Are you journaling in 2022?
In our final writers’ group meeting for 2021, we discussed journaling, its benefits, and how we could use journaling in 2022 to help us to meet our goals.
I was surprised that out of our group of over 20 writers and authors, only two members didn’t journal—and both were determined to try journaling in 2022.
Have you tried journaling? It’s a worthwhile practice, not only for writers. Studies have shown that journaling has beneficial effects on health.
A study on Positive Affect Journaling (PAJ) reported:
Some of the most notable findings from this study were that the PAJ intervention was associated with better mental health, including lower anxiety, mental distress, and perceived stress after only 1 month…
If you’re journaling in 2022, how will you do it? You have many options. Many members of our group are committed bullet journalers.
Journaling in 2022: bullet journal, or…?
A quarter of the group were keen bullet journalers. The other journalers kept a digital journal, or a paper planner in which they journaled.
The most popular choices for the type of journal were:
- Bullet journals (paper);
- Digital freeform journals;
- Paper planners and notebooks.
I made notes of some excellent tips writers shared, so that I could use them myself in 2022.
These tips are in no special order.
1. Avoid stress: use your journal to plan your day
Are you stressed and overwhelmed by a huge To Do list?
Most of us are. And chances are that we’re journaling in 2022 to get a handle on the tasks which matter. Have you ever noticed that many of those urgent, essential, must-do tasks never get done? Life moves on. Things stop mattering.
Our group agreed that the ONE thing which had the most effect on our productivity and peace of mind was spending five minutes planning our day.
Each day, you could make a list of tasks which are:
- Top-of-mind: “due today” tasks, those tasks which have deadlines, or which you’ve promised to do today (go to the party shop to buy paper plates and balloons);
- Phone calls you need to make or return;
- Due this week.
A couple of people recommended the 1-3-5 rule:
… accept that you can reasonably get one big thing, three medium things, and five small things done. So keep your daily to-do list to just those nine items.
I haven’t tried the 1-3-5 process, but I’ve created an Obsidian template which I’ll start using on January 1.
2. Conquer distractions: try interstitial journaling
Are you easily distracted? Me too.
I’d never heard of interstitial journaling, but it keeps you on track. Interstitial journaling works if you’re constantly stressed and wonder where your time is going. It’s a simple process and effective.
This article gets you started with interstitial journaling:
… it’s the simplest way to combine note-taking, tasks, and time tracking in one unique workflow.
This writer uses interstitial journaling with the Notion app:
This minimal approach to journaling through a combination of to-do lists, links, ideas, reflections, or mood tracking is a great way to journal on the go.
I’ve only used interstitial journaling for a few days, but it’s a good way to stop yourself plunging down rabbit holes.
It’s easy to drop into a rabbit hole.
- “I’ll just look that up”… Forty minutes later, you realize you’ve read ten web articles and have forgotten your original intention.
- “I need to speak to Rob about managing another project this week”… Rob’s phone goes to voice mail, so you write an email message which takes you 20 minutes, and makes you late for a presentation.
- “Why haven’t I organized this project? It would be so much easier if I created folders, and then…” An hour later, your project is brilliantly organized. Unfortunately, the project is due next week—and you’ve wasted an hour.
3. Track your goals in 2022 and make your dreams real
A new year is a tempting time to set New Year’s resolutions. However, after years of setting resolutions which I forgot by the end of January, I knew I needed a better process.
Journaling my goals works for me. Several other writers journal their goals too, so it’s popular.
This article, How Keeping a Journal Helps You Crush Your Goals, gets you started on journaling your goal setting process:
Using a journal to capture ideas leads to greater creativity not only in what your goal is but also how you are going to accomplish it.
Journaling in 2022: choose a journal and get ready now
With just a few days left in this year, it’s the perfect time to choose a journal, and a journaling process.
I wish you much success in 2022.
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