What Happened When I Challenged Myself To Journal More For Two Weeks

Inspiration

I have so many journals. A pink one with lined paper. A leather-bound journal with pretty textured paper. Then there are four journals I bought in 2018 that I added to my ever-growing collection: The Five Minute Journal, Start Where You Are Journal, 52 Lists For Happiness, and the My Prayer Journal.


I told you I had a lot of journals. What I was finding was that, I was only writing in my journals when I felt disjointed or upset by something that was happening in my life. Once those moments passed, my library of journals went back to collecting dust. I was listening to Oprah's, What I Know For Sure book on Audible, and she mentioned keeping a gratitude journal she wrote in every day for a decade —writing down five things she was grateful for each day. That got me to thinking, I should be writing in my journals from a place for gratitude, which is something I have been struggling with lately.

I have been getting a lot of rejection, dealing with trauma in my personal life, and to be honest, finding things to be grateful for in these moments has been tough. So, I challenged myself to write in each of my journals for two weeks.

There are disputes about how many days it takes to make a habit, but adding daily mindfulness to my routine is something I have tried and failed at over and over. Here was my chance to make 2019 different.

Week one was interesting. I placed all six journals by my bed, so they were one of the first things I rolled over and looked at when I put my feet on the carpet in my room each morning. Sunday was easy since I enjoy taking time for myself on that day. I sat on the floor with each journal writing about what I was grateful for, my daily bible verse and prayer, free wrote in the blank journals, and answered whatever the prompts in the guided journals I had brought up for me.

One of the prompts read, "List The 8 Things You Like To Do That Don't Involve Technology." That prompt stumped me as I sat with my pen in hand with the sun beaming on my face. I wrote, "Read a great magazine. Have a yummy meal. Do a facial. Dance." I continued to add to that list throughout the week. I even took time to do all of the things I mentioned above, including a dance class.

Dance is now a part of my weekly routine because it brings me so much joy (even though I'm not a dancer at all).

I enjoyed fleshing out my thoughts, learning verses from the Bible, and writing down my prayers. It amazed me how hard it was to write down my prayers and what I was thankful for, I felt a certain level of guilt for asking for anything. Another feeling that surprised me happened as the week went on and I skipped a couple of days. I felt different when I did.

The following Sunday, I set a goal — to write in my journals each morning for 20 minutes. Like the week before, Sunday started great, then I missed Tuesday, picked up Wednesday, and missed Friday. I could still feel the shift in me when I wasn't taking that time for myself. On days that I journaled, I walked out of my house into the world with a sense of sureness and gratitude. My mood was better. I felt lighter, and when something happened that shook me, like not getting a callback for an audition or being stressed by typical work things, I'd shrug them off. I knew that I had a lot to be grateful for and that what is meant to happen in my life will happen when it's right.

On a day when I didn't journal, everything affected me and I found myself hyper-focused on things that I didn't have or that lightness I felt disappeared. When I started this challenge, I hadn't imagined that I'd really be able to see a difference in how I perceived the world, but it did.

I know that we're all adulting and working hard to boss up and become the best versions of ourselves, but without mindfulness and gratitude, how can we make room for ourselves not just to dream our wildest dreams, but to find joy in the small things we're doing to get there?

Writing in six journals a day, honestly, is probably way too much. But, take the time you would choose to scroll mindlessly through Instagram or argue with a Facebook friend to write down a goal, what you're grateful for, or even a one-sentence affirmation each day. I am almost one hundred percent sure you won't regret it. I know I haven't and will be making that twenty minutes of mindfulness each day a priority.

Featured image by Getty Images

Related Stories

I Finally Found Planner Heaven In Bullet Journaling - Read More

10 Tips To Kick-Start Your Wellness Journey - Read More

Healing: What Two Weeks In A Psychiatric Hospital Taught Me - Read More

33 Morning Rituals To Start Your Day - Read More

Sign up today and be the first to get notified on new updates, exclusive events, retreats and giveaways!

More Posts

While being interviewed a while back, someone asked me how I've been able to survive all that I've been through without losing my mind. One, God. Two, living alone so that I can have my own space to process stuff. Three, writing. Pretty much in that order. Next year will be the 20th year since I left Corporate America and decided to give full-time writing a shot and if there's one thing these past two decades have taught me, it's that I have a pattern of putting something into its proper place—which 8.9 times out of 10 equates to putting it behind me—once I write it out.

Keep reading... Show less

It's said that when a little girl is born, she has her father wrapped around her finger and R&B; singer Lloyd, who recently welcomed a daughter into the world, is no exception. In a recent interview, he let the world know that the "Southside" singer that we knew before is long gone, and now, his new role as 'Daddy' is his most important job.

Keep reading... Show less

In Meet the xoNecole Tribe, readers are introduced to the members of the xoNecole team that keep the site up and running with their textured and varied stories and voices. In the monthly series, you get a more in-depth look of the person behind the pen, social media, the lens, or whatever they might contribute to the brand.

Keep reading... Show less

I've been struggling a lot lately in my personal and professional life, which has been the source of anxiety, self-doubt, lack of sleep, and this ongoing feeling of not being "enough." The end of my 2018 and the start of my 2019 were rough, and since I have become a "push through" queen, it has been normal for me to put things I want in my life before my physical and mental health.

Keep reading... Show less

Shows like Married At First Sight and 90-Day Fiance prove that matrimony looks a little different than it did when our mother and grandmothers said their vows. Wedding traditions like jumping the broom and losing your virginity on your wedding night seem like a thing of the past, but there are some customs that seem like they will never go out of style.

Keep reading... Show less

Ever since my late fiancé pulled out a pair of clippers during my second year at college, my hair has pretty much been some variation of short. If it wasn't a fade, it was a TWA with a mild texturizer in it, if it wasn't that, it was some sort of mini Frohawk.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts