Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dear Diary

Journaling is hard.  It’s definitely going to take work to make it a habit.  The food diary has been particularly challenging as I don’t really have a system for it; I need to write down what I eat immediately or I’ll forget.  In fact, I’m struggling to find a system for journaling in general.  I’d like to have one or two notebooks, maximum, to use for recording thoughts, ideas, dreams, what I ate, to do lists, etc.  A big notebook is annoying to carry around, so are two medium sized books.  Maybe I just need to invest in a bigger purse…
Dreams I can record at home, as that’s where they happen, but if I want to keep track of what I eat I need to write it down a.s.a.p.; and if I have an idea I’d rather write it in a book than on a post it and hope it finds its way home to be re-written into a journal.  I keep repeating to myself, “No Rules” when it comes to journaling.  Meaning, it doesn’t have to look perfect, and don’t rip out ‘stupid’ pages.  Should I just keep writing things on random pieces of paper and throwing them all in a box and them compiling them into something cohesive at the end of the month?  I could just invest in one new book, but I have several barely used journals lying around so I’m skeptical another journal will solve anything.
How do you even research this?  I type in journal and I get a bunch of pictures of 6th graders diaries.  Type in inspiration boards and you get a bunch of wedding collages.  Um, hello why aren't people posting pictures of their private journals online for the world to see?  I tell myself that the blog is supposed to be a journal of sorts and I should use it more effectively, and I’d be right I should.  For me, so much of this project has been finding ways of doing things that work for me, fitting things into my schedule, setting up accountability, making and revising goals; but the kicker is really how to organize all of the goals and intentions and how to measure progress.  At first I used a resolutions chart, which I think there’s genuine value in because it gave me a visual reminder of what I wanted to do every day and I had to mark it off if I did it.  The problem with that, for me, came around month three when I started to feel like the list was getting really long and it became overwhelming to try and accomplish every single daily goal I had.  Instead of a marker of progress it became a marker of failure when what wasn’t accomplished would outnumber what was.  Also, some goals weren’t set up to be every day (ex: emailing friends) and I didn’t know how to fit them into the chart.
I’ve been looking into some computer software that can keep track of several things in one place.  Mac Journal seems like a definite possibility as it claims to be able to keep track of things as well as allows you to publish to your blog through it.  Since the blog is something I try to do fairly often it’s an excuse to use the program regularly.  It’s not free, but I can do a free trial and see if I like it.  If I like it, it won't be a one stop thing.  I won't be carrying it around all the time so notebooks will still be necessary.  I still like the idea of a tangile record, but if keeping track of thigns online allow me to be more on top of my stuff then I'll have to find a way to do both.

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