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  • jamesarndt13

Begin your Journal Today!

Do you journal? If you answered yes, you know the incredible self-rewarding benefit it provides. If you answered no, you soon will.

I began my routine journaling more than years ago. My Assistant City Manager at the time, Michelle Smolen, who is a rock star in the City Management profession by the way challenged me to begin my journaling journey. Prior to that, I heard for years through several leadership courses that I attended that journaling is a must. After those sessions I would do what so many of us do, I would start it with gumption only to fall by the way side a few days, weeks, or months after the session.

I get that. We live and operate in a society filled with distractions and alternatives. We work some long days and have very precious free time. What finally made this stick for me? Accountability meetings with Michelle every other week and Michelle's introduction of a journaling ap to me. The one she introduced me to is "Day One." It is a free ap and I am sure there are others, but the access to the ap made this journey possible. If you are like me, you don't let that mobile phone get too far out of your reach. That means that your journal is always with you.

Now that access was no longer an issue, I only needed to begin to see the value. There is tremendous value in expressing your goals for the day, your thoughts, your worries, whatever simply comes to your mind. It may be random foolishness or it can be a tremendous breakthrough or an epiphany. The value is inherent. You will love it. The best thing about "Day One" it displays my entries from the same day through the years that I have used the ap. I can see what I was thinking and feeling three years ago, two years ago, and last year. It is nice to reflect on where I have been as I plan for where I am going.

Does it take a lot of time? It only takes as much time as you dedicate to it. Most days for me take less than 3 minutes. Some take more. It depends on the day and what I am feeling. Hence, time is not an issue. Access is not an issue. The benefits are mental health, clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose.

I challenge you all to download a free journaling ap or grab a cool moleskin covered journal at your favorite bookstore. Take just a few minutes each day either at the beginning of your day, I do mine first thing in the morning, or at the end of your day as you wind down for bed. It will be a very positive habit for you. Have fun with it. It is not work. It is self-rewarding therapy. Enjoy it. The only way to do it wrong is by not doing it at all. Make it your own.

Thank you Michelle for inspiring me to create such a beautiful self-rewarding habit!

Now, I pass along this gift to you.

Keep shining!

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