Thursday, 30 December 2010

Affirmation Experiment - Result

A few months ago, I started Affirmation Experiment to see if affirmations, so often claimed to be successful by psychologists and therapists and inspirational leaders work for me. 

So what happened to the experiment?

Well, in short - it was a FAILURE. 
It did not work for me. But like life, most things are not black and white. I think it has potential. I think it could work. But the reason it did not work for me, was because I couldn't remain consistent enough in sticking to saying the affirmations. 

Often I simply didn't have time in the mornings, or I forgot, or half the time I was in public so I could just look at them, not actually repeat them out loud. One thing I would say is that when I did speak them out loud, it did fill me with inspiration and motivation - just as I do when I read a good quote or a good poet, or listen to inspirational speech. So over long term, and more devoted and disciplined effort, yes, I think it could work. 

While the experiment itself failed, I have still kept my affirmation post-its all over my PC, so they are still there when I sit at my desk to inspire me. 

Perhaps in the future, I might take it up again and try to be more disciplined at it, but for now, I just read them out as and when I remember them. 

Have you had more success with affirmations? 

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

I wish all of you a very Happy Christmas :-) Enjoy the holiday season, enjoy the time with your family and friends, and keep journaling. 

Thank you for being here - for taking the time to visit this blog. I appreciate it very much.

Merry Christmas


Monday, 6 December 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 14 - Travel Journal

Since Travelling is on my mind at the moment, let's keep the theme. You don't need to go anywhere special. But you do need to open your mind, and your eyes. Take some time to look at your everyday world with new sight. Find something you haven't noticed before. Take time to think about something that usually blends into your background, as you make automatic journey. 

What is it about your village, town, city that you like? What is your favourite place? When was the last time you saw something new in your local area? How long have you lived here? Would you recommend it as a place to visit or you can't wait to get out? If you want to leave, what's keeping you there? Each question you answer will lead to a lot more question. This entry can be something as simple as looking at your local place through a tourist's eye, or a deep journey into your psyche about why you are staying where you are. Go where your words lead you. Go write.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Meet a Journal Keeper - Rowland

Yup: I'm a journal keeper. I started in Dec. 2003, and am now on No.35. - virtually all Moleskines: I tried two other books but came back to the big M.

I stared keeping a journal as a means of expressing my anger and frustration at aparticularly bad stage of my life... but got bored with that very quickly . . . . you can only be pissed off for so long, surely? Anyway I'd always loved pens, pencils and writing and I'd always wanted to draw. So the notebooks gradually evolved into ... well basically a record of my life, including cuttings, quotes, thoughts, photos and now sketches . So a few examples:

Currently doing lot of B&W

Sometimes it's what I eat

Quotes? 'Never work' Guy Debord

Work from my journals has been featured in Zuiderlucht, a Dutch arts news paper based in Maastricht, for the last two years, under the title RAM.

Earlier this year I did the first RAM exhibition in Italy where I live, and this autumn published a miniature handmade book of work from my journals.

I, honestly, feel lost without a journal to hand. You can see more excerpts from them at

I don't call myself an artist, though I draw; I don't call myself a writer, though I write..... my Italian blog is called simply lo scarabocchiatore...the scribbler!!!

Hope this is enough to give you a taste of my journal addiction!



Friday, 19 November 2010

Travel Journal Preparation

Every time before I go on a trip, I go through a ritual. I pick out my travel journal.  I must admit, being a journal addict, I rarely had to actually go out and buy a new journal, because I buy them when I find them, which means I usually have a selection at home. Not so much with travel journals usually, but this time I was lucky. I had bought one while wandering through a shop, and found a lovely journal on sale, and I had another one that my sister gave me for Christmas a year or so ago.
I decided to go with the one my sister gave me, because I like it better, and I was saving it for a reasonably long trip so I could fill it. It has quite wide rules, so with pre-trip journaling, on-trip journaling, and post-trip journaling, I should be able to fill it. At least I should, if I don't get lazy (sometimes that happens.) So now the journal is selected.
First step is to write down dates of the trip on the front page, then create couple of pages for an Index. Then I start with bit of pre-trip journaling. Include itinerary, expectations, why I picked this destination etc. Whatever I fancy really. That way, I also experiment with different pens and find out what works better on each journal, so that I know what pens to take on my trip.
Besides breaking in a new journal, the most exciting part is doing research on travel journals. I must admit, I don't really need to do this - but I enjoy it. Often I would just browse through pictures of people's travel journals on Google images or flickr, or I would read articles about keeping travel journals. It motivates me. It inspires me. It gets me excited about my travel journal.
Travel journaling is very important for my own memories, but it is also a learning process. I aim to make each of my journal better than the last one, to capture the full extent of my experience. It doesn't always happen, because sometimes at the end of a long day, I can't be bothered to write. Sometimes I end up writing too much about my feelings and not enough of facts, or sometimes too many facts and not enough about my personal impressions.
Also, being a good travel journal keeper helps tremendously with regular journals. It is the same process. It is just that quite often we forget to look at our everyday world with fresh eyes. We forget to look for exciting things, just because we walk past them. So whenever I keep a travel journal, I inevitably get much better involved in my day-to-day journal too.
What about you? Do you keep travel journals? Do you have any special methods of selecting a journal? Do you write every day on your trip, or occasional tid-bids?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Meet a Journal Keeper - Dave

Thanks for the opportunity to share with your readers my journaling style.  

First off let me say how surprised to read your last journaler's post.  It's a guy!  I meet so few guys that journal, or admit to it anyway, that I was in total shock.  

I started serious journaling when my son was in sixth grade.  He English teacher told the class that they all has to keep a journal and write in it each and every day.  He was quite bummed about this "chore" and so I promised him I'd keep one too.  We went down to the local dollar store and bought the two smallest ones we could find.  They were sort of girlie so we covered them in manly contact paper.  

He kept to his promise and I to mine.  At the end of the year we sat down and shared portions of our journals with each other, especially the days when we did things together.  It was interesting to hear his perspective on these days.  He said he was a little sad to see the journal year end.  Then we decided to try another year.  He and I have kept one every year since.  Although we have moved up to the bigger journals without the tiny locks.

When he graduated I pulled some stores and quotes from my journal and created a scrapbook with pictures.  It was the hit of the grad party.  Everyone wanted to read the stores.

I now have about 20 journals.  I do wish I had started earlier. So now I encourage everyone to start now.  You'll be glad you did.

I have a few requirements for my journals: 
  • They must have at least 365 pages (I write a page a day)
  • They must be sewn bound (my journals get a beating)
  • I only use waterproof ink (usually a fountain pen)
  • It must be at least 5 x 7 (most are 6 x 8)

I usually write at the end of the day and try to focus on the positive.  I sometimes whine but try to keep that to a minimum.  Who wants to read a whiner?  I certainly don't, even if it is me.

In the last three years I've been adding sketches to my journals.  I usually sketch something simple, my lunch, a chair, whatever happens to be at hand and then at the end of the day do my journaling around it. I often add watercolor washes.  My journals become quite interesting when I travel.

Although I also keep an electronic journal (usually about 750 words a day), I find the paper journal most relaxing and enjoyable to look over later.  I have attempted to keep an index of my paper journal in an electronic spreadsheet.  My idea was to be able to locate the entries by keyword.  But I haven't kept it consistently.

I also keep a work journal that relates to software design.  These are more diagrams and pictures.  But I never mix secular work journals and personal journals.  That's just my style and it seems to work for me.

Anyway my personal journal, and now my illustrated journal, has become such a part of my everyday life I can't imagine doing without it.  Sometimes is clears my head, at other times it's just relaxing, at still later times it brings great satisfaction to look back and see the progress I've made.

Also, in the last three years I've been adding sketches to my journals.  Here are a few examples from the last three years:
Thanks again for the opportunity to share.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Dr. Who Moleskine

My new Plain Moleskine. It's the first one that I decided to decorate, and Dr. Who stickers seemed like the best way to start!

I absolutely love this moleskine, and this will be my 20th Journal, which I will be starting today, having finished my 19th Journal (236 pages), in one day less than 4 months. 

I am hooked on decorating covers now, so looking forward to buying more journals to spruce up.

Anyone know where I can buy Stargate stickers? ;)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Moleskine Pen Test

I bought some new pens to try with my moleskine. I have used several before, but not been satisfied with any. 

Here, I must point out - it depends on the moleskine too. For my Moleskine Sketchbook, I have a perfect pen. Pentel Energel 0.7. It works fabulously on thick sketchbook pages.

But my quest this time was for plain or ruled moleskine, which has thinner pages. After reading several reviews from other moleskine users, I bought five pens.

Uniball Signo 207, 0.7
Pilot G-Tec - C4
Pilot G2-0.38
Pilot G2-0.5
Pilot G2-0.7

Yes, four of them were Pilot, because it's a good, trusty brand, and I knew it was just a matter of finding the right fit. I tested all of them, and these are my results:

Pilot G-Tec-C4 and Pilot G2-0.38, while excellent are not for me. Their very fine point are more suited to sketching than writing. For writing, I find them bit rough on the page, and the writing is quite light. But I tried a few doodles, and it definitely works. Unfortunately, I am not much of a sketcher, so I will just find some other uses for them, or there is always doodling.

Pilot G2 - 0.5 - very good. This is the pen most frequently recommended by other moleskine users. I liked it. It's comfy, and it flows, but I did find it bit hesitant on the page.

Pilot G2 - 0.7 and Uniball Signo 207, 0.7 - my favourites, and perfect for me. I don't know if I like one of them better. I guess I will find out after more use. But the ink flows very smoothly. There is absolutely no roughness to it. Writing comes out properly black, dark, just as I like it, and 0.7 is definitely more suited to A LOT of writing. Between the two, I would buy either one of these or both for use with my moleskine, and probably other writing material too. 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Meet a Journal Keeper - Chuck


About 9 months ago I started writing everything down. At the time I was going through a rough patch and saw this exercise as a way to get all the worries out of my head and into a system where I could begin to deal with them. Over time the problem was dealt with, but I continued to "log my days". While not really a "journal", my daylog goes with me everywhere and I try to write down important (or not so important) details so I have a history of my days and a better feel for when I did things.

Since my current set-up only accommodates about 8-10 weeks of logging, I put together a "how-to" for myself on the steps necessary to prepare a new journal each time I run out of space in an old one. I've attached a pdf of my steps (with pictures).

I keep a full fledged blog-journal complete with rambling entries and in-depth analysis of dreams and plans and problems. But I don't write in it everyday. I *do* write in the daylog everyday though. Even if it's a line or two. In preparation for this guest post I went back and I went back and looked through my main journal for mentions of my daylog and pulled these lines from random entries: (Keep in mind - these are entries in my FULL-FLEDGED JOURNAL, but it's amazing how much I refer to the daylog and use it to make notes that I reference in a journal entry later...)

- Memo notebook – Daylog and TODO list – kept with me as often as possible, write down everything

- Good news! We got food this time! Bad news – the service is just as bad as we remembered. I jotted down some details in my daylog and Carrie asked if I was writing down something about the horrible service. I handed her the book and told her “this isn’t a secret” She read the whole thing from April 11 till present. She commented on my writing style which was nice and I felt good that she knew I wasn’t keeping anything from her. It’s just my newest method to keep from going crazy.

- Crissy saw me jotting stuff down in my daylog and mentioned that I should make a note about seeing a pirate, so I did.

- I’ve got a hell of a lot of recapping to do. Luckily I’m keeping the daylog. I’ll just hit some highlights:

- Wednesday I started a food journal. I usually write down what I had for different meals in my daylog just for reference. But now I’m trying to writing down portions (at least servings) and I’m including snacks too.

- I’m living by my daylog.

- Another few days have crept by without me writing, but have no fear – I have the highlights in my daylog.

- I still have plenty to do and am making an effort to keep track of everything. If anything – I can say that my daylog book is getting far more use than this journal. I’m all about writing down things as they happen

- I’ve nearly perfected my daylog method. I’ll get closer with my TODO’s. I’ve put this blog together to my random babbling to myself. I’ll eventually find the system that works for me. I just gotta keep at it.

- I’ve been maintaining my daylog. In fact on on volume two! Over the past few months I’ve come to discover what I’m good at and what I’m not.

- I’ve been daylogging and journaling now for almost a year.

- I’m wondering what it’ll take to bring me back to writing here every day again. I’d hate to think I need a crisis in order to document things (then again – I *am* still keeping the daylog) and I sure as hell don’t want anything to get me all riled up (that’ll happen on it’s own soon enough, I’m afraid).

- I mean, there’s been plenty of things to write about. For whatever reason I’ve decided to just keep track in my daylog instead.

- It all started last year with the car problem. It’s continued to be a source of comfort for me to be able to write whether it be here or in my daylog. It might be the OCD, but I feel better having documented things each day.
What are you afraid of?
P. S - if you would like a PDF copy of Chuck's Day-Log hack, then please email me. It's much more readable.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Meet a Journal Keeper - Kevin

Hi Dolly,
Journal Keeper

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your delightful website!  Your website is one of the few websites I try to visit every day.  

I love to journal and have been doing so for most of my life.  I started in middle school (11-12 years old?) and now I am 49 years old.  I have saved all of my journals and I love to occasionally glance back through them.  It is so interesting to see where I was and what I was thinking 10 years ago or even 6 months ago.  I have never been good at keeping photo albums so my journals also function as a kind of photo album since I often paste pictures I have taken in them, even more so these days with the proliferation of digital cameras and cheap, high quality color printers.
Mostly I write my daily activities, cerebral ponderings, doodles, quotes, drawings and ideas.  

I also love to cut things out of magazines and paste them into my journal as well.  I also tend to paste in movie tickets, receipts from restaurants I really liked and stickers I find or are donated by my kids.  I carry my journal with me everywhere.  It is in my briefcase on the way to work and it sits on my desk while I am working so I can jot down ideas if a good one strikes.  I carry it with me when I go to the doctors office or when I am dining out alone.  It is my friend and constant companion.

I have discovered I write best when my kids are with me.  They are most assuredly my muse and always fill my head with wild imaginings.  This is the way it is with kids.  They think so freely and without reserve.  They revel and joy in life’s simple pleasures and in that wonderful sparkling mirror they bounce that blissful spirit to all of those around them.  I don’t know what I would be without them.  They have started journaling themselves and it fills my heart with joy to sit down and write, doodle or draw with them.   

We are all pen and pencil fanatics and love to go to local art stores on the weekends to pick a new, cool pen or pencil to write with for the rest of the weekend.  I keep a few tins and jars on my writing desk that are filled with colorful and fun pens and pencils that we all pilfer from regularly.
Warm regards,

Kevin  (AKA Laser T. Swift)


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Guest Series Open Invitation to All Journal Keepers

Hello Folks, 

I am opening this blog to other journal keepers after receiving a fabulous post from Kevin, whose post will be up tomorrow. It will be a series titled: MEET A JOURNAL KEEPER 

If you want to share your journaling experience, please send pictures from your journal (you can just send a cover photo or your picture if you don't want to share any pages), as many as you like, and whatever you would like to add about your journaling habits, how long have you kept journals, anything really. 

It will be your post, so it can be anything you want. It doesn't matter what kind of journal you keep - daily, weekly, dream whatever. You are all welcome. 

This will be open and on-going series with a slot open every Wednesday, so if you are interested, please email post to me at lostwanderer5 [at] gmail [dot] com 

Happy Journaling! 

NaNoWriMo Craziness

Yup, it's that time of the year again. November has rolled around, and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has started, and of course I am participating. My journal is participating alongside me, as I am sharing my NaNo updates with my journal, as well as my journal outlook on productivity, what's working and what isn't. It's exciting. It's fun. It's challenging. And it is certainly productive. 

Are you participating? 

Do you share your important projects with your journal?

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Share Your Views

Today, I would like you to participate.

Tell me, why do you journal?

Or if you don't but would like to or wish you did - why?

What appeals to you about it?

What is your idea of journaling?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Graphia Journal

This gorgeous graphia journal has me drooling. It's one of those "special treat" journal that I would love to buy - and just waiting for an excuse. It's bit pricey at £34.95 - and as a regular journal keeper, I can't afford to spend that kind of money on every journal. But I wish I could. It's simply gorgeous.

What are your "special treat" journals? 

Friday, 15 October 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 13 - Talk To Your Problems

I am sure you have heard that talking to yourself is first sign of madness. I disagree. I think it's only mad if you consider yourself boring - and if you do, let me tell you, you are not. Each of us are unique individuals - not better than anyone else, but certainly different. Our upbringing, experiences, behaviour has shaped our past and continues to shape our present and our future. 

But what if you don't like your past, or how things are going in the present? What if you dread the future you see? 

Good news - for the most part, your future is in your hands. 

Before any of you cynics out there start scoffing, I am not talking about unrealistic expectations here. If the future you want is to live on a colony on moon - well, you'll just have to make that happen in fiction. 

But for most everyday fears, problems, our own behaviour or bad habits, this will help IF YOU ARE HONEST IN YOUR EXERCISE. 

Get  that journal out. Pick one problem or habit that bothers you the most. Just one for now. Does it keep you awake at night? Does it make you dread getting up in the morning? Does it depress you? Does it make you want to drink yourself into oblivion or gorge yourself on chocolates? Does it make you worry your spouse will leave you or your children will hate you? Whatever it is - write it down. 

Not all problems have to be huge scale. It could be anything - but as long as it is something that affects your life in a negative way, even if psychologically, it is a valid problem. 

Write that problem in your journal - underline it. 
Now, I want you to free write for minimum of 10 minutes. Shut off all other distractions, and start writing. Moan, bitch, complain, blame it on everyone else - but write anything that comes to mind about that problem. If any solution come to mind, write that as well. 

Few prompts to get you going?
Why does this bother you?
When did it start?
How did it start?
Is it external or something internal? 
Who does it affect? 
How does it bother you?

Write absolutely everything. If you keep going for more than 10 minutes, great. But give it ten minutes. If you can't think of anything to write for 10 minutes, then keep repeating yourself. But you have to give your subconscious a chance to open up, and it's not going to do that if you close the journal after two minutes. 

Once you have done it? You may feel relieved to get it out, or you may feel depressed to go through it, or you may feel emotionally drained. 

Take a break. Go do something fun. Have a nap. But forget about the journal, and go distract yourself.

Depending on how resolved you feel, go back to the journal either later in the day or the next day. Pick out every sentence you wrote, and for each sentence - write down how it can be solved.

Don't worry about being able to do it just yet, or whether or not you have the will power. Imagine as if it's a friend who has come to you with that problem, and you are telling them what to do - and we are all great at giving other people solutions, aren't we? 

Write down what the solution would be using common sense? For every sentence. It may just be one or two solutions for everything, nevertheless repeat it next to each sentence. 

When you are done - do you know what you have got? 


An action plan.

That's right. 

You've found the answers to your problems. Not all of it will be easy to fix. It may take resources (money, time, external help), it may take supreme effort of your will power - but at least you have a plan. You know what you need to do. 

If you feel ready, do a journal entry for how you might be able to accomplish each of those steps.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 12 - Use Your Senses...RIGHT NOW!!

I do hope your journal is somewhere close by. No? Well, go get it then, and I will wait.


Sit down with your journal. You can be alone or you can be in a crowd, but not watching TV or listening to music etc. Now, I want you to use your senses. All of them. Start writing. Don't analyse. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel? What can you smell? What can you taste?

To get going, you can start sentences like this...

I see dark wood table. I see black keyboard, with a light layer of dust. I hear passing cars. A bike just roared by. There is music coming from somewhere. Annoying music....

As you write, follow-on sentences will pour out. Let them. Follow your senses, and see where they take you.

Hearing and Sight are easy. What about others? How do your clothes feel against your skin? What about the chair you are sitting on? Is there a taste of coffee lingering in your mouth? What are you feeling? Enjoyment of dwelling deeper? Hungry? Bored?

Do this often, and not only it will improve your journal, but it will improve your participation in the world around you, and give you little surprises that so often go unnoticed.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 11 - Solitude or Loneliness

I know people who can stay alone in their home for weeks on end, and I know people who get antsy and depressed if they have to spend one day alone. How do you feel about being alone?

Would you remain alone by choice? Do you feel lonely or do you welcome the solitude? Are you bored, restless or do you find comfort in the silence and in your thoughts? What would your day be like? Do you skip a meal because you don't want to eat alone, or call a friend or find social contact on the internet? What do you do? How much time do you spend in your own company? How much of it is by choice?

Ponder over this today. When we rely on other people for company, entertainment, happiness, we are giving them the control of making us happy. When we can find happiness and peace within ourselves, we are in control. Who has the reigns of your happiness?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 10 - Influence

We are influenced constantly by our surroundings. We are influenced by the weather, by people around us, by media - by just about everything. How much impact this influence has on individuals, is up to us. Some of us are strong enough to push it all away and carry on our own path; some of us get side tracked by some of the influences; some of us are overwhelmed by them.

Journal about what has influenced you? Perhaps, you can't see what's influencing you today, but you may be able to see more clearly what has influenced you in the past? Last month? Last year? In your childhood?

Start writing. If you find it hard to get started, begin your sentences with..."I was influenced by..." and carry on. Or write INFLUENCE in the centre of the page, and brainstorm around it. Write whatever pops in your head. Don't stop to think. Write as fast as you can. As much as you can. Let your subconscious direct you. Let the memories come out.

If you want, do this again over the next few weeks, and see what answers you get. Once you realise the things that influence you, you can do something about it. You can decide what are positive influences and what are negative ones, and find a way to be strong against the negative ones.

So what are you waiting for? Get off the internet, and open that journal.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 9 - Dream Your Own Dream

Today's prompt is about dreams. Not the dreams you have in your sleep. We are talking about dreams you dream with eyes wide awake. For some of us, dreams are right there on the surface. Constantly prodding us to get a move on and make them come true. For some of you, they might be deep beneath the surface, pushed there by years of very practical advice that the world teaches you like "get your head out of the clouds" "be sensible" "be practical" "that's not going to put food on the table" "be responsible" - and many more variations of it, which I am sure you have heard before.

Whatever the status of your dreams, they are there. Believe me. You just need to greet them like an old friend, believe in them, and they will unfurl their wings.

Open your journal and write about your dreams. What dreams did you have as a child? Did you want to be a superhero, a cop, a fireman? What were your dreams as a teenager? A date with the hottest girl/guy in school? What are your dreams as an adult? House, kids, vacations or a loner's life in a forest? Whatever your dreams, embrace them. Until you ackowledge them, you can't possibly make them come true. And once you acknowledge them, well...the world is your oyster.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Affirmation Experiment

I believe in the power of the mind. I believe in positive thinking. But, I am not sure if affirmations actually work. And before I hear any of the cynics complaining, let me clarify - positive thinking by itself doesn't solve anything, but when you use that positive thinking to perform positive actions then it creates wonders.

Affirmations is supposed to add to that mental awareness, and will power. Lots of people swear by them. I have never tried them for long enough to make a judgement. So I have set myself a mini-experiment.

September 1 to September 30 - 30 days of positive affirmations, and of course I shall journal about this experiment, and note any results I may note.

I invite you to join in. You can start today, tomorrow, next week. Think about any goal you want to achieve, any weaknesses you may want to over come.

There are few basic rules that apply to affirmations:
  1. They must be positive. i.e. - "I don't want to be a failure" is not positive. Instead what you want is "I am successful"
  2. However, "successful" is too broad. Be specific. What do you want to do?
  3. Use present tense. Imagine as if you have already achieved your goal. Use present tense. "I am working out every day."
  4. To begin with, focus on one or two goals. If you start with too many affirmations, you will split your focus, and they may not be very affective. I would say, ideally, start with one goal. I am experimenting with two - but simply because both of those goals - Fitness and Writing - are of equal priority for me at this point in my life, so I can't chose one.
  5. Write your own affirmations. I know there are plenty available on the Internet for free. Look at them by all means, but then reword them for yourself. If you create your own affirmations, they are personal to you. They will have more impact.
  6. Start with positive attitude. If you are adamant that it's not going to work, then it probably won't. So keep an open mind. Go with the flow, and see what happens. I don't know if they will work or not, but I am willing to try, and put my utmost faith in it for 30 days. Even if I don't see tangible result, I would have lost nothing by telling myself some positive things.
  7. Don't have too many affirmations. Be specific, and concise. For each of my goal, I have created 5 affirmations. For quality experiment, you should be able to repeat them every day. I intend to repeat them every morning, and every night. If I have time, I will write them down several times too. I will keep a copy of them on my PC where I can see it at home, and a copy of them in my Filofax so I can see it during the day.
  8. And lastly, make notes on how they make you feel. Or if you feel like it, write your affirmations in your journal every day. For any experiment to be successful, results must be noted and measured. If you don't keep track of anything, how will you know whether you have succeeded? Mind is a funny thing. You may think your attitude has changed but it could be just the memory tricking you. And if you only achieve small changes (but positive nonetheless) they will be hard to see without some form of record. So use the journal.
I will do post(s) on how my experiment with affirmations go. If you have any experience / opinions about them, please share your views.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Why do you (want to) Journal?

Today it's a question for you to ponder over - and of course write about in your journal. Why do you journal? If you have been doing it for years, what keeps you going? And if you are wishing you were regular journaler, why do you want to be one? What do you think you will get out of it? 

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Analyse your Self through your Journals

If you have kept a journal for a decent period if time, looking back at it, it will reveal far more than your actual words. Of course it does depend on the quality and quantity of your journaling - but on the whole, our journals do tell us much about us. It is a good tool for analysing habits and behaviour.
When I look back at my journals, I see all different goals I have focused on, various things I have obsessed about, the progress I have made, failures faced. Looking back at it - my journals not only tell me what I have tried to achieve, but they tell me why I have failed or succeeded. I don't sit there writing theories of reasons. I simply record my obsession, what I am doing, what I wish to achieve. This applies not only to goals, but to your general life. Perhaps looking at your teenage journals, you might find yourself obsessed with boys/girls, in your middle age with work/family, loneliness, illness - anything. How did you cope with trials in life? How did you appreciate the joys?
When you look at your journals with the purpose of analysing your life, and more importantly, your self, you can see the patterns of behaviour. Is there a habit you need to change? A fear you need to overcome? Is there something  that is consistently holding you back?
All the answers there - if only you have the patience and the courage to look for them.
And if you haven't kept a journal for a consistent period of time, it is never too late to start.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Journals Through The Years

I had a look at my journals today to make an index. So this is what I found:

Journal 1 - 24 May 2000 to 25 September 2002
Journal 2 - 25 September 2002 to 21 November 2002
Journal 3 - 26 November 2002 to 11 June 2003
Journal 4 - 12 June 2003 to 01 December 2003
Journal 5 - 02 December 2003 to 07 June 2004
Journal 6 - 12 June 2004 to 12 September 2004 - 75 pages
Journal 7 - 12 September 2004 to 13 February 2005 - 299 pages
Journal 8 - 14 February 2005 - 27 April 2005 - 141 pages
Journal 9 - 28 April 2005 - 09 January 2006 - 195 pages
Journal 10 - 11 January 2006 - 24 May 2006 - 199 pages
Journal 11 - 24 May 2006 - 31 August 2008 - 381 pages (BIG HULK OF A4 JOURNAL)
Journal 12 - 01 September 2008 - 13 January 2009 - 165 pages
Journal 13 - 15 January 2009 - 15 February 2009 - 138 pages
Journal 14 - 15 February 2009 - 24 April 2009 - 138 pages
Journal 15 - 25 April 2009 - 10 October 2009 - 255 pages
Journal 16 - 11 October 2009 - 17 March 2010 - 239 pages
Journal 17 - 18 March 2010 - 25 April 2010 - 95 pages
Journal 18 - 25 April 2010 - Present

I discovered: 
I didn't start numbering pages of my journals, and keeping indexes until Journal 6

The numbers of journal used increased dramatically in 2009. That is when I consciously realised how important journal writing was to me, and what difference it could make in my life. That was the year I completely fell in love with journaling as a life-time thing. 2010 is set to continue just as strongly. 

Over the years I also learned the importance of quality journals. Most of mine are good, but there are a couple of cheap ones that are not standing the test of time well. 

Looking at this index, I feel that I would like to start a new journal at the beginning of each year, but I also don't like to waste journal space, so from now on, I am going to try to make sure that I complete a journal by 31/12. Then a fresh new start on 1st of January. 

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Journal Writing Your Way

Over the years I have regularly explored different techniques for Journaling, and in the process have learned a lot. Sometimes, other people's journals inspire me; sometimes, a book on journaling becomes a great source of ideas. But what I continually notice is that despite best intentions to try include more visual methods (sketches, pictures, doodles), I inevitably go back to words. Not just any form of words - neat, paragraphed words. Sometimes there are lists too - and yes you bet, they are either bulletted or numbered.

It frustrates me at times because this one side of me wants me journal to be full of different things; I want spontaneous drawings in there and random doodling. But when I think about it carefully, it tells me that I am only journaling my natural way. I don't sit down every day, open my journal, and try to decide what method I should use. For the most part, I open the journal and I start writing.

When I am consciously trying a new technique then I would sit down and do just that, but every day journaling has to be spontaneous. It is not an assignment or a chore - it has to come from heart, not obligation. So however much I have tried to move on to other things, my natural method sticks with me. And though sometimes I rebel against its "sameness" - I like having my natural way.

What's your natural way to journal? What does your instinct push you towards?

I must point out that you should not confuse Fear of Trying with Natural Way. If you are doing the same thing again and again because you are afraid of exploring other avenues, then it's a problem. But once you have tried various things, and find one that suits you, that is you Natural way.

So share your journaling techniques, rituals, methods, or just madness....