I started doing this at the new year, but I swear the timing was a coincidence. Also, I’m not exactly sure how I heard about it, but it was at least third-hand and not from The Happiness Project (which I have never read, but I’ve browsed the website a bit since).
I happened to have an awesome journal laying around. It’s a full 8 1/2 by 11, red leather-bound journal from a mall bookstore. Of course, after passing a pile of these on sale I couldn’t resist buying one. But for the last several years, I’ve been unable to write much in a journal, and this book has languished.
Lists! Bullets! It’s so easy, I now have an entry for every day of this year except one. I got behind a little, and when I went back to catch up, it turns out I have no memories of last Thursday whatsoever. I left a space for it though, just in case something comes to me. I also left a few pages at the beginning blank, and have been back-filling with highlights from 2010 as they occur.
This is a whole week’s worth of entries –
I’ve already noticed that some of my earlier entries feel like a million years ago. I probably would have forgotten that stuff by now. I also realized that by regularly crocheting on my Monday lunch break, I was participating in something awesome without realizing it (more on what in a future post).
I am also recording my own personal history in a pain-free way, so I can remember it later and/or for future generations. And even if it’s not a full and profound journal experience, it’s showing me a lot about myself and my habits.
If you are even remotely interested in this kind of a journal, there is no reason not to start right now. You probably already own some kind of blank book that appeals to you, and a good pen. Stash them somewhere handy and visible, and try to make a ritual out of grabbing the book and filling it out. Or open an online account of some sort – one of the commenters on the Happiness Project page even suggested recording entries in a Google Calendar. And you are completely allowed to do three or four (or more) days at a whack if you get behind – no guilt, as long as you’re getting it done.
Try it out for a month, and I bet you’ll want to keep doing it.