One of the most effective and important things you can do in order to have more clarity and be more contemplative is to keep a journal.
This is especially true these days because we’re swimming in a sea of information–people telling us what we should be, what we should think, and what we should buy–kind of like this article, so the irony isn’t lost on me.
Well, the articles I write aren’t so much about dishing out advice as it is an ongoing autobiographical memoir, but anyway, my point is that keeping a journal is vital if you think a lot, and writing down things you appreciate is vital if you feel a lot.
So, for the last year I’ve been keeping a list of appreciations, but I’ve been doing it with a twist. As I go about my day, I deliberately pause after I do something and write down the activity (actually I type it, since I use my phone). This helps me to be more mindful, self-aware, and honest, while helping me be less judgmental and unconscious about what I’m doing.
For example, when I wake up, the first thing I do is make an entry in my list of appreciations like this:
This reminds me that being able to sleep comfortably really is something to appreciate. There are people who don’t even get to do that. Then I feed my cat, so I put in:
This reminds that even though my cat goes crazy sometimes, I do appreciate having her around.
Then I make some coffee:
You get the idea. Sometimes I do it right after the activity, and sometimes I’ll input several of them at different parts of the day.
Since today is my 365th day of doing this, I wanted to share this technique with you, and also give it a rest to see what my experiment has taught me. I’ll either keep it going or do something else that’s similar.
Let’s make today a better day!
image credit: Pixabay