Thank you to everyone who's read the introductory post about the Moments Journal, I'm now more than three months in to using it myself, and today I'm excited to share more with you about what the process looks like for me, and what I'll be including in the version that I'm working on to bring to you.
As I mentioned, I wanted something that was more than simply recording daily events, so I started to think about what kinds of things I want to remember, the feelings I want to savour, the values that I want to embody, experiences I want to treasure, and things like my guiding word for the year.
This resulted in a few key categories that seem to be a good combination and work for me.
I began by jotting down the day's moments in a notebook, but have since been working on a design for a double-page spread with a series of boxes to categorise your moments. There's still a bit of tweaking to do, but what I've got now feels like it's working, and allows for some flexibility too.
The first box - which I've titled simply Today - is a brief space to note down anything important you want to remember or track; the date, for starters, and perhaps the phase of the moon, the day of your cycle, the weather, and any key events.
The next few categories are ones that I’ve found to be especially powerful and pull together the moments that have most positive impact on my frame of mind and my emotional wellbeing.
- Proud Moments are for the things you’ve achieved. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, but having something that you’re proud of doing can work wonders for your confidence and sense of self-worth, so I always try to find at least one thing to write down in this box. It could be a success at work, the meal you prepared for your family, or it could be the simple fact that you got out of bed and got dressed today.
- Creative Moments are where you feel most yourself. These are all about self-expression, and not necessarily about feeling artistic. I believe we’re all creative, but in our own unique ways, because we each experience the world differently, we’re all inspired by different things, and we all think and make connections in different ways. So a creative moment could be choosing an outfit that makes you feel fabulous, writing a personal and thoughtful message in a card to a friend, decorating or re-organising your space, forming your own opinion on a subject you’ve read about, or it could be taking part in an activity that you enjoy such as arts and crafts, or an exercise class, or anything where you feel in ‘flow’ and possibly lose track of time. These are the moments when you feel most You.
- Grateful Moments. I hardly think I need to explain the impact that gratitude can have on our sense of wellbeing, there’s been so much written about it elsewhere, and so many people talk about their experience of keeping gratitude journals. It’s something I had been including in my old diary, so it was an essential part of what I brought over into this journal. Varying advice suggests writing down three, or five, or ten, or as many things as you can think of that you’re thankful for each day – and you’ll find what works best for you.
- Enchanted Moments are the ones that stop you in your tracks, fill your heart, and make you believe in magic. These are perhaps the ones that bring the most joy to my days, and the ones I now notice more and more. Perhaps you wake early enough to glimpse a glorious sunrise, or are treated to a stunning sunset on your way home. Maybe a bird lands in your path and looks you straight in the eye. Perhaps you find white feathers wherever you go, or catch a rainbow cast by a crystal, or you’re transfixed by a beautiful flower, or awed by a place… These are moments you feel, you’ll know them when they appear.
- Self-Care Moments are for remembering to look after yourself, whether that’s through your morning yoga, your evening gym session, a healthy snack, a luxurious bubble bath, an afternoon off work, meeting a friend for coffee and a chat, half an hour of meditation, or five minutes peace while the kids are occupied. These are important ones – you’re important, so take care of yourself in whatever ways work for you.
Then there are a couple of spare boxes for you to add your own moments. If you have a guiding word for the year, or some core desired feelings, or specific things you’re wanting to manifest, this is the space to track them. Noticing and compiling evidence for the things we want and want to experience and feel helps re-train us to appreciate more. Recently I've been using one of these boxes to record Confident moments, as this is an area where I feel like I've been struggling, so finding one or two things each day that are evidence of me trusting myself, speaking my truth, or making a decision that feels right to me, has been a great way to remind myself of what I'm really capable of.
Another kind of moment that was important for me to include in the journal are the moments that actually you want to let go of. In the design I'm including a section of Releasing pages which have blank boxes for you to jot down anything you want to let go of – moments of doubt, fear, anxiety, comparison, anger, sadness, bad memories, frustrations, anything that no longer serves you or you don’t want to hold onto. Write them down, in as much or as little detail as you like, cut or tear each slip out, and release them in whatever way you prefer – burn them, bury them in the ground, rip them into tiny shreds and throw them away – and then once it’s done, forget about them.
This is the part that connects for me with the struggles I had with long-form writing, where I would end up going over and over the negative things trying to find answers, when in reality there probably weren't any, and the best thing for me would just be to take whatever lessons I needed from the experience, and then let it go. For me the physical act of tearing up the thing I'd been ruminating on has become more powerful as a way of clearing out my mental and emotional baggage.
I'll talk more next time about different ways that I hope you'll be able to make the Journal your own, to adapt it to suit your own needs, and I'll start sharing more about the process of bringing the journal to life as a hold-in-your-hands product, and probably ask you a few questions too!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this project so far - are you a journaller? What system do you currently use? Does journalling about Moments appeal to you? Do you think my categories would work for you, or what other ones would you add? Leave a comment below or send me a message, I'd love to chat and get your feedback.
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If you just can't wait to try out the Moments Journal I'm offering you a sample of the daily layout to download completely free and with no obligation - that's right, no need to enter your email address or sign up for my mailing list if you don't want (although if you do you can subscribe here) - just click the button below to get the PDF. And I'd absolutely love to hear how you get on - please send me any feedback by email to email@example.com