In my footloose and fancy-free days, I whiled away a lot of hours in cafes, drinking tea (later lattes) and scribbling in a journal. I’ve got a stack of classic black Moleskines to prove it. I’d paste in ticket stubs and magazine images, copy down quotes, and, of course, reflect on whatever was going on in my life at the time.
Now I’m a mom (of three!), and I have very little time—or mental energy—for such prolonged naval-gazing, though I miss it dearly. I loved to journal, but it’s just not something that fits into my life at this moment. I’ve tried doing a one-sentence journal and found even that to be too burdensome most nights. (Does anyone else remember Doogie Howser’s one-sentence journal??) But a few days ago I came across the idea of micro-journaling on Todd Brison’s website. The basic idea is to choose a category and write a list of ten things in the morning to get your brain warmed up for the day. That’s it. Well, if you want to follow his model in total, you also write the date and one thing you are thankful for. Here’s Brison’s take on it:
If you’re worried about what to write, here’s the fun part. It doesn’t really matter what the list is made of. The whole point, really, of any intellectual morning routine is to make your brain go “hmmm.” When the brain goes “hmmm,” you move from instinct to higher level thinking. Honestly, the number of things you list doesn’t really matter either. Do whatever it takes to get to the “hmmm” moment. If you list 10 colors, and you didn’t once have to try and remember one, the activity is a worthless. However, if you’re me, and can only think about 4 colors at any given moment, this would be a challenge. If your prompt happens to be “Things that could improve the American political system,” you might hit the “hmm” right away. I am much too scared of this topic to try a list on it.
If you’re interested in doing this you can sign up to receive a list of 31 prompts to get you started each day. While I’m sure I could come up with my own categories and write lists that are more meaningful for me, I’ve downloaded the prompts anyway. I need a head start. 🙂
I’m going to treat this a bit like a 31-day happiness project. I’m not making any other resolutions (believe me, I’m busy enough with a newborn) except to write a list every morning (or as close to morning as I can get ten minutes of quiet to myself). Does anyone want to join me? I’d love to have a buddy or two for accountability and reflection. Send me a note if you’re interested.
Do you journal? Have you tried bullet journaling? I’ve heard so much about it but haven’t tried it yet, but I’m really intrigued.
Photos by me.