I started a new intention back in January, and since I’m still doing it fairly regularly, I guess you could say it’s a habit now. I began what I’ve called my Daily Jottings.
I’ve consistently been horrible at journaling. I’ve started so many, tried so many times, but it just never stuck with me. I think a big part of that is because my expectations were very high as to what the journal was supposed to be, what I had to do in the journal to make it a real journal.
Well, at the beginning of this year, I changed my attitude and started the jottings with the intention of making it a gratitude journal. I got the idea from Chris Coyier,
If you’re digging the ‘thankful’ vibe today, I recommend rolling that into practicing gratitude. (Tweeted 27 Nov 2014)
This was just one of the instances Chris has tweeted about being grateful and I mulled it over and decided to give it a whirl. But I did a few things to set myself up for more success this time around.
First up, I’m using very small notebooks, specifically I decided to rip into the field notes I have piled up from conference swag in my office closet. By using a small journal and making it so I didn’t have to write on more than one page a day (I actually now try and keep it to one page), I gave myself permission to write almost nothing if I wanted to.
Second, I decided to include something about my day, for a bit of context. This could be one sentence that says, “It was sunny today.” Some days I have more to say, others I have less.
Third, I decided to go for three things I’m grateful for each day. Because my life is honestly a pretty good one, so coming up with three really shouldn’t be a hardship.
Fourth, I bought the book Daily Rituals and I read one of those each day and make a note of which one. Many of these are extremely short, so it’s just a jolt of someone else’s life into the midst of mine to get me thinking. I may make notes about what I read, but I may not.
Finally, I am gentle with myself. If I miss a day, life goes on. Some days are busier than others, some days I’m tired and forget, some days I just don’t feel like it—and that’s OK. This is meant to be a fun/interesting thing to do, not a chore and not another in the long list of have tos that I already have in my head way too often.
I’m sharing not to make you feel like you should do this either, just to share, as it may spark something in your life. Don’t read this and think it’s a prescription for what you should do, merely as something I’m doing that has been interesting and fun for me. Think of this as descriptive and take from it what you will.