Thursday, December 26, 2019

It is almost time (Planner setup)

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Today, I want to talk about time.  I know, boring subject, but there is a purpose for this topic.  I am not going to talk about time too much on this post, except for when it comes to setting up your planner.

How much time do we really have?

Photo by P.Lynne Designs (c) 2019
We all know what time is and how valuable it is in a day.  I feel that if I have a lot of time on my hands, I am not being productive when I watch a video or playing a game on my tablet. I like to be productive, as I am sure many of you do.  I am not saying don’t play games or watch videos.  Find a set time in the day/night to do that sort of thing.  This is part of your scheduling.  I do not write it down in my planner, but I make a conscious effort to note that in my head. 
Experts say that went you go to bed each night, turn off the screens.  What does that mean?  It simply means turn off your computer, turn off your phones and tablets, and do not play the television all night.  If you cannot do that, at least put them in the next room.  If you put them in the next room, you now have to physically get up to answer any texts or comments on your posts on Facebook, for example.  I know if I have to do that, I do not want to get up, so, I save it for the next morning.

For instance, I turn off my phone.  Not because the experts say that I have to, but I have a phone that constantly needs charging.  It is a Samsung Note 4 and on its last lap around the mobile bin. I will get into my issues with my phone at a later time and hopefully, I can change my phone soon. Next, there is my desktop computer.  I keep it on all the time, except when Windows 10 updates without my knowledge, and it automatically turns off the computer.  I have the computer downstairs because where I really want my computer, which is in the next room, my nephew and his girlfriend are living there until they can find an apartment.  My laptop is powered down for the moment and in my backpack for when I want to work in my room or decide to go to a coffee shop or the library to work. Those are examples of turning off the screens.

I have a flaw that I am working on.

One problem that I still have is my Ipad.  I carry it to bed with me.  I look at my messages, play games, read articles, and watch YouTube videos.  This is a bad example of turning off the screens.  When I don’t do these things that I mentioned, I find myself walking over to my Ipad, unlocking it, and just let the light from the screen put me to sleep.  It is my 5 minute night light, which I am trying to correct right now.

My tips for scheduling:

In addition to powering down your screens, which is more of a “how to get a restful night of sleep” than “How to schedule” tip.  I have these other tips:

  1. Get a good planner. 
I have I ready mentioned in Part 1 of Planning for Beginners 2020 Edition, steps for buying that first planner if you do not already have one.  I have watched plenty of YouTube videos prior to writing that post, to make sure that I was pointing the reader in the right direction.  This is sort of part 2, and I apologize for not writing a proper post for this second part.  What I have learned from my experiences and watching those videos is get a planner that is right for you and how you plan. 
Photo by Pixabay
No two people can have the exact type of planning and planners.  I have mentioned that I have 4 different planners.  One is for my business, for my personal life, for my budget, and I am trying out bullet journaling, after a failed attempt of it for 2019.  The planners are all from Erin Condren, but I am open to trying new ones.  This is the brand I have chosen for me.  There is also the Happy Planner, Moleskine, The Simplified planner, Mead has a planner, Emily Ley, and Carpe Diem, to name a few thousand.  It seems that everyone has a planner to sell.

  1. Have a “Think Tank” session. 
Choose a day to think about what you want to do and accomplish for 2020.  You do not have to take the whole day, but take a good chuck out of your say to set up your system and your schedule.  Place standing dates and dates (such as doctor’s appointment) that were scheduled in 2019 and place them in your planner. 
So, decorate or not decorate it according to your tastes.  Make a schedule that you are comfortable with.  I have 4 planners, and I am fine with that concept.  I know others who have 8 or 5.  There are some people who stick with one paper planner and have a digital planner. Do what makes you happy. 
Take ideas from people and make them your own.  You do not have to make an exact copy of their setup.  Before you begin, ask yourself, how can I make this work for me?  Use a scratch piece of paper, and write out a budget on what you are willing to spend and what you can spend.  Next, draw or write out your sections, such as Home, Business, Budget, and personal.

  1. If you can, have a separate budget book. 
Yes, that is what the Erin Condren Monthly deluxe planner is for with me.  This is not a new concept.  I adopted this technique from Shay McMillian, AKA Shay Budgets.  What I like about this planner is that there are notebook pages inside of each monthly section, where you can write down your notes, your income, your expenses, your sinking funds (I am still learning about those), and your financial goals.  You do not have to go all out like me.  I am testing this system for the first time.  What was not working for me was using Excel for a budget, and placing it in my main planner.

  1. Business/Work Planner
Also if you can, have a separate business planner (or work planner if you still have a corporate job).  When I planned out My Ambiance Life and decided to talk about business ventures, I did not realize that I had a whole audience of readers who were both entrepreneurs and corporate workers, or corporate workers ONLY.  So this tip is for you too.  Many times, for example, we often find ourselves not only placing appointments in our personal planners dental appointments for our children, but that “all-inclusive” staff meeting from XYZ company, or meeting with a client, who wants to do 14 fittings of a wedding dress that she is not sure of in the first place into that planner.  Why not have a separate planner?  Even better if you can leave on at the office and carry the other one around. 
Photo by Pixabay
Not feeling the need to have to carry one around.  Does pocket-size mean anything or using your phone as a digital planner?  That is why I carry my Ipad.  I put all my dates in there

5. Putting it all together.

Find a way to coordinate your system.  Make a conscious effort to look at it every day.  Decorate if you want to.  I know of some people who go wild with the decorating and some who take on a minimalist approach to it.  I am in the middle.  If I feel like it, I will decorate it.  I do not make a habit of it.  I like stickers, which goes back to my days of making scrapbooks. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of setting up a planner.  Place them in the comments section.

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Vlogmas day 6 Erin Condren surprise Box Reaction

Planning for beginners the 2020 edition Part 1

Today’s topic:  how to plan out 2020 without pulling your hair.

Well, I have news for you...

You cannot, but you can look like you are an expert, but first, let’s talk about planners.
Image by Jess Watters from Pixabay 
Please note:  there are so many planners out there and no one has the same style and technique in that is ideal for everyone.  So, guess what?  You must find it yourself.  I am not being mean about it.  It is like journaling, which is why I am including it with journaling.  Also please note:  I am not an expert in this.  The only way I can teach you is from my experience.   So, here is my experience with playing with planners.
I have had many different types of planners.  The one I started with is called DayTimers.  It is nothing fancy about this system at all.  I worked with this system from the smallest to what was called, the folio size.  I ordered it faithfully, and with its boring green and white style, you could order it in daily only and weekly only.  Both had the monthly layout with them, but you can also order just the monthly layout as well. 
What I liked about this system was I could archive it.  The layouts came in both spiral and binder style.  The last style I ordered was in 2006, and it came in a daily, spiral style, with a monthly layout feel to it.  All the style allowed you to plan things by the hour, which is a plus if you had clients to meet with, not so if you had an event that ran all day.
I stop ordering them and did not keep up at all.  I had no clients, just a job at Archiver’s, and my schedule was easy to keep up without a calendar, paper or digital.  That failed miserably.
Fast forward to 2014.  I was getting bored with entering my dates into my phone.  I was not looking at it half the time, as well as forgetting to enter the date in the first place.  I had all these papers that I carried around in my purse, which started looking like a briefcase.  I had to curb that ish quick.   I was looking at the Daytimer’s website (only because I received a catalog in snail mail, begging me to come home), and I learned that Franklin Covey (yes, THE Franklin Covey), had bought the Daytimer’s line.  I did not like Franklin Covey when I first started planning and my mind were not changing on how I was feeling about the brand, which to me was a little on the “Old man” side of planning.  So, I started researching.  I needed something that made planning fun, and NOT a chore.
Enter Erin Condren.  I looked at it and thought that for a cute planner, it was expensive. Well, so was Daytimers.  I had not learned about Happy Planner at that time and that was 2015 when the Erin Condren website had a sale because it was in the middle of the year.  So, I went for it, and at $35 (as a comparison to the normal $65) I decided to order it.  I was happy with my purchase, and it went nicely with some stickers that I also ordered it.  I have been with the Erin Condren Life Planner ever since 2015, and I love it.  Most of the time, I order when it is on sale, and as long as I am not too late in the year.  If I am, I order next year.  I also like to decorate the pages, more on that later. 
The first question is, are you a planner person?  If you are, great, you are ahead of the people who want to learn.  If not or you want to learn some tricks of the trade, sit back, grab a cup of your favorite beverage (mine is either coffee or water), and prepare to learn.
1.       Choosing your planner.
There are really two types of planners: paper and digital.  Digital planners are on your phone, your tablet, laptop, or your desktop.  They can also be on your TV since televisions are slowly becoming the family hub center.  You access your planner through an application or app.  
Paper planners, on the other hand, were once a dying thing.  There are many planners to choose from.  I have mentioned 4 already:  Franklin Covey and Daytimer’s are the oldest planners, and the Erin Condren life planner and Happy planner are some of the newest planners that came into existence in the past 10 years. 
There is no style that is wrong for it is a matter of preference.  The best way to choose is to think about what you want to do with the planner.  For instance, I have an Erin Condren as I said before.  The way I plan my planner could easily transfer to a Happy Planner, which I have plans to try for next year.  It is cheaper than ECLP, and I can go to any craft store for one.  This leads to to….
 2.      Price
When you first start using a planner, you do not want to go overboard with price.  One reason is if you get bored with the planner, you do not want to feel like you are stuck with it. You can get a fairly cheap planner monthly calendar at Walmart for $5.99 (not sponsored by the company)

3.      Are you a decorator or “Stick it in” person
Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay
Here is the difference.  Are you are a decorator, then you will want to purchase stickers, use colorful pens and markers, and have all the accessories that your little planner can handle.  If this is you, again, do not go overboard, or your $20 worth of stickers, pens, and accessories can rack up to $500 in a heartbeat, and you will wonder what you got for that much.  Trust me, I have been in your shoes, and I still, am.   The best bet is to set a budget stick with 1-3 brands and go with it.  I am on Erin Condren’s, Oh So Paper’s, and Happy Planner’s list.  I have also tried Planner Society, but I did not like the idea of renewing the subscription plan every three months.  I also tried other subscription plans with the same result, and I told you about my beef with Daytimers.       

Now if you are more of a “stick a date in and forget it” type of person, you have no worries.  You might want to use a colorful pen or two, but no stickers and accessories are at a minimum if any.  That is ok too. this means that your planner orders are going to be a whole lot less than “the decorator’s”, and your budget will thank you too. I. just. have. not. gotten. that. point. Yet. This brings me to…

4.      Watch the budget.

My suggestion no matter what your basic kind of planning is to have a budget.  Once you pick your planning system and your “stuff”, make a plan on how you are going to plan, and so forth, please price them out on your budget sheet, and divide by 12, and put that amount in your budget.  For example, if you plan on spending $1000 for the year, divide that by 12, which equals out to $83.00 per month.  On some of the months, $83 would be going towards a planner and some months the accessories.

5.      Have fun.

I am going to say this but have fun planning.  If you are stress over things that leave you ready to smack someone, then you should not be planning at all.  I look at it this way, it is your way of decorating the books.  Anyone can have fun with the project; men, women, and children.  This project does not have any age boundaries.  I hear all kinds of stories about a person who gets organized and loves it. 

There are no set rules of time management, except the following according to Entrepreneur:
1.       Start your day off right.  Not only be positive but meditate, have a daily routine, do not rush to get things done
2.      Plan for what you want to accomplish.  Have a to-do list.  Make that list obtainable and reasonable.  Going out to get ice cream is not a goal, but saying spending time with Angela, who is your 10-year-old is a short-term goal.
3.      Have a set time and day to set up your week. I try to set up my week on a Saturday before.

Well, this is it for right now.  Take care.

Vlogmas day 4/5: Real Talk Vlogging and Monetization

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Today’s topic: Journaling for beginners

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October 23, 2019-This was me a year ago today.  I started covering journaling on my blog.  The reason was I journaled and I still journal. I needed something new to put a spark in this tired blog, so, I started talking about journaling as a way to fill a void and to talk about a form of writing that I am passionate about.  
Have you ever journaled before? 
If the answer is yes, then you know what I am talking about.  If not or have not heard of the concept before, I have a whole series about the beginnings of journaling and why is it important to keep a journal.
I will not rehash the reasons why I do journal, I have them sprinkled throughout this blog: The topics I want to home in for beginners are:
·         Put it together: Conclusion to journaling
from Pixabay by unknown photographer
It is also good that the rest of the more experienced people who journal to read as well.  I also have some tips to become better at journaling, and some things that I have learned about the process of journaling.

1)       Find Your Why.
It does not matter to the rest of the world your reason for journaling unless you do like me and announce that you are journaling (i.e. this blog).  What matters is you know your reason.  These reasons can go from “I want to know what it is like to journal” to “I want to go back someday to see how I am at a particular time in my life where I was happy, sad, curious, or going through something difficult because a child, friend, or spouse is going through the same thing.”  These are all valid reasons for journaling, but if you are using the entry at a later time as a means for guiding someone through the same situation, be careful.  This person is not you and for you to offer advice on something that you have handed well in the past, may not end well for that person, unless they first ask for help. Wait, they will talk about it if they want to.
2)      Use entries as lessons learned
Let me address one of those reasons.  The reason is “I want to learn from this”.  The real reason could be that you are going through a situation and you want to be able to learn from it and teach someone when they go through it.  Let me address the art of financial planning as an example.
You may be having problems with keeping money in your bank account month to month.  This is a common problem for people these days. You may want to keep a journal documenting what is happening, what you are saving for (if you are trying to do that as well), and another money situation the average person is having: getting out of debt.
This is how I would do this type of journaling.  There is no wrong way of doing it, but it is necessary, at least for me, to document this, in case you need to show this to someone at the bank for advice.  For this type of journaling, I might suggest that you buy:
§  an inexpensive notebook binder, Tabs (Jan-Dec)
§  Using a spreadsheet, like MS. Excel or Google Sheets, or software like Quicken Books (your choice, no right or wrong, it depends on your experience and your tech budget)
§  Some notebook paper or online journal. 
·         Note: You may also want to print out your statements from online banking app (if applicable).
§  Divide your notebook from Jan-Dec (using dividers, like the Avery Customizable Table of Contents Dividers, Jan- Dec Tabs (11847)). 
§  Add in the following each month:
·         your spreadsheet
·         Goals and Aspirations
·         Journal entries (reflections)
§  At the end of the year your feeling on how it went.
o   You never know, this could turn into a book.
3)     Project entries
I have often had journals where I wanted to document a trip or a project.  Same thing as the other journals, where I have entries and reflections within those entries.   These looked a little like this:
Project:  Christmas card
Materials Used:
o   Christian Merry Christmas by Stamp Simply - Acrylic Stamp for Card #1. $20.90
o   Snowflake Christmas Stamp Set by Inkadinkado- Acrylic Stamp set for Card #2. $10.63
o   Embossing powder-Rose Gold Metallic By Ranger Ink for card #1. $3.99
o   Embellishment Mousse -Pure Platinum By Nuvo for card #2. $6.39
o   Bazzill Basics - Card Shoppe - 8.5 x 11 Cardstock - Premium Smooth Texture – Marshmallow (100 sheets) for Card #3 to get a head start and to replenish my white cardstock-$.48 each
Budget for the total Project:  $150.00 for the project.  I spent $89.00 so far.
This can be applied to any home improvement, business, or trip project.
4)     Document everything
If you want people to learn from the mistakes you have made as well as your successes, list everything no matter how big or small.  I will say something like this (using the Christmas card project as an example):
      “One of the things I have learned from making Christmas cards is I need to start early finding everything I needed for them.  First, I did not anticipate the cost.  I thought that if I had a budget of $150 for the project, I would come out ahead.  I had so much fun that I made 3 more types of cards and I ended up spending $200 for everything.   The next lesson I learn is to estimate the time of arrival for the products I ordered.  Amazon did what they said they did, which was to deliver in 2 days.  As for the products I order from, they were out of the Nuvo Drops I wanted for the impromptu 4th card I decided to make.  They were rose gold, which would have been perfect for the rose gold embossing powder I order from there, and I ran all over town going from craft store to craft store.  This prompted me to finally order from Amazon, again, who got it to me in 24 hours, after I put a rush on the order.  I guess it pays to plan ahead.”
Even if this documentation is for your eyes only, it serves as a reminder for the next time to plan ahead.
5)     Plan ahead.
Yes, I am will ask you to plan to make a journal.  The reason is so you can research into what type of journal you want to have.  Not every journal is a narrative journal (the “dear diary, I had a bad day type).  As you see from the examples above, I did not have a narrative journal.  I had a planning journal.  Well, did you know you have to plan a planning journal?  Even if you were to follow some examples, you may not want everything you see in the example journal.  For example, if you were to follow my plan of attack for the Christmas card project journal, you have to ask yourself, “should I sketch out my card to have a general idea I want in the card?” “This example does not show that.” “I also do not see how many she was making; I want to put that in there.” “I really want a spreadsheet of my inventory and cost, should I put the journal in a binder instead of a regular notebook?” (trust me, it is perfectly fine to make that decision).  In other words, you can make your journal any way you want.  There is no right or wrong way of writing a journal.  It is what you make of the journal.  It is what makes you happiest. You are the master of your own journal.
Well, it is late, and I must get some sleep.  I hope you will find this very helpful as you begin your journaling process.  Oops, my bad, I did not get to planners.  This is part 1.  Part 2 is around the corner and will be addressed next time. So stay tuned to this blog for hopefully an exciting post.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Please Talk Among Yourselves

Hello, today, I have another topic about trolling.  You know the word.  You are watching a video and make a mean remark about how the mother is dressed.  I am not talking about the self-talk you make
Candle Nestled Among Flowers
By Pegleess Barrios from Burst.
as you are watching the video (also called talking to the screen).  We have all done that. I am talking specifically about the trifling comment you added in the comments section.  Yes, that troll comment.
There are other forms of trolling and I have mentioned them before, but making rude and hateful comments on another site is becoming more common, and frankly, I do not like it.  Here is why.
YouTube or Bust.
I have mentioned that I watch videos on YouTube and I also make them.  Two of the families that I watch on a regular basis recently had comments that popped up on my Google news feed, and frankly, I did not like what was said about them.  I know what you are going to say, “Tricia, why do you care what is said on these YouTube channels?”  Well, I do care because these two families, who by the way, are friends with each other, and are Christian families, really care about their families.  I also know what some of you are about to say, “well, they asked for it, putting their lives out there for all to see”.  Well, yes, they do, and only God knows why they are making videos, but, I also believe that it is only in God’s plan that they do continue. 
The first family, an interracial couple, with a boy and girl, started vlogging before the boy was born.  The comment I read on Lipstick was things like: “why are they (the husband and wife) are so “Vegan” and “Micro” manage their diet while they feed their children crap food”.  By the way, crap, meaning McDonalds, pizza, Mac & Cheese, you name it.  My question to these people is why do you watch?  No, seriously, why do you watch the channel if you are going to criticize the family? I have seen the latest videos and the children are eating the same thing that the parents are eating.  Not only that, the mom did feed baby girl the same thing that she was eating for lunch.  They very seldom eat the “crappy” stuff, as this troll called it.
The second family, an African American husband and wife, with 3 boys and a girl, started vlogging when the oldest boy was a baby.  The comment I read on the same site was from 2013, and the comment was on the next oldest child’s hair, and why his hair was not cut.  This was during the time when the two oldest was born and she was pregnant with the youngest boy.  Baby girl was born last year and will be 1 next month.  Anyway, the comment was on things like, “is she hoping to have a girl so bad that she refuses to cut this child’s hair?  Again, my question is, why do you watch this channel?
I know as a vlogger myself, I am supposed to have “thick skin”, but my question is, why be so mean?  My mom gave me this insight when we were talking about my business the other day.  As business people, it is hard to talk about the business with family and friends, and here is what I believe is the answer to my question:  People are jealous.  They are jealous because:
·         You accomplished what they are trying to do. 
Many people say that they are going into business or start a vlogging channel or a blog, but cannot because of time, money, and/or the backlash from family and friends until they are afraid of starting. 
·         You are making a success out of the very thing they want to do.
These families are making a nice size chunk of change from vlogging. They are being savvy about the brand deals they are working with and who they are working with.  I will not mention some of the brands, but they are some of the ones I want to work with in the future, but it takes time to build a relationship with these brands.  Some YouTubers have been at it longer than me, but I cannot let that stop me from trying.
So, I did a little research into Lipstick….
Caution: I am using a little slang here.  I will explain myself along the way.
Three Women Discuss over Coffee and Laptops
By Sarah Pflug from Burst
So, I pulled up Lipstick, and this stuff is lit.  For those of you who do not know what “Lit” means, “lit” means it is hot, a trend, or popular.  If you are a black person, this is the place to be (although I have seen other topics on other races).  As a black person, I beg to differ.  I did not like what I read from these posts, and I would have to say that these people are mean, jealous, and have no life goals.  I mean, people, do you even work?  Are you so jealous of these families to the point of talking about how they dress, how they feel about their children, and so forth?  How would you like it if someone pointed out your stuff on social media?  You would not like it, huh?  You are lucky that these families do not care about your catty mouth.  They only care about what their “true” fans think.  I did not nor I will not sign up for this site.  On second thought, I should not have said that these people who frequent this site do not have life goals.  Everyone has life goals, and these life goals may not line up with mines and yours.  This might be a way for some people to unwind from the day, like a glass of wine and a good book, only they choose to gossip about people.  See, that was a form of trolling and I am sorry for having written that.
I am not that type of person who is here for the gossip.  God and my mother taught me better than that.  That does not mean I listen.  I have no choice.  I have chatty church members, social media is always chatty, and my family and friends are chatty.  The only difference is I try not to start something.  If it is something I do not want to hear (like the opinions of people I watch on YouTube) I walk away, turn it off, or mouth off, which is something I started to do to these people.  Good thing you have to sign up to give your .02 (two cents). I probably would have blasted out these catty women out of the water.
So what if I find myself in this situation?
If you find yourself in the situation of giving an opinion that is troll-like:
·         Go to the person who is the subject of the talk. 
You might want to give you an opportunity to air your difference to them. Now, it may be a little difficult if it is social media.  Sometimes, you do not know these people personally, you never met them in person, and you do not know their home life, except what they are willing to share. 
·         Do you know what is really going on in their life?
On my channel, my social media accounts, and on my blogs, there are a lot of things I personally do not share and do not want to share with the public.  Some of it has to do with the people in my family who do not want their life being put on blast, and some of it has to do with the situation I am in, and the public does not be on a “needs to know” basis.  Besides that, people are nosey, and people get jealous and want to see you fail at something.   
·         Commenting with mean, evil things does not help the situation. 
What does trolling do?  For one, it makes a person who is miserable, have no love for life, nor care about people feel better about themselves while making the person being trolled feel worse about themselves.  One of the worse trolling methods is when the troll tells the one being trolled to go kill themselves.  In that case, it becomes cyberbullying.  This is common in teens and young adults.  This must be stopped. 

What if you find yourself being trolled or cyberbullied?
·         First, you need to develop a thick skin. 
Yes, it is not easy to ignore the comments.  YouTube and other sites have a way for you to report the person doing the trolling, but you may not be in a position to do so.
·         If you cannot handle it, find someone who can. 
If you have a business, you can hire a virtual assistant to screen your accounts, especially comments.  In fact, virtual assistants are good for a lot of tasks, which is something I will tackle in a later post.  If you cannot afford to hires someone or if you do not have a business, get a friend to screen your social media account.
·         If it is cyberbullying, contact an authority, contact your local police, your company’s security, IT, or if you are a student, contact a teacher, principal, or guidance counselor, and most importantly, your parents.  These are your first responders, and they do not take lightly the threats, the trolling, and meaningful suggestions.  They know what to do, and how to contact the next person in this sort of situation to the right people.
Finally, do not take matters into your own hands.  You could end up losing your life over this.  If you have to, walk away from social media.  It is not that important that you have to document every detail of your life on social media.  In fact, this is the reason for me not sharing everything.  It is not that I do not want to because I love helping people, but sometimes, helping people can cost.  There are the judgments, the funny looks and stares, and the comments.  I always welcome comments if I am wrong on something, but when it comes to my life and my well-being, I have to decipher what is best for me and my life.  I will listen because introverts are good listeners, but then I have to choose from what I want or need versus what you are telling me.  We all make choices in life, and my comment to you today is:
Choose to be happy, and make the right choice in your life and the life of others.  You never know who you may touch the right way or the wrong way.”

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Journaling Highs and Whoas

I have been journaling up a storm lately.  It is one of the things I do when something is bothering me (my recent problem with a client that ended up in a divorce from him), figuring out my next moves for a trip that I and the family are taking, and getting into bible journaling (more on that next week).  Sometimes I forget that part of this writing a blog is teaching you how to make the most of journaling, and how journaling can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul (prayer is another), allows you to have some clarity to some of deepest thoughts, and allows you to look back on it as a lesson learned.  So today, I am focusing more on rules and regulations of journaling, especially when things do not exactly go your way, and I have a small little trick up my sleeve that will help you boost your confidence about journaling.
Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay 
First of all, a little scalding if you do not mind….
There I said it, and I meant it.
We, as humans, tend to do what as known as self-deprivation.  We like to tear ourselves down and we like to take others along for the ride. 
Take, for instance, food.  Now I do not know what happens in your house, but in mine, a conversation inside my head goes a little like this (It usually starts in the car, yes, the car):
Me thinking: “I am hungry, what do I want to eat”
Next thing I know, I go through my favorite foods and cuisines: “When was the last time I had sushi?” (last week).  “Do I want it again this week?”  Maybe, but how about Poke (pronounced- “Poo-kay”- a Hawaiian dish that has made it to the mainland United States that is quite delicious (at least to me))?  “What about Mexican?” The list goes on and on, and continues for about 5 minutes.   When I have settled on something, I will as myself if I want something sweet with it? If the answer is yes, then I will get it, feel guilty about eating it, then write in my journal about how stupid it was for me to get it in the first place because I am fat, I am saving for this trip, and it is that time of the month.
Please, please, please, say that you either made a mistake for eating the desert (or eating out in the first), or say “next time I will think twice before I eat out”.  I am telling myself that as well.
Tip #1:  Affirmations
One of the things I am learning to post not only on social media but in my journal as well as positive affirmations.  This is a clip I found on YouTube.  This is Jessica, and she has a morning affirmation that I like.  This was shot in 2011, but the attitude should be the same then as it is now.  She explains in the mirror what she likes and only that.  It is all positive.  While you do not have to climb on the counter in your bathroom like this spunky, little 4-year-old (who is probably in middle school now), have that same enthusiasm in your journal, as she has in the video, which you can see here.
Now with that, you can place your problems in your journal, and you should, but do not say how stupid you are, hate is such a strong, powerful word, and mention how you will come out of it.
OK, let’s move on….

Your writing.
Tip #2: Write like you are in school

I say that because I realized how bad my writing has become and it is creeping into my blog posts.
I have certain saying that I put in my journal that I do not say when I write out blog posts, or at least it should not.  For example, in the beginning of this post, I wrote, “It is one of the things I do when something is bothering me (my recent problem with a client that ended up in a divorce from him), figuring out my next moves for a trip that me and the family are taking, and getting into bible journaling (more on that next week)”.  I almost wrote, “figuring out my next moves for a trip that I and the fam are taking”.  This part of the sentence would have been reserved for my journal, not this blog post.  The professional way of writing is to avoid all personal abbreviations because not everyone will understand them.  How many people would understand that the abbreviation “fam” is actually “family”?  Probably less than .1 percent.
So my tip for you is do not separate your journal writing from your former writing.  This includes business and school. Now, if you do not work or you are not in school, this naturally does not apply to you, but get in a good practice anyway.  This includes spelling and grammar.
This is not sponsored, but I use a program called Grammarly.  I have mentioned this site a few times, but it has really helped me.  I am on the free version, which does not go deep into the grammar part, nor does it correct that part either.  It is reserved for the premium part.  Once you pay for premium, it will check and correct everything, but while it is doing this, please learn from your mistakes so the program does not have to correct you again.  I know by next month; I have to pay for it because now I use it in place of MS Word’s spellcheck and grammar check.  Now MS Word’s spell and grammar check will still do its thing, but Grammarly will go behind it, in case the feature misses a problem.
Tip #3:  Have fun with your journaling
I have mentioned this before, but have a mixture of journaling posts.  You can have your hardcore journaling where you are upset with something and you need to have it solved.  You can have your project journaling posts where you are working on a project, having to list your project, materials, and cost estimates.  You can also have your maternity, baby, and child update journals, where all you list are what is happening that day and how are you feeling and so forth.  All of that is fine, but do not forget to stop and smell the roses along the way.
What do I mean?  Add humor to those posts.  Add a little fun, positive fun in your posts, so when you look back on these posts, you can laugh a little as well.
For example, I am doing a project journal.  I am redoing my craft room. I am finding do much humor in planning the craft room, my small space, and even choosing my furniture and the cost of that furniture.  I decided to go the Ikea route, (not sponsored) like so many crafters.  The reason why this furniture is often choosing is for the flexibility of this furniture and in comparison to the most costly furniture, it is cheaper.  Now if I only put in the boring stuff, how can I look back and laugh at when I was building my Alex drawer units only to find out I put the wrong screw in (you do know that the instructions do not come with words, right?), or had the wrong measurements to the space I was putting them in? humor help with the spots that no matter how much you feel like you have not done anything, you have really accomplished a lot.
Tip #4- find a quiet spot.
It does not matter what you do in that spot when you write, make that spot as free from distractions as possible.  For me, it is my bedroom.  I have a television in the room, but it no longer works.  I also write in the craftroom, late at night.  The only problem is the cat, who wants attention, but when she realizes that I am in my zone, Gizmo Elizabeth will go and lay down.  This is when I feel alone and serene.  Sometimes, I will throw on a little gospel or some of my favorite types of music and chill when I write.  This now my new way of writing my blog posts as well.  No television, no distractions.
This is how I would like to see you writing in your journal, both handwritten and digital.  This is the only way you can get put your true thoughts and be your true self.  Raw, and uninterrupted.  Put on your favorite music, I suggest no harsh rock music, but maybe a rock ballad.  Same if you listen to rap, hip hop, or even Holy Ghost feel-good praise music.  Now is the time to quiet the mind and relax.  Sip your favorite beverage (yes, ladies wine is allowed), and start writing.  My drug…uhm…. drink of choice tonight was pumpkin spice latte coffee with a couple of McDonald’s cookies I picked up on my way from my parent’s house. 

 Tips and Tricks
I always say no matter what is going on in your life, writing helps.  Screaming only escalates the problem.  It helps you to let go.  No, you do not have to read it back right away.  In fact, wait a few months after it is over with.  With breakups, that is a totally different situation and something that you should read back years later.  For abuse situations, burn the entry, or at least read it when you are ready to read it.
Add humor when possible.  Write your entries like business or school documents, such as spelling and grammar corrections, but not for the idea.
One last tip.  If you handwrite your entries, decorating is allowed, as long as you can read it.  No one likes to lift up a sticker just to read an entry.
Have fun, be safe, and do not beat yourself up if you make a mistake.  You are only human.
God bless you.