A Journaling Challenge for Easily Distracted Millennials

{By Lindsay Chilton}

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I’ve never been able to keep a journal no matter how much effort I put into it.

I just wasn’t interesting enough to document everything that happened to me. Most of my journal entries were something along the lines of: “Woke up, brothers ate the last of the Lucky Charms so I had to have plain cheerios (ugh), did school, pet the cat, went running even though I didn’t want too, ate some mac and cheese for dinner, drew some pictures, moved the cat off of my bed, got ready for bed, went to bed.”1

This isn’t very interesting and I doubt anyone else would read it and want to find out what happens next (Spoiler: Usually the same thing but with different foods and different levels of moodiness). I would continually fail at journaling because, let’s face it, in fifteen years I’m not really going to care about the teenage angst that my past self was feeling.

Not many of us can boast to live such an exciting life that we can write exciting things such as, “Found the stolen jewels in a suitcase in an apartment building on the 40th floor, and because the thieves were chasing me, I had no choice but to jump out of the window and use my emergency parachute that I always have with me. After returning the jewels to the museum, I bought a sandwich and took in a show before going home.” If you can boast of having a journal like this than I am completely impressed and please take me with you on your next adventure.

Most of us, however, live “normal” lives and don’t usually get to write such exciting things.

That’s why this year I’ve started the “365 pages” challenge.

journaling tips for busy people

In this challenge I think of two things that stuck out to me that day. It’s strictly a reflection of what made up that day and what I found to be the most interesting. Doing these forces me not to just scribble on about my feelings and being completely wrapped up in myself.

Some days I write multiple paragraphs and some days I write one line. I do, admit sometimes, have what I’ve come to call my “Watergate pages”. I forgot to write for four days and now just think of them as the missing 18 minutes of my journal. It’s completely okay to have these “Watergate pages” and not feel like a journaling failure. I fell into that trap a lot and felt that because I had missed a couple of days that there was no point in continuing the project. DON’T FALL FOR THIS. I have multiple journals sitting on my shelf that only have a couple of pages filled out because of this trap. The entries were so sporadic that I had trouble figuring out when I had written them and realized that I mostly wrote when I was frustrated or angry.

Venting on paper can be good, but this type of journaling forces us to only center around ourselves. It’s okay to put your feelings on paper and try to figure out what you’re thinking and feeling. In fact, I have an entire journal that if anyone ever found they’d think I was the most dramatic person they’d ever met because that’s where I try to work out what’s going on. Journaling like this all of the time, though, isn’t healthy.

That’s why, with my challenge, at the end of each entry I sign off with the hashtag #choosejoy.

Even if it wasn’t a particularly good day, because they won’t all be, I constantly remind myself that I can #choosejoy, namely Jesus, every day. Over and over and over again.

Now I know it’s already February, but I want to challenge all of you to the “365 pages” challenge. Each day, choose two things that stuck out to you and write them down. Some of your entries will take up pages and some will only take up a couple of inches, but this type of journaling will accurately reflect your life. Good luck everyone! #choosejoy

What are your thoughts on journaling? Comment below!

 

  1. Actual excerpt from one of the 5 entries of 14 year old Lindsay’s journal

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