If you think back over the past 12 months, as we often do at this time of year, what are your thoughts?
Was it a good year or a bad one?
It seems like a huge statement to make over the course of 365 days. Does it mean that more days of the 365 tipped the scales in one direction more than the other? Do some events stand out more than others and was there a significant event that rose above the others like a birth, death, a wedding, a break up or even getting that job or losing one? How did we handle the shifts and changes that were the outcome?
After several years of a good friend suggesting that I journal each day, I started doing it in 2009. I wasn’t very consistent, in fact, there was an entry at the start of the year, then in the middle and finally around Christmas time. It really has been the last 12 months that I have consistently written in my journal every day. I don’t write pages and pages, just one A5 page each day while I have my morning soy hot chocolate. Combined with a 10 – 15 minute meditation, I have to say, it has been one of the most powerful transformation activities that I have ever done.
Journaling is not a new concept, in fact, it is as old as history of man, who journaled on walls of caves. That took a bit longer but as they say, pictures often say a thousand words. Scribing an account of life has allowed us to acknowledge the history of man from all parts of the globe and appreciate the differences. This can happen on an individual level. You can write anything you like as it is not like someone else is going to read it, but one little rule that I have put in place for myself (and I love ‘rules’) is that I write about what I am appreciative of. It could be about good news I received or how I dealt with a particularly challenging situation appropriately. It can be small things – like the sun streaming in through the kitchen window to big things like enjoying sun on a cruise ship holiday. It becomes an account of all the great stuff that has happened over time.
Checking out Facebook over the Christmas period was interesting. During the year I often find that my Facebook friends post positive, uplifting stuff that I often ‘Like’. As the year drew to a close, I was surprised to see how many ‘glad this year is over’ messages that there were, yet there had been many wonderful accounts of birthdays, catch ups with friends and family and life events during the year. I wonder if at the end of 365 days, we focus on the big changes or all the little things that happened every day that we enjoyed and delighted in. Perhaps we can’t remember because we don’t have an account of them and thus glancing back we notice only the life experiences that created big emotional waves.
As 2017 launches I am excited to look back over the last 12 months to the exact date, this time last year, to see what my entry was and to make the comparison as to where I am now. Facebook does exactly that, and uses reflection to a previous date to encourage users to post more entries. Perhaps for a more personal space, having a hand written journal where you can log your intimate thoughts and feelings will be something that you will consider for 2017. A fresh new habit for a fresh new year, who knows, you might be making the recommendation to someone else like I am doing now.