Thursday, December 27, 2012

13 Reasons to start a Journal in 2013

1. The time you take to reflect and write may be the only solitude you get. Psychology Today says solitude improves relationships and fosters problem solving. Who doesn’t need that! 

a beautiful journal from paperblanks
2. Defeat thought-scatter. When one thought leads to another so fast I can’t keep up, I need to slow the synapses! Writing helps. The must-do list loses the frenzy factor when I move it from my head to my journal.

3. Ideas are clarified, insights gel while you write. 

4. Record major life events.  My journal helped keep me sane and organized during my daughter’s hospitalization. It preserved our questions about her condition and the physicians’ answers. It chronicled the process of her recovery. It documented the interminable communication with the insurance companies. 

5. Record the minor pleasures. Then you can go back and relive the things that made you laugh, gave you a thrill, and caused you to be grateful. 

6. Record the events you never want to repeat. Reflection reveals other choices you could have made.

7. Boost your creativity, even if you don’t think you have any.  I like to illustrate my thoughts. I keep a separate section at the back of my journal for projects to pursue later.

8. Track progress--and obstacles--toward your goals. 

9. Paper doesn't talk back. You can express your feelings without saying something you’ll regret or get fired for! 

 10. A full journal is satisfying. When life seems to be a series of recurring tasks, completed pages in a journal are evidence you were in the driver’s seat for at least some moments. 

11. When I review my journal for the year I see patterns of behavior, recurrent 
themes, insights. It helps me set new goals.

12. It's memory back-up. Once it's written down you can find it again.

13. It puts in you in good company. People from all walks of life, ancient and modern, have kept diaries. I bet you can find someone you admire on this list!

How many of you kept diaries as a child? How many keep journals now? What kinds of details do you record? Why does it give you pleasure? Share something from your journal in the comments box. 


  1. I don't journal, but but started writing "stories" about my childhood and life experiences for my grandchildren.

  2. I've kept a prayer journal for years. When a prayer is answered, I highlight it in yellow. At the end of each year, as I flip back through, I'm overwhelmed at God's faithfulness.

    1. Yes, noting God's work in our lives is a worthwhile endeavor! Thanks for adding to the discussion.


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