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Why Document Your Daily Life In A List?

Why Document Your Daily Life In A List Journal

image Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

I’d been somewhat skeptical as to why people photograph and share their curated lives to social media. I think it is because although I enjoy the photos, I don’t gravitate as easily to taking pictures.

At first glance, my initial judgment is that it seemed braggy to post these images of one’s life, but I’ve since reconsidered. You can rethink social sharing too by checking out the post “What’s Your Documented Moment of Delight Today?

I now believe that what happens when we click and share is that people are placing a stake in the world, saying, “I’m here and I’m living my life right now and reporting it for connection.” Even though there is debate about many implications and problems in the social media world, the documenting is important.

It makes sense that we assemble our experiences and note them as an act of self-awareness, but posting and gleaning friend responses aren’t the only return for documenting your life’s moments.

In the article, “The Health Benefits of Documenting your Life Story,” by Anthony Cirillo from U.S. News, Mr. Cirillo notes a study by Harvard’s Men’s Health Watch which suggests the writing aspect of reminiscing can be as therapeutic as cognitive processing therapy for people dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

But beyond sharing, there are other benefits of documenting and reflecting on our past. By a review the details of each day, you can connect the dots of your life direction and help determine what you want to do going forward.

DOCUMENT NOW TO ENJOY THE RICHNESS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW

I have stacks of old journals filled with lists and long diatribes from the past, which I’ve found are not very organized for review of what I’ve done and how it correlates with the present. Since I’ve started bullet journaling (Bujo) and keep a log of all manner of lists, I’m working to be more reflective of my daily actions and their connection to my goals.

The journaling method created by Ryder Carroll offers a solution that doesn’t require loads of writing or time. The method is designed to help easily track your daily “to-do” list, which I love.

However, just as helpful is the event list he describes in his book, “The Bullet Journal Method.” Ryder suggests keeping a list of events (I call it a recap list) that occurred within your day so that you can note and review them against your goals and your ever-changing to-do list.

My recap for today looks like this:

  • Completed a chapter for a client and sent via email.
  • Dropped the grandchildren off to school and daycare.
  • Exercised for 40 minutes.
  • Fasted until dinner.
  • Attended a neighborhood association meeting.
  • Wrote the draft of a blog post.
  • Wrote the draft of a bi-monthly newsletter.
  • Watched the news and drank coffee.
  • Started a load of laundry
  • Read a chapter of my book club book.
  • Enjoyed the sunshine today!

You get the idea. None of this took more than a couple of minutes to jot down and will be easy to review as I consider if my actions aligned with reaching my weekly, monthly and yearly goals.

Lists are powerful. We are drawn to them because they are clear and concise. Think of listing a recap of your events and observations of the day as your path to more useful reflection. As Ryder says in his book, “Reflection helps identify what nourishes you so you can make better decisions as you seed the next season of your life.”

The small events of each day are gone from our memory almost instantly. You will thank yourself a couple of days, weeks, and years from now with a habit of jotting down life’s daily events.

And unlike the photos we quickly click and share away to a social media platform, you can pull down your private journal and delve more honestly (and be kind about it!) as to what is going on in your heart and mind.

JOURNAL PROMPT

What did you do today? Almost as important, what did you do for you today? Make an events list and date it in your journal.

For more tips on journaling and using the bullet method, you can check out other posts at Storied Gifts and Storied Gifts Shop. I also recommend picking up a copy of Ryder’s book or checking out his resources online.

Check out our shop for items to help you enjoy your journaling space here.

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