Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On journaling

I recently made a goal to write in my journal every day. This isn't the first time I've made this goal; in my younger years, it seems like I was constantly resolving to write every day "because Gordon B. Hinckley says it's important." Which meant that in elementary school, I had far too many "I hate [insert sibling here]" entries (alongside many "I hate [insert Chicago Bulls player]" entries). In junior high the hate turned to love, with an entire year's worth of "I love [insert boy]" entries.

My heart was in the right place, but the result was a lot of thoughts I'm not exactly proud I preserved for future generations (except for, perhaps, the Chicago Bulls ones. Some of those were very colorful, like Dennis Rodman's hair).

Since I don't need to motivate myself to write in my journal, I haven't made any journal-related goals since 2002. I eased into writing about once a week, and that's been good enough for me for 13 years.

18 journals, and counting.

But you miss out on some of the biggest benefits of journaling if you wait until something noteworthy has happened to pull out that pen and paper. You forget about the hilarious tidbits that make up everyday life. You don't take the time to think of something you're grateful for on a really crappy day.

The benefits of journaling extend past immediate payoffs, though. I've found that it's a powerful personal revelation tool, as well. It's a bit freaky how often I've found answers to my current struggles by diving into my past experiences. And it's not just about my ever-evolving learning cycle; it's like when you read a scripture at exactly the moment you need it and you feel as if it was written just for you. Only the words are your words, and you already have an emotional connection to them.

Journaling is about more than just documenting your life (which is important, no matter how mundane you think your life is). Your journal can also give so much right back to you if you're willing to put in the effort.

Seriously, if you're not a regular journal keeper, give it another try.


  1. I totally love and agree with this :) I figure most of my problems out more quickly when I am in a regular habit of writing. It keeps my thoughts organized; like cleaning up your room every day. (Though I'm way better at journaling than cleaning my room)

  2. You almost convince me to try again. Hmmm, I'll let you know how it turns out. 😉