Several years ago I decided to start a daily journaling habit. Over 800 entries later I've finally found my groove. Yesterday I tallied my entries for each month to see how things have progressed over time.
The entries I looked at were entered into Day One, a journaling app that I chose after experimenting with paper journals and other apps.
The first thing that I notice is that I lacked consistency from month to month, especially when I first got started with three years ago.
While there are quite a few peaks and valleys the overall trend has been up and to the right, which I'm very proud of. I have a hard time building habits and thought about quitting on more than one occasion. I'm glad that I shifted my mindset to thinking of habits as footpaths instead of sidewalks to work through those low points.
Other patterns that have come to light while reviewing my entries from the past three years:
- I struggled with remembering to write on weekends and while traveling. I've got to establish as solid a morning routine for those days as I have for my regular work days.
- The arbitrary goal of 250 words per entry that I put in place a few months ago has resulted in entries that include a broader range of topics. It's helped me dig a little deeper.
- Reviewing recent entries once a week has been a great way to reflect on how things have been going lately.
- Reviewing entries on this day from previous years has offered a long term perspective that helps me appreciate how things have been trending over time.
Writing has helped me crystalize my thoughts, reduce my stress, and appreciate the life that I'm experiencing. It's taken me a long time to do it consistently but I'm glad I put in the effort. It feels like it's gotten more valuable with time, so I'm pretty excited to see what the next 800 entries will bring!