This week marks my 16th week of keeping a weekly journal - and in that time, my journal has evolved from merely being a diary entry to including a task list, to prioritizing my task list and soon to including an "ice box/parking lot" for longer lasting ideas.

My very first entry was made on August 30th 2020, and it began with two paragraphs which read as follows:

  1. So here goes... this is the first day of the rest of my life journalling...

  2. The point of this journal, is to have a journal - and see where it takes me

So, after 16 weeks of journalling every Sunday, what can I say about where it has taken me? Well, for one thing, it has kept me on task. As long as I remember to put a task down in my list, it get's done eventually - and even if eventually is not as soon as I would like, the task remains top of mind for me. That's the first (and most prominent) benefit I have gotten from journalling.

The second (and a more subtle) benefit, is that reviewing my journal entries allows me to see where I was mentally and emotionally in previous weeks, and thus drives home the fact that no situation is permanent. There were some weeks, like the week of September the 6th where I wrote:

I am a bit ashamed of myself for how poorly the week turned out in terms of tasks accomplished

...and other weeks like the week of September 20th, (just two weeks later) where I wrote:

I'm pretty happy with how this past week turned out to be honest

...which just goes to show how transient and fleeting emotions can be from week to week. Seeing such a distinct change over such a short period, allows me to believe that no matter how I feel now, if I keep pursuing my goals, my success (and my mood) can change for the better.

Now finally, and perhaps most importantly, keeping this journal allows me to consistently evaluate my current pursuits by asking if the task is:

  • aligned with my mission?
  • aligned with my values?
  • aligned with my purpose? or indeed
  • aligned with my long-term goals?

For every task that I add to my list goes through that gauntlet of questions - and if for whatever reason it fails all 4 of those questions, then it has no business being on my list of tasks.

So, to recap, what I've learned from 16 weeks of journalling is:

  1. How to Stay on Task
  2. That No Situation is Permanent
  3. How to Keep my Actions in Line with My Mission, Vision, Values, & Long-Term Goals.