HOW MANY times have you promised yourself to do better for the coming year? How many resolutions have you made left written on the books and not put into action?
It’s been three years now since I stopped making my New Years resolution. Why? I find it pointless and irrelevant. Waking at the break of dawn with coffee to boot; writing a long list of what must and what I need done for the new year with a new planner only to look back to in the months passed with little or none accomplished at all.
As humans, we have an innate aspiration to do better in all aspects of life. We dream, we hope.
As my father used to say, “There is no harm in dreaming because dreaming free”, a belief we all hold on to and probably one of the reasons why we have resolutions to begin with.
It must be age or rather maturity that made me realize the importance of living in the moment. Live each day as if it were your last. So what do I do?
While others meditate and enroll themselves in a meditation program like the “Holosync”, a program that uses a combination of different brain wave patterns which brings you to a state of deep relaxation producing beneficial changes in your mental and emotional stress, I document my personal experiences as it unfolds every single day.
Not necessarily on social media (definitely NOT), but with pen on paper. A diary, a journal or a log book. Call it whatever you want but keeping a journal helped me maintain a mindful self-realization that has kept my inner space clear and lucid these past years.
Diary vs journal vs log book
Let’s first look into the definition of the three words to understand them better.
A record of events, transactions, or observations kept daily or at frequent intervals; a daily record of personal activities, reflections, or feelings.
Merriam Webster defines journaling two ways:
1. A daily newspaper - usually used in titles like “The Wall Street Journal”; A periodical dealing especially with matters of current interest like an academic journal often used in titles like “The Journal of the American Medical Association”
2. A record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use : a diary; A record of current transactions especially, a book of original entry in double-entry bookkeeping; An account of day-to-day events like a record of transactions kept by a deliberative or legislative body.
Austin Kleon in his book, “Steal Like an Artist” describes logbook as not necessarily a diary or a journal.
It is just a little book in which you list the things you do every day. What project you worked on, where you went to lunch, what movie you saw. It’s much easier than keeping a detailed diary. It is about writing small details, because in doing so, these small details will help you remember the BIG details.
I hope I have not confused you more by giving the definitions. But clearly, all three are tools to record your personal experiences, with journal being more versatile in terms of usage and scope of coverage. So if you asked me, I use the three interchangeably given that they all serve my purpose, a tool to keep me on track on how important it is to live in the moment.
Everyday is a new day. We don’t need to wait for the coming weeks, months or years to make our lives worth living for. Most of us experience a chatter in our minds. We have countless thoughts about the future, the past, or judgements about what is and what has been which seem to flow through our minds as if in a never ending stream.
The continuous chatter in our mind obviously distracts us for what is more important, to address what is going on in the present moment than dwell in the past and be anxious of the future.
Let’s welcome each day like a new beginning and start experiencing life directly as it is and not just in thoughts.
To all my column readers, here’s wishing you a “Happy New Day!”