I’ve kept a journal for 14 years. And one of the reasons I think I’ve been able to do this for so long is because I don’t force myself to always write about “the past.”
If I had to do that all the time I’d hate it.
That’s because I prefer to think about the future more.
So today I have a simple question for you to think about if you want to become more consistent in your journaling, which is:
Do you mostly think about the past, the present or the future?
The aspect of time you think about most says a lot about who you are. And the more you can “know thyself” the more you can play to your strengths when you write.
And be honest… don’t say what you “think you should” focus on. Just be real (don’t worry, nobody is listening!).
For example, a lot of bloggers and self-help authors harp on the idea of “being present.” So you may be tempted to say “the present.” But don’t say it if it’s not true.
Personally, my answer is easy… I’m a total future guy.
That’s why I love thinking and writing about vision, goals and starting new things!
But on the flip side, it’s actually hard for me to document things in my life. It feels like work when I’m recounting something that already happened.
My favorite use of journaling is when I’m writing about something I’m trying to figure out or about something I plan to do or want to do.
If I were to split it up percentage wise I’m probably 5/10/85.
So only 5% of the time I’m concerned with the past and 85% of the time I’m thinking about the future.
And if you’re also a future-oriented person I suggest you engage in writing that allow you to focus more on the things to come and limit the documentation part.
For example, let’s say you only have 15 minutes a day to journal.
Don’t spend 10 minutes writing about what happened to you yesterday.
Instead journal about where you want to go today. Write about the obstacles that are standing between where you are and your desired future.
Then meditate on those things, visualize the desired outcome you want instead of reflecting on the past.
Try this for a couple weeks and see how it goes.