Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 6

Goal Setting

April is almost over, so a new month, and a new beginning. Yes, I think of a new week, a new month, a new year - every new thing as a new beginning. :-) Gives one a lot of options for changing directions if necessary.

So our Journal Prompt this year to make goals for month of May. And they do not have to be just practical goals, or just routine goals - like do laundry or mow the lawn.

No, these should be goals that cover every aspect of your life that is important to you. Whether they are tasks that you need to do, a book you want to read, a movie you want to see, an activity you want to do with a loved one. Anything that you want to accomplish in May.

But be realistic in terms of time. If you know you are going to have 4 hours every week, do not make a list that will take 10 hours to complete. The more realistic you are in terms of the time you have, the better the sense of accomplishment when you cross those items off the list.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 5

A wonderful penpal of mine asked me this question (which I have yet to answer):

How would I define happiness? What it means to me? Am I happy?

That is a prompt for your journal. Often we are so absorbed in mindless pursuits of daily life, rushing after success as it is defined by society, and we forget to stop and think if our definition of success is the same as the society's. Every day of your life that you are not working towards what ultimately makes you happy, is one more day that you are walking away from it.

There are hardly any absolute truths in life, and certainly no guarantees, so it is up to each one of us to make each day count. Our deepest and most important dreams may not be possible to achieve in a day, a month, a year or even ten years, but it is possible to be always working towards them.

If we can define - fluidly, not concretly - what happiness means to us, what it is that gives us a filling of fulfillment than we are far closer to it than billions of people who never stop to ponder the question, and to take time to glance within their own souls.

So pick up your pens or your keyboards and get writing...

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Filofax - Organising Old-Fashioned Way

Going the old-fashioned way. Got my first Filofax, a personal Metropol chocolate - now christened Cocoa - and love it. I have never felt so efficiently organised in my life. And I can make my endless lists in one place. I have managed to organise it efficiently enough to incorporate all important areas of my life, including writing projects. I don't think I will be browsing for PDAs ever again.

Adding some cute stationary for personal touches

Cocoa looks much better in person, than my poorly taken picture

At least getting rid of few store cards makes my wallet a little lighter. Sometimes, I can even close it.

More cute stationary.

Friday, 9 April 2010

My Current Journals

Since I always go on about Journaling and how wonderful it is, I thought I would share my journals with you.

Yes, I use them all at the same time. So what are they for?

From left to right...

1. Tarot/Oracle Journal - I use it periodically, whenever I go through a phase of doing Tarot or Oracle readings. I use them either as prompts or as a psychological tools for exploring my jumbled thoughts. It's a quality spiral bound notebook, with nice thick pages, so fountain pens work especially well. 

2. Writing Journal - It's a large, ruled moleskine. I use this fairly regularly, but not based on any schedule. In this I write any new ideas, new things or ideas about current WIPS, new techniques or something that I might like to experiment with, any writing epiphany, character details - anything and everything that is related to writing.

3. Self-Improvement Journal - It's a large, moleskine sketchbook. I started this as an experiment to cure bad habits, and for a while wrote in it every day for stuff I was focusing on, including goals, tasks. Now, I don't use it every day (so bad habits won), but I still use it for ongoing things that I am working on.

4. Dream Journal - "Nightmare Before Christmas" spiral bound notebook. I wandered into Disney shop once, and this was on sale, and I thought it was perfect for a Dream Journal :-). I use this to write down any dreams I remember. Like Tarot this also goes through phases, because I have noticed that I remember dreams easily if I make the effort to remember them, and plan to write them down.

5. Personal Journal - handmade parchment style pages. This is my regular journal, which I use almost daily. I hate missing days. This one gets everything - personal stuff, writing stuff and any other stuff that comes up. This particular journal is getting a lot of attention because i started it on March 18, and now I am on Page 60. It will be finished in April. And then I have got other new gorgeous journals waiting :-))

So there you go - my journal obsession laid out - and I love them. 

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 4

Today let's explore the future. Many of us either live in the past, thinking of what we were, what we had or we live in the future, hoping to be something more, hoping for different things. What we can do instead is make peace with our past and have a goal for the future - it doesn't have to be set in stone - so we can work toward it while living in the present.

Do a timed writing exercise

For 10 to 15 minutes do a free writing about your hopes for the future. Don't think about it. Write as fast as you can. It's okay if you repeat the ideas. It's okay if you write silly things. There are no rules. Just get it out of your mind. 

After the free writing exercise, read through it and mark what resonates with you. If you wish, expand on those points. 

To delve deeper, write where you hope to be in five years time. What do you want your life to be like? Take some time. Think about it. Then think about how you can get there. Don't worry about practicalities at this stage. 

For example, you might have written - I want a master's degree in 5 years time - but the logical part of your brain might tell you that with a full time job, 2 kids, you have no time or money to do it. For now, don't worry. Just write down the steps you would need to do to achieve that.

For example: you might say

Decide what programme I want to join
Decide what university to go to
Would I do it part-time or full-time?
Would I do it in class or distance learning?
Do I meet the admission requirements?
If no, what do I have to do?
If I do, what is the application process?

When you have done all these steps, leave that entry somewhere handy, and look at regular intervals. Each time to look at it, write an entry about it - of do I still want to do this? why do I want to do this? how it might benefit? what temporary troubles it might cause (less time for kids, less money)

The reason for doing this over a period of time is so you know that you truly want something, and also you want it for the right reasons. If you take time to consider it, you will know how important it is to you, and then you can decide if your dream is too important to ignore or if it is a passing fancy.

Understanding our hopes and dreams enables us to achieve them, and creates paths for a more fulfilling life.