Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Types of journals and what they are best for- Day 3 (Journaling)

Welcome to day 3 of learning how to journal.  If this is your first time viewing this, please take this time to go back to day 1, which covers an introduction to journaling and day 2, which covers how to journal, where to journal, and when to journal.
Today covers what to journal and how that journaling impacts on your actual styling and so forth. 
There are so many different styles of journaling out there until I will start by saying that I will not be covering all of them, just the major ones that people tend to start.  There are journals for every mood known to mankind, and the very first thing is to figure out what your mood is and why you want to journal. 
Generalization Journaling:
If this journal is for you and you alone, find out what is it you want your future self to remember about you in the present.  Perhaps you want to grow from your situation.  Is this a teaching moment for you and your child?  What do you want the world to know about you?  These are all good journals to start, and they are a generalized journal.  The goal of this journal is to teach and learn from the past or the present in hopes for a better future for you and those who you want to teach.
The journal I write in almost every day is a generalized journal.  The end goal is for me and my child to learn and to grow from any situation that I have to throw out, including things such how I feel about my present situation, love life, having and adopting children, and financial matters.  I throw in a little spiritual because I am a Christian, and it must have that meaning for me to understand what God wants in my life.  I also throw in when I am angry because life is no bed of roses.  I want me and my future child to know that.   There was a portion of my journals where I mention my child specifically because I wanted to let her know that when she gets here, in my presence, that she was well loved before I even met her. In my last three incarnations of my journal, I am not so child-focused because I have not adopted my child yet.  Once I get the process going, I will start up again.  This is when I will have this type of journal:
Gratitude Journal
What is being grateful?  You are grateful for everything that has ever been given to you, allowed to see, and allowed to experience.  This is a daily journaling practice to show you just how lucky you truly are, no matter what you are going through.  You can combine it with Bible Journaling (description below) to get a real effect on your life.  The purpose if to find yourself in the gratefulness, and never complain.
Birth or adoption journal:
In this type of journal, it is focused on you and your child, and how you are doing before the child arrived.  It may start out with “the day I found out that I will be a mom/dad”. (yes, men, you can have this type of journal too.) It has an end date, and that end date can be anywhere from, “The day they placed you in my arms for the first time” to “The day you left for College”, “The day I gave you away in marriage”, “the day you had your first child”, or even, “the day I had to bury you” (sorry to morbid on the last title, but some parents do go through that).  The point is that it has a start date and an end date. 
This can apply to the day you decide to adopt. You can call it a life book.  This is a book that foster agencies give to kids when they move from house to house.  My foster sister had one.  It is a type of memory book, but you can easily adapt it to your birth child as well.
On my wedding Day:
You can journal about your wedding plans.  You can start with the proposal up to your wedding day.  Make this more of a creative-type of a journal.  You can place in things like a photo of your engagement ring, your china pattern, your colors for your wedding, a sample of your invitation, who you want to invite, and even receipts from the cater and other vendors.  Write about how you felt the day of your wedding and who was there to rally with your intended.  Go further to talk about your honeymoon, where was it, and how it felt to be newly wedded. Also, talk about your first place as a couple.  I am sure you have stories to tell.
Project journals:
Is there a specific project you want to work on?  Journal it.  Startup business, building a home, remodeling, even a trip all qualify as writing down how you felt when this event happened.  Write down your research if you are doing some.  Talk about the cost of the project, when you will start it, and when you plan on finishing it.  Talk about the setbacks, the problems, the headaches, and what happened when you had to start over and rethink it out. Even talk about if you had to abandon the project for some reason.
I have been planning a trip to Walt Disney World with the family for years.  I started journaling this trip because to me since we are not from Florida, but Ohio, it is no easy trip.  It takes money and time to go to Walt Disney World.  I started without journaling in 2010, and since I had so many setbacks, I decided to journal those setbacks and the “Yeah, I made the reservations”, and the “Oh, I have to cancel because of this problem and that person was pregnant, and this person did not want their child to experience Disney at this time”.  Yes, it was all there.  The “nail in the coffin” time was this year, when we had a family reunion in Orlando, and thought, “perfect timing”, but it was not for a couple of reasons, and I had to give up for a moment.  Now, I am back, journaling about this, but not in my everyday journal.  I have a new journal that I am starting and again will talk about the ups and downs of planning a trip for maybe 10-20 people (I will be asking my cousin if he and his family want to join us for 2019).
But the point I am making has this type of journal ready for anything, the good and the bad.

Food, weight, and other personal goals:

This next type of journaling determines how your health is affected.  Some doctors may ask you to keep a food journal of what you ate and how much.  This is good for weight loss, how certain foods react to your body in the case of diabetics, high blood pressure, or allergies.  You may do it yourself to figure out how much caloric intake your body needs to maintain a certain weight goal. 
While I am in the neighborhood, if you are hit with a specific diagnosis (i.e. MS, Lupus, Cancer), you may want to start a “This is how I feel today” journal.  Because you cannot predict how your day is going, you can hash it out in your journal.
A few years ago, I was going through some symptoms unknown to me and my body.  After self-diagnosing myself with an online medical guide, which I highly recommend that you do not attempt, even if you have a medical degree, I thought I had Lupus.  This was around 2003.  I talked to my doctor about it, and she determined that I might be stressed, but I before I talked to her, I documented it in my journal and my feelings on what would happen if I had the disease.  Years later, around 2013, I was sent to a kidney doctor by mine because the lab results showed that I had protein in my urine.  Another time to journal it. Then when he said one of the possibilities was Lupus, I freaked out, and again, I journaled it.  The test turned out to be negative, but each time I put it in my general journal.  No need for a special journal for it.    
Bible Journaling
The latest trend in journaling is bible journaling, or what I would like to call, “what your faith speaks to you about”.  This is a “find yourself” type journal.  This is inspirational passages, scriptures, and things you see God in.  I am covering the Christian version of this type of journaling, but I see any religious or spiritual person using this technique to get into the Koran, Torah, or any book you are studying at this time.  My suggestion is not to journal when you find yourself in a bad situation then write about it.  Do it when you are filled with joy and happiness.  Yesterday, in a group discussion after church, I told my group that I do journal when I am down, and I am not sure what to do. 
To me, journaling and when adding scripture to that journal, it helps you see things clearer, and it strengthens your faith as well.  You know what to do next because you found it through scripture.  Also, do not be afraid to mark up your bible.  Add notes to it so if you find yourself in the situation again, you know where to go, and how you got out of it.  It is the devotional you need in good times and bad.
Business Journaling
This is a specific type of journaling for your business.  It takes special care to do this type of journaling because you are documenting everything you do for your business.  If you are not planning to start a business, I would suggest that you have one for your job, or document anything that you have learned so you can get another job. 
What goes in this journal is your research for your type of industry, the start-up costs, the skills you need, the name of your business, a copy of your vendor’s license from the state and any other government documentation, such as your tax number to name a few.   You may want to put in your journal whenever you hire someone or do business with someone.   This also where you can put your ideas about a new product, service, or concept. 
My business journal is for the event that I start to hire employees and so I do not forget how I made a product. I am in the stationery design business, and my journal is one big folder on my computer on a cloud.  One day, when I have ½ of it finished, I will switch to a three-ringed binder.  For now, I am confident that my system will not go down.

I know this section is long, and I have not even touched the surface of the plethora of journals a person can start.  Some are more like a list of things (bullet journaling which I have not touched on), while others are documenting lives, events, and projects, such as the examples I gave above. The constant theme I keep stressing is there is no wrong or right way of journaling.  This post if to give you ideas on what can you touch on without the journaling police coming after you.  Well, guess what, there is no journaling police to give you a written citation on the type of journal you can have.  I even heard of angry journals, where a person can journal about anything they are angry about.  I personally do not recommend it, but again, it is your journal, and if that is what you want to write about it, go ahead, but everyone needs a little happiness in their life.
If you have any questions at this point in the series, let me know by emailing me at, you can also make suggestions on what you want me to cover further. 
Next on our road to journaling:
I will cover the written journal in depth.  This is where you have to deal with your handwriting and love it or hate it, it is your handwriting.    I will also cover the types of notebooks to use, different sizes depending on what you are journaling, and even the type of pen you use makes a difference.  Until then, God bless you.

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