“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” – Will Self
Does that mean after three minutes, you could lose a moment forever?
When you think of keeping a diary, you think of writing down what's happened in your day. You note down what you're doing, what you're looking forward to and other general thoughts about your day. It's this secret thing that no one else can see but you.
Journaling is different.
My journal is something I'd feel comfortable reading to my family. It's somewhere where I write down my thoughts, my likes, my dislikes, and thousands of other things that are floating around my mind.
Journaling can change your life.
But more than anything, journaling preserves your story. The big moments, small moments, sad moments and romantic moments - journaling preserves everything.
The one thing I struggled with, which stopped me from journaling every day was what to write about. But you don't have to worry - there are a whole host of journaling prompts out there for you to document what means the most to you. Right now, I'm following along with daily prompts from LIFE:CAPTURED Inc. It's one of the highlights of my day.
Why Should I Journal?
When you journal, you're with your thoughts, your mind and your words. They're your feelings and your stories.
Sure, it's easy to write about your daily routine and where you go on holiday - you're right to do this. They're big parts of your life.
But why not dig deeper? Why not create a journal that resembles that time in your life and who you were then? Your beliefs, your values. It's so much more worthwhile looking back through a journal that talks about so many different things, rather than just what happened during one day.
Think about it...
How much of your life could you remember?
I journal every single night before I go to sleep. That's the time I've dedicated to this part of my life. Sometimes an entry can take me five minutes, sometimes it can take me half an hour. Months ago, I'd sit down to write in my journal and not know what to put. Now, I look forward to doing it.
Ultimately it comes down to a personal preference. But journaling is definitely a hobby that you should start. One day, I'm hoping to have a stack of journals, detailed my thoughts and how my life pans out over the years.
How incredible would it be for you to have that to look back on?
You don't need social media posts or online photos to show what's happened in your life.
You need a pen and a journal.
Print pictures off and stick them in. Use colourful washi tape, ribbons, postcards, mementos - anything that you can use to add an extra special touch to your journal. Sometimes decorating it is the part that's most fun.
There's also a huge list of other positive things that you can get out of journaling. Here are just a few:
- Mental health benefits
- Less stress
- A boost in self-esteem
- You can harness your creativity
- You'll get better at writing
- New ideas will come easier
- It can give you perspective
- It's therapeutic
- Your memory improves
Your story is important and needs to be shared. You have a legacy. It doesn't matter if nobody else sees it. Your journal is yours. Someone will want to read it someday, and you'll want them to read it too. So make sure they can.
I'd love to know, do you journal? Or are you thinking about starting one? How does journaling make you feel? Does it help you? Leave your thoughts