Posted by : Halima Khait Saturday, August 03, 2013

We are habitual beings.  This is by design; we learn through habit-formed behavior.  The downside is, habits make change difficult and sometimes even painful.  That's why documenting my reality and future goals through journaling has become one of my life's most meaningful exercises.

The story of how I began journaling is almost haunting.  I went to my church's school from first through eighth grades.  It was a one-room schoolhouse, so I had the same teacher from elementary school until the beginning of middle school.  In the first weeks of my seventh grade year, my teacher decided to introduce us to journaling and set aside time for us to practice it during the school day.  At first, I felt it was one of the most pointless parts of my day, ranking a close second to math class.  But a couple weeks later, my teacher passed away due to a brain aneurysm.  Everything I had ever known began to change drastically with the introduction of new people in my academic life and the personal changes I went through as I entered my teenage years.  Long story short, journaling became my go to method of sorting through thoughts and feelings.  It was like my teacher had some divine premonition to leave her students a life coping mechanism as her legacy.

Over the years, journaling has been in my life in varying degrees.  But one of the main reasons I continue is,  it provides a gauge of how I've grown and progressed towards personal goals from year-to-year.

That's why over the past couple of months, as I've been going through a season of change, I've encouraged myself to spend time with my journal almost every-other-day.  At first, every time I sat down, I felt like I'd have nothing to talk about that day.  But without fail, my entries would morph from me relaying the experiences of the day into me exploring root causes of incidents, how I would change the outcome of events and setting goals for the future.  After all, what's the point of living life if you are not actively growing from contact??  And what better way to assess your progress than to document it??

In addition to using it as a measuring device of sorts, journaling has become a simple way for me to state and achieve what I want for my life.  Many who know me know one of my life philosophies is, you'll never get what you want unless you ask.  So by writing my goals down, I actively recognize them and began working to make them manifest.

I've included a photo of my current journal below.  As you can see, it's simply a spiral notebook with cutouts of things that I like or that are meaningful to me.  I've tried more structured journals, but my thoughts were less free-flowing and therefore less useful. 

I apologize for the lengthy post this week.  As I began writing, the title, Journaling the Journey, took on two meanings - I had my initial purpose of relaying how I benefit from journaling, but my journal's journey is intertwined with that story. Without it, I would have never been able to understand such a simple tool.   Hopefully, I didn't lose too many people and will have inspired some. 

Until next time....

♥ from Halima

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