Are you Journaling? 5 Reasons why you should

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One of my bigger accomplishments of 2014 is that I kept a journal in which I wrote every night before bed. Each day I would do bullet points of happenings that day and at the bottom I would write tasks for tomorrow. No entry would be longer than a notebook page (in this case mine was 8×6) and each one was concise and summarized the day.

This year I will be doing the same again. If you are not journaling I urge you to on a routine business and if you are not sure why here are a few reasons:

1. It is a good way to evaluate in a timely fashion

Writing in it every night forced me to look back on my day and see just where I could have changed things or how I could have been more productive. It also helped me to reflect on things that happened relational, emotional, and spiritually. Why did I argue with that person? Hmmm I probably could have spent less time on social media. Wow, when I sum it up, I really didn’t do much of anything today. These are some thoughts I have at the end of the day when journaling and assessing how I acted during the day helps me make better decisions for tomorrow.

2. Keeps you on task

Part of my daily journaling is putting down the things that I had accomplished that day and things that I will need to do the next day. For instance when it comes to my writing, I would put what my progress was for the day and what I was expected to accomplish tomorrow. Also have you ever just gotten into bed and realized ALL the things you forgot to do that day? Yeah… now you have a place where you can write all those things down so you can remember to do them tomorrow.

3. Baggage lifter

Ever have something happen to you and you just need to get it off your chest. This is a good way to do that. “Never let the sun go down on your anger”. You don’t have to go into super details when writing about it, you can simply just write down that you are angry and frustrated. Just doing that can sometimes make you feel better.

4. Looking back

Going back now and rereading my journal entries allows me to see myself almost from the outside. I read entries of things I have gone through that seemed so consuming at the time but now I am over. There are events in it that I have forgotten have happened. And mostly there is a running theme of thoughts and actions that I didn’t notice before. It is like I am giving insight to myself. It is kind of like one of those look back videos they have on Facebook only this is far more detailed and personal.

5. It can be fun!

I use multicolored gel pens and alternate between them so at the end of the year it is like a rainbow of colors. Sometimes I will even paste something in it or doodle. At the front of the book I usually start it with a meaningful quote, then accomplishments for the past year, disappointments, and then what I am looking forward to this year. You can do whatever you like, get creative, it is your outlet.

So give it a try and start journaling, it is definitely worthwhile.

Also here are some tips for journaling:

  • Find the right kind of notebook whether it is spiral, leather-bound, or digital. Make it a format that will be readily accessible and comfortable to use. For instance I prefer a spiral or soft-bound notebook usually by the company miquelrius.
  • Make sure the notebook is thick enough. If you want to write everyday then you need a notebook that has about 400 pages/200 sheets.
  • If you are keeping a digital journal I suggest using a word processor (word or pages) and saving the entries to a special folder if you are doing separate documents. A great app to use for this would be Evernote or Day One . Check out this article for good iPhone apps and this one for android apps.
  • Put the date at the top of the page. I usually put the time, the day of the week, and the date.
  • Leave space at the bottom to put tasks for the next day. I will help you look forward to tomorrow and when you look back you can see how often those tasks were completed.
  • Do it everyday or just once a week but make sure you are consistent.
  • Be open. This is about you and you shouldn’t be closed off to yourself.

Happy journaling!

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The End of the Year is Near!

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There are officially 17 days until the end of the year. How are those resolutions coming?

I do have to say that I have made some serious headway on my resolutions this year. I may not have accomplished all of them but I have done more than I have in the past. For instance I have yet to learn how to play the guitar BUT I did purchase a guitar on Sunday so now I am one step closer. I haven’t fully reached my fitness goal BUT I have been more consistent in working out than I have ever been. It’s the little things that slowly build up to the big.

So if you haven’t reached your goal this year, and end up having to put it down again for next year, don’t worry about it. Focus on the little things you did that have moved you toward your end goal and I bet you’ll see that you’ve done more than you thought.

14 Signs That You Need to Get Moving

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Sometimes we are so good at doing nothing, that we don’t even know when we are doing it. It’s not until the day ends, or sometimes even later, that we realize we basically didn’t get anything  accomplish. Oh sure we were super busy doing stuff, but then why does it feel like time some how got wasted?

This is part of the reason I keep a Me Year journal. Every night before I go to bed a reflect on all the things I did that day and only then do I truly assess just how much or little I’ve actually done. So based off of my own faults and things culled from others, here are some ways to know that you probably need a kick in the rear to get back on track.

1. You spend too much time on social media

click bait

Oh social media with your endless scrolling pages of topics and click bate headlines. Why must you be so enticing that we become mindless drones and sucked into a Rip Van Winkle esque blackhole. Who knew there were so many videos of puppy laughter? If a click away will I miss something? How does one hack at life?

Run it’s a trap! How much time are you spending on social media? How much time really? And in that same instance how often do you check your email? You might be spending more time than you realize.

2. You stare off into space

into space

This is exactly what this sounds like. You basically stare off into nothing while life continues on until something captures your attention back. It’s a real good time waister.

3. That project you started was about as complete as it was two years ago

Unfinished projects

Go ahead, make a list of all the things you’ve started and never bothered to finish or things you keep saying you are going to get to. Are there a lot?

4. You’ve been at that “temporary” job for four years now.

quit job

So I’m not going to lie and say that I am not guilty of this because I totally am. In my defense (which by the way is not a valid defense at all) I have skipped around jobs and been promoted at my current one. But the point of something being temporary is that it will eventually change otherwise it is as good as permanent until you change it.

5. When people ask you questions about your life you make up answers to make you sound better.

very important

I just…hahaha. If you have ever caught yourself playing off a really old accomplishment as something recent or making excuses for your current life then this is you.

6. Life has become a series of habits.

habit

You get up, you go to work, you go home, you go to bed. Then you do it all over again, and again, and again. You’re life has become a stalemate and so predictable that family and friends some how always know what you are doing and when. Yikes.

7. You have the same resolutions on your list EVERY year.

new year

Oh looks like I didn’t complete all these things on my list yet again, I guess I’ll just cross out the top and put the new year on it… done.

8. You’ve become overly content

field of poppies

You used to want to do and be all these things and go to all these places but somehow you don’t feel that way anymore. You’ve laid down in a field of poppies and forgotten you were even there.

9. Someone says to you “You haven’t changed a bit”.

change

And the moment that someone says that and you realize, it’s true.

10. You have no idea where the time has gone yet you’ve completed nothing.

time

What do you mean it’s 10pm. It was only 6pm like two minutes ago!

11. You daydream all the time.

mitty

In the car, in front of the tv, in the shower, there is no limit. Here’s the question what you are you daydreaming about? And do those dreams mean something?

12. You’d rather sleep

sleep

Oh man I really should finish ____ but I think I’m going to sleep instead.

13. Too busy doing the little things.

The-Busy-Trap

Sometimes we become really busy with the little things in life. Sometimes the big things are just so overwhelming that we use the little things as an excuse to not do the big things. “Look how busy I am I can’t possibly get that big thing done.” What we fail to realize is that big things are actually many little things just wrapped up in a ball. If we break them down then the big thing won’t seem so big anymore. 

14. You’ve become a big green jealousy monster.

jealous

This one is a huge indicator. There as has been studies done about Facebook and other social media outlets and how they affect people’s moods. They found that more and more people are jealous at what they see other people doing. They see other people having a good time and they wonder why their life isn’t like that, not knowing that what they see is only half of the story.

If you find yourself being constantly jealous at what others have and are doing then you need to reassess your life and figure out what it is about your life that is so unsatisfactory and change it.

So hopefully these tips will help you realise if and when you need to kick into gear but know that even with these tips you will never change what you tolerate. You have to want to change and to want to get better. You don’t have to start big. Start with something small and continue to add on and before you know it things will have changed.

Late Nights and Nothingness

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Ever feel like doing just absolutely nothing. I mean you still do the bare minimum to get you through the day (work, appointments, and the like) but besides that you feel like doing absolutely nothing. Sure you feel like you should be doing something and of course there are plenty of somethings for you to be doing but for some reason you just can’t give enough cares in the world to actually do these things.

These are the moments where you find yourself going to bed late and staying in bed all morning, spending countless hours in front of the TV or your computer screen with only a faint recollection of what you are looking at and small constant voice in the way back of our head telling you its dying a slow death, or telling yourself at work that this time you will be productive when you get home only to have your commute home suck out all motivation you so perilously mounted up.

I feel this comes on in the middle of the year when you look back on what you have done so far and you subsequently give up. You think “well wasted already half of the year so why not waste the rest of it”. After all that would be the easy thing to do. It’s so easy to just continue they way you always have, it’s what you’ve been doing so why not keep doing it?

Time to turn the tide. It that you know glass half full situation. You still have half a full glass. So take some time to recuperate, meditate, and get back in it because you still have half a year left to go.

Reblog: Catch-22

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One of the biggest obstacles I have in being a filmmaker is finding or making the time to do the things that I want to do. Prior to the job that I have now I would have to get up early to drive an hour to work and after working anywhere from 5-9 hours I would drive an hour back home. Sometimes I would work four days in a row, other times eight. It put a real damper on my creative time and wasn’t flexible at all.

Initially when I was hired I was told that I would have time to continue to work in theater as a stage manager and such, this was a lie. My work demanded a lot of my time with little benefits and eventually not even enough to pay the bills. So I got a new job. Is it better? Kind of. Now I usually work fewer days however the hours are longer and I find myself coming home and have such a lack of motivation to where all I want to do is sleep.

So how do I get around this?

Initially I did nothing about it. However I did leave my days off to work solely on what I wanted. Mainly going to the library to get things done. I also had the flexibility to finally get back into theater as well. However that begin to take up a lot of time and I lost focus of building up myself as a filmmaker in the process.

This is where the catch-22 comes in: I needed time to build myself as a writer and a filmmaker working on projects BUT I also need to pay my bills.

A lot of times I would have to choose between a project OR not making enough money to pay a bills and my numerous student loans. There are many projects out there but not a lot that pays or pays enough as it were. With the down turn of our economy prominent positions are hard to come by and competition is high.

So like many other loan laden college grads out there I find myself struggling between my dreams and reality. Are there enough energy drinks out there to keep me awake to work after a long shift? Can I afford to skip a day of work in hopes of getting my name on a big project? Should I branch out and try to leave the old job behind? Or maybe I should figure out a way to turn back time so I wouldn’t have student loans in the first place?

If you got an answer I’d love to hear it. But I will continue to work the grind and look forward to the day when I don’t have to choose one or the other but instead I can have both.

“Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Waiting for the Right Conditions

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Have you ever wanted to do something like get a new job, start a business, go to school, or take a big vacation but you held back? You kept thinking: well if I get that raise then I will, when my kids are old enough I, when I’m more financially sound, or something big just happened so I can’t.

You know what those are called? Waiting for the right conditions. Thinking that if everything would just fall into place how you want it to THEN and only then you can start this thing you’ve been putting off. But the thing is those “right conditions” may never come and probably won’t so where does that leave you?

After I had gotten my undergrad I had wanted to go back to college to get my masters so I could learn more in my narrow focus of expertise. One thing lead to another and I kept putting it off. I kept saying I would do it when I had the money, or when I had more time, or once I’ve gotten things settled.

Then it hit me. I may never have “the money”. I had time I just wasn’t making time for it. And I live this crazy thing called life and it may never be settled. So I sucked it up, applied, and started my masters program. And you know what? Even though I didn’t have the “right conditions” everything turned out just fine.

If you always WAIT for the RIGHT CONDITIONS you will NEVER get it done.

Don’t be the cause of your own delay. Don’t deny yourself simply because the conditions aren’t right and it’s going to take a lot of work and sacrifice to get what you want. So don’t wait. Start today. Start right now, because life has and uncanny way of working those “right conditions” right out.

 

Image courtesy of amenic181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net