Last week I started a series based on the question in the title. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet. Today we resume after having brainstormed about what we would do with our time if money were no object.
Keep a Journal
Maybe you already do this, but I want to challenge you for the next 30 days to keep a daily, purposeful journal. Here’s how that works.
First, set aside time each day for journaling. This can be first thing in the morning (great for planning), last thing before you go to bed (perfect for gratitude), or even right after lunch. It doesn’t matter so much what time, but that you make an unbreakable appointment with yourself, and that you commit to doing the work—even when it feels hard or uncomfortable.
Next, rather than just random thoughts and events, try answering specific questions each day. This type of journaling helps you maintain focus, and will allow you to look back later and know exactly what works, what doesn’t, and where you might want to focus your energy.
Some questions to ask each day include:
- What was the best thing that happened to me today?
- How did I make someone else’s day better?
- How could today have been better?
- What’s the one big thing I want to get done today?
- What’s one thing I did today just for me?
- Who made me smile today?
- What has been my biggest achievement this week?
- Fast forward to next year. What has changed about your life or your business?
You don’t have to answer each and every question every day, and there may be others you’d like to add to your list. Have fun with it, and use your journal as a source of inspiration and reflection. Look forward to what you hope to achieve, and backwards at how far you’ve come.
Taking note of recurring themes in your journal is a powerful way to discover your true passion. If the best thing that happens to you every day is that you served a beautiful dinner to your family, then it’s clear that being a mom and a great cook is one of your passions.
On the other hand, if your day could have been better if you didn’t have to struggle with your accounting software, clearly bookkeeping is not something you want to pursue.
Another thing to include in your journal is gratitude. Every day, you’re surrounded with reasons to be grateful. It didn’t rain until after your son’s last baseball game of the season. You remembered at the last minute to take your new sweater out of the dryer and avoided disaster. That cold you felt coming on yesterday passed you by after all.
By noting the small (and large) things you’re grateful for, it will help keep your attitude positive, and when you’re happy, you’re more open to discovering your life’s passions.
One last point about journaling—embrace your creative side. Many people love to journal on a computer. It’s fast and with you everywhere. But it also tends to be cold and impersonal.
Rather than using a bland old Word or text document for your daily journaling, consider creating a pretty paper journal instead. Buy pens in different colors, and fill your journal with not just words, but pictures and doodles and anything else that makes you happy. Collect fun stickers to add to your pages, use sticky notes for important points, and even tuck a photo or two into your updates to remind you of what you’ve achieved.
Remember, your journal is for your eyes only, and you’ll be more likely to use it if it’s as colorful and unique as you are.
Create a Journaling Space
Journaling should be fun and inspiring, not dry and boring. It’s not a college essay, but rather a tool to help you discover your deeper truth.
Along with your notebook, collect your other journaling supplies and tuck them away in a beautiful bag you can easily pull out when it’s journaling time. Be sure to include:
- Brightly colored pens
- Sticky notes
- Stamps and stickers
Let’s try this together and see how we do. See you next installment!
PS: If you love journals and pens and pencils, try ScribeDelivery! You get a new package each month, filled with curated writing tools and gorgeous paper products.
4 indie-published books
3 degrees (MCert, Web Design & Development, University of Denver; MLS, University of Alabama; BA, Art, University of Alabama in Huntsville)
17+ years professional experience in university web design and editing