Self Development

How I Journaled for 82 Straight Days (and Counting)

One thing I haven’t done much of over the last few years is personal writing, even though I’ve kept a journal on and off (very on and off) since I was in elementary school. Twelve weeks ago, I made it a goal to journal once a day, keeping track of my progress on a whiteboard. Today I penned my 82nd straight journal entry — my longest streak ever.

There are many benefits to journaling, with research showing it can reduce stress and manage anxiety. It also allows me to reflect on my day when I write at night, or it helps me think of new goals and ideas for the day ahead if I’m writing in the morning (which is usually the case).

There are prompts and suggestions you can find online to help develop topics to think about when writing. But my approach so far has been to start by writing around something that happened recently (did I read an interesting article that morning?) or something happening later that day. This works as a warm-up, and soon I’m freely writing about anything that comes to mind.

I’m sure my streak will be broken soon enough, but that isn’t the point. 

So far, I’ve journaled more often than not, even if it means just writing a paragraph on some days. That’s something we can keep in mind for many of the long term goals we set our sights on — Keep the fire lit.

If You’re Going to Try, Go All the Way

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

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