I’m Keeping A Journal

That’s what most intelligent people do. Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and even our own Jose Rizal. Most of the people I admire also keep some sort of a journal to write. While my being “intelligent’ is clearly debatable, you need not be intelligent to start journaling. Trust me .

What’s the benefit?

This recent scientific study tells us that journaling (a form of expressive writing), reduces negative thoughts and “improves working memory”. If you insist on the long list of potential benefits, go to this Hufftington article. If you are not yet convinced by benefit #5, please stop reading this post. I really don’t want to waste your time. ( You might want to read the bad effects of journaling here.)

What convinced me to go back journaling?

I did a 80/20 analysis of my skills and habits back and found out that journaling contributed to 80% of my collegiate success! Journaling gave me a personal space to blurt out my thoughts, deconstruct my dilemma and then gave me focus. Journaling also taught me how to outline strategies and solving seeming unsolvable problems.

Like math.

Math is an unsolvable problem for me.  I dread every math subject or numbers bearing course there is. Everybody hates math. Even my classmate who aces math exams, hate math. I hate classmates who aces math exams.

I write math thoughts on my journal, how it took me one semester to crack a single item calculus quiz. I wrote about how I answered end of chapter statistical questions while sitting on the toilet bowl. On the brighter side of journaling, I also write on my journal the times when I’d successfully reverse engineer math solutions of my classmates! It is then that I discovered I was better at solving math problems by reverse engineering solutions. In short, I kind of solve my math fear, by journaling. 

Wait. Why I am telling you these? Well, I’m journaling again. Not because I can’t solve math problems again, but because I can journal and is such a mindful tool for me. I also need you my friends, to call me out from time to time and see how I’m doing with my journaling do over.  Coz, that’s what friends are for, right? (say’s cliche..)

Here’s what my evolving journal look like now.

Blank, handwritten journal of Remo, evening part left page, morning on the right page of the notebook.

This is a chimera of journal templates by Tim Ferris, Sam Thomas Davies and the 5 Minute Journal. I have a weekly overview and a two part (morning/evening)  daily journal. The morning journal is usually the attitude setting and tasking part while the evening journal is sort of a reflection and ideas exploration part. It’s not complete yes, and is evolving each day.

Look at my journal months ago.

Handwritten, pen colored vandalized journal of yester months

Forget the crappy handwriting and ridiculous icons.

How should I (or you) know my progress? Or what if I’m not journaling at all?  How would I know if my journaling is giving me the benefits it ought to give?

To be honest, I do not know. I have triggers for journaling in the morning and in the evening. I might have to publicly show some of my not so personal journal entries to prove I’m in fact still journaling. Short of head knocking me, maybe a good old, “Hey you’ve publicly posted a challenge, don’t be an arse and keep journaling!” How’s that for a challenge?  I’m just kidding. No really, humiliate me.

Lastly, I’m thinking this should be fun. I’m finally doing something for my do over I mentioned in this post.

So help me gods.