have been thinking about what to do for this second challenge ever since I launched the first one, (which is still going on by the way, check it out), and I’ve considered a lot of different options. I was going around and around trying to come up with something that I could challenge myself, and you guys, to do, rather than something else to abstain from. I already have the next couple of challenges in mind, but before we get too far down this path, I figured it might be a good idea to develop a practice of documenting it!
A Journal Makes a Record of Your Life
A daily journal practice is a great way to hold yourself accountable, and to encourage you to pay more attention throughout your day. When I’m being disciplined with writing in my journal everyday, I find that I take note of small things more often. I’ll think “oh that was an interesting encounter…I’ll have to make a note of that in my journal.” I also think that it makes you live with a little higher standard. Nobody wants to sit down to write in their journal and have to say “well, I spent six hours playing video games today, and all I had to eat was Mt. Dew and Cheetos…fml.” No, you’d rather have something interesting to say, so you may be more likely to get off your butt and do something with your time.
Of course, you may not care enough about your own opinion right now to use that as motivation to change your behavior. If that’s the case, don’t despair, just log your daily activities and keep trying to pay more attention to your life. You may find that in six months from now, you won’t even recognize the person who didn’t have much to write for this month. I can speak from experience on this front, because when I read journals I wrote 6-7 years ago, I don’t even have any idea how I got from where I was then to where I am now. I wish I had done a better job of documenting the journey!
Don’t Hold Back
One bad habit I find myself slipping into when I do write in my journal is to avoid being totally candid. It’s like I’m worried someone will read it and will judge me for things I’m having trouble with at the time, etc. This is the Fear of Criticism at it’s worst, and I try to power through whenever I recognize it, but I will admit that some of my old writings are rather watered down due to this. I think that to get the most benefit from a journal, you really should open up to it and use it as a method of exploring your thoughts and observations, without filtering.
So Get Started!
You’re one day behind, because I wanted to start this on the first, but with yesterday being a Sunday I didn’t think anyone would really read it. I plan to write in my journal every single day between now and 01 August, and I challenge you guys to all do the same! I’d be interested to hear how many people are going to stick to this with me, and at the end of the month I’d like to hear back from people and see if they gained anything from the challenge.
Stand by for next month’s challenge because it is going to be considerably tougher! If you don’t want to miss it, you can subscribe via RSS feed here!