The Practice of Putting Pen to Paper

I received a message from a woman on instagram asking me some very specific questions pertaining to journaling. I figured I would answer her questions by creating a blog so that others could benefit from it as well.

In a world full of electronic devices, to me, there is something timeless and meaningful about keeping hard copy journals. I love to capture what is going on inside of my crazy brain and put it on paper. I love the idea of writing something down and getting one step closer to making a goal become reality. I love the idea of investing in myself daily in order to shape the foundation of my character, feed my desire to learn, and fuel my day through sharpening my perspective on gratitude, scripture and positivity.

When do you journal?

My coach Dawn, made it a priority for me to set aside a minimum of 20 minutes a day to commit to “Quiet Quality Time.” Quiet Quality time means…no electronics, no texting between thoughts, no conversations or interruptions from people around you, no social media (until you’re done-I like to share what I learned via my instagram story!) it’s just you, God and your thoughts.  It took a while for this to become a solid habit for me. But now that it has, I can’t have a solid day without it.  I like to START my day with this practice.  Sometimes it will occur in the afternoon or evening, but I’ve found that it was easier for me to make it a habit by completing it roughly the same time each day.

I usually make a cup of coffee, come out to my sun room, close the door, silence my phone and begin with reading a page from The Daily Stoic.  (Sometimes I like to switch up the location- I’ll go to a coffee shop, go to a remote quiet place outside like a park or some place along the river.) The Daily Stoic is a book with 366 one page reads on wisdom, perseverance, and the art of living, written by Ryan Holiday.  Following that, I complete my Daily Devotion (from several devotional books or plans on the Bible app-I’m currently completing “Unquestionable Character: A 21 day Study in Stewardship”  author is unknown- but I highly recommend anything from Joyce Myer!) The plan has a reading portion, called “devotional content,” then a few Bible verses.  I write the verses down in my journal– and then look them up in my Bible. Once I finish reading the scripture I write down my takeaways from the devotion and usually re-write the verses in my journal. I write out a little bit about how I feel that day, current events, stressors, worries, concerns, goals, things I’d like God to help me with. Then I pray. 

One practice that I often use is to write out 3 positive things that happened the day before and 3 things that I am grateful for.

IMG_1153

How do you set it up daily/weekly monthly?

WEEKLY: This is an example of a separate notepad that I use to write out my notes for the week. This is where I take all of those tasks that usually become stressors and categorize them. (BTW this also helps put things into perspective- by realizing that you’re “stressors” are usually not really as big of a deal as you make them up to be.) This allows me to complete them in order of priority throughout the week. You can create your own categories. Some examples of categories would be; SPIRITUAL, WIFE, MOTHER,PASSION, SERVICE, WORK, SISTER, ATHLETE, APPOINTMENTS, and OTHER….ect.

IMG_1156

MONTHLY: I keep a hard copy of a calendar where I write down all of my weekly and monthly appointments. In addition to that, I highly recommend creating a Dreamline every six months.  My friends Alexis and Hannah taught me this practice. I completed the Dreamline below in December of 2016 before I got out of the Marine Corps. Creating this visual was very helpful, it created a tentative path for me, even  if I didn’t stay completely on track,  I knew the general direction of where I wanted to go.  Another great practice is to write out where you see yourself in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years.

IMG_1159

Do you incorporate words of affirmation or quotes?

YES! I love writing down my favorite Bible verses and quotes. I also like to write down definitions of strong words. When I read a book I always tab, highlight, circle, and write down the most significant lines into my journal.

IMG_1161

Do you have a separate fitness journal?

Yes. I keep a separate fitness journal, which I call a “workout log.”  I have workout logs from as far back as 2009. I like to pull them off of my bookshelf every now and then and read through them.  It’s amazing to see your personal progress.  It’s so easy to compare yourself to those around you, but when you compare yourself to who you were in 2012 and you can see the results in front of you, it’s reassuring that you’re doing something right!

IMG_1160

IMG_1155

Does it help you achieve your goals?

YES.  Writing down a goal does not guarantee that you will accomplish it but it does increase your chances.

IMG_1162

There are many ways to journal and there is NO right or wrong way. The fun part about journaling is that you get to decide how you want to do it.  For the next 21 days I challenge you to consistently invest in yourself for 20 minutes a day.  At the end of each session share your post on your instgram story, tag me TayGaladyk, with the HashTag #PenToPaper. (You never know who you will inspire!) Once you complete 21 days, just keep going. Weeks turn into months, months turn into years and before you know it our lives will flash before our eyes.  I think of journaling not only as a gift to myself but as a gift to my future children and grandchildren.  I hope that the authenticity of my journals will inspire them to chase their dreams despite the challenges that come their way.

I know that this small habit can have such a HUGE impact on your life. After reading this blog if you still have questions please feel free to email me at Taylordresch3@gmail.com