It’s very nearly a year since I first had the idea for the Moments Journal, and a few months now since it’s been out in the world and being used by people who bought copies through supporting my Kickstarter campaign (thank you! - I can’t keep saying that enough!), so I thought it was time for a bit of an update.
It thrills me beyond belief to hear from people about how they’re using their journals, but I’ve also had a few messages from people who have a journal, love how it looks (what a compliment!), but haven’t started using it yet because they’re scared of ‘messing it up’ or haven’t figured out the ‘perfect way’ to incorporate it into their life.
Now although this makes me smile, because I totally get it - I have plenty of notebooks that I save for ‘special’ and daren’t put pen to paper in case I ruin them - I also find it a little bit sad, because for me one of the main points about the Moments Journal is that it’s a space that you can make into whatever you want, use however you want, and not worry about doing it right or wrong.
So today I want to give you a little bit of an insight into how I’m using my own Moments Journal this year in the hope that it can inspire you to get stuck into your own - or to buy one if you don’t have one yet!
I keep my journal on my bedside table and write in it every night.
This is a habit I’ve been committed to for several years now, and the practice has evolved as the Moments Journal developed, but it’s very much a part of my evening routine now, and I find it a lovely way to digest and close out the day.
I’m not being too precious about which pen I write with.
I’ve been using one of my favourite purple ink pens so far this year, but it recently ran out and I’ve switched to a ballpoint pen. Although in an ideal world I’d love to be able to spend more time and effort on using different coloured pens for different moments and making each page look wonderfully colourful, the reality is that it’s a great deal easier to just grab one pen and to jot everything down in a few minutes. That’s not to say I’m grabbing ‘any old pen’ - let’s be honest, I only own pens that I really like to write with, that feel good in my hand and that have a good flow and feel on the paper. I find a pen I enjoy writing with often makes my handwriting neater too.
That said, I definitely don’t concentrate on doing my ‘best’ handwriting every day!
The boxes in the journal are blank and I very rarely manage to write in a straight line without some sort of guide, so my notes are pretty higgledy-piggledy in places! Some days my handwriting is neat and tidy - I think this is often on the days I feel calmest and most relaxed as I’m writing, and when I have plenty of good things to remember - but some days it’s a very rushed, nearly illegible scrawl! I’m also not worried if I end up with crossings out - I’m a stickler for spelling so I will correct myself - or if I end up writing outside the lines of the boxes. Such a rebel!
Probably the biggest thing for me in the evolution of my own journalling practice is that I’ve actually been filling two pages every day.
Originally I designed and envisaged the Moments Journal as a ‘day per page’ format, with 365 individual pages so that it would last you a year. Each page has seven blank boxes - one to note any key details about the day plus half a dozen for your individual moments - but even from the beginning I made the suggestion that you could use each page for a week with one box per special moment per day, or fill more than one page per day if you had lots of moments to savour.
This has turned out to be the case for me, and I think it’s working well in terms of what I personally want to get out of using the journal.
Having worked through the Discover Your Moments process myself, I came up with what you might call a ‘medium list’ (rather than a short list!) of words/values/qualities/moments that I want to look for, embody, and treasure, and I like to work with a selection of them at any one time, so limiting myself to one page of the journal each day felt far too restrictive. Instead, I have a few key kinds of moments that I always jot down, a couple that I’m working with to manifest more of those feelings, and that usually leave a few gaps to add in other types of moments that resonate on the day.
For instance, I’ll always write at least one achievement or something that I’m proud of, two or three self-care moments, or things I’ve done to look after myself and my physical/mental/emotional/spiritual wellbeing; there’s usually a creative moment or something that has particularly allowed me some freedom of self-expression, and I include a gratitude practice of at least three (and sometimes up to five) things every day too.
Beyond that, I’ll think back over the day for little snippets of memories that chime with any of the other words on my values/moments list, and jot them down too. More often now, I’m aware throughout the day of these moments happening, and I’ll make a mental note at the time to include them in my evening journalling. These moments can change from day to day, and sometimes I’m starting to notice patterns of a particular type of moment popping up more regularly, or that there’ll be some especially significant moment that deeply resonates with one of my key values, or even my overall guiding motivation of Radiant Serenity (I’m going to talk more about this soon).
In the first box on each double page spread I usually write the date (handy!), the day of my monthly cycle, a quick note about the weather (I’m British, I can’t help it!), and any key events that happened. So with that and up to 13 moments per day (no, I’m not superstitious about that number!) my moments have been quickly adding up!
Some days I don’t fill all the boxes, some days each moment is described in just a few words, and some days I’ll write a slightly longer sentence or two to describe a moment in more detail.
There are no set rules beyond the commitment to write every day - and besides, I’m the one making the rules so I get to decide if and how to break them!
I hope this has been interesting, and given you a glimpse into ways of getting started with the Moments Journal. I also hope it has inspired you to make a start with your own if you haven’t already, and to be open to letting the practice evolve in whatever way works for you.
There are lots more suggestions over on the main Moments Journal page, and you can also sign up for my free 7 day email course that will guide you to Discover the Moments that Matter to You if you need a bit of help finding clarity for this starting point.
If you’re already using and loving your Moments Journal I would love to hear about it! I’m especially keen to hear if you’ve taken it in your own personal direction and have been thinking outside the box with creative or art journalling, or making the journal the focus of a particular area of your life.