Kicking off 2021 by journaling away!

We Humans are a strange bunch, if you think about it. Earth completes a revolution around the Sun and we’re ecstatic about it. For many of us, the 1st of January also signifies a new start, with new years resolutions, of which most are abandoned two weeks into January. But, if you have a clear idea of your destination, it is much more manageable. In the past I wrote a lot of blogs about setting manageable goals for yourself. Every year in December I sit down to reflect on the year, where I am and where I want to go. This year was no different and I did set 10 goals for this year. A lot of them are about writing novels, blogs and well, keeping journals.

Why journaling is a helpful tool

Part of my morning routine is to have breakfast and then journal a little bit. In my 6-minute diary I write down three things I’m grateful for, how I’m going to make today a great day and a positive affirmation. Having done this, I start my day on a very positive note and that helps to get the right mindset for the rest of the day. A lot of people I know get up, rush off to work and then find themselves tired at the end of the day, rushing from one responsibility to another. If you ask me what my “success” is, I’d say it’s taking the time to wake up, by following my routine and really taking the time to prepare for a day. Besides journaling, I also meditate and read some non-fiction to start my day off. All of this costs me around an hour, including breakfast. This does mean you have to get up earlier. Most people often say they don’t have an hour to spare, especially in the morning. Well, I do and it’s the best investment in myself I can do every day.

Keeping up and checking in with yourself with journals!

This year, I have several journals I intend to keep:


First, there’s the “6 Minute Diary – Pure”, which is similar to the original, but it doesn’t contain the 70+ pages about the theory behind the diary. I already used it this morning and it is absolutely love to start in a fresh, brand new diary!

The second one is a standard Brepols agenda. It has 1 page per day. My intention is to keep a diary about the day in this one. Just a quick summary of what’s happened and how I feel about it.

The third is the Piens Planner 2021, which is a family planner. Bren and I are going to use this for our personal appointments, but also as a planner for our blog The Book Dragon’s Nook, as well as my own blog and writing. 🙂 Last year we didn’t really come around to using it much for appointments and events, since they were all pretty much cancelled. I have good faith that this year will be different, at least the second half of the year. But we’ll see what the world has in store for us 😉

The fourth and last one is a wonderful gift from Bren, it’s a journal that you keep for five years with one question every day. I’m very curious to see if my answers to all of these questions will evolve over time, so I’m thinking about picking some of these out and coming back to them later on this blog too, so you can all see how some things evolve over time, even on a personal level!

He who writes, remains

As an old Dutch saying goes; Wie schrijft die blijft, or freely translated to “He who writes, remains”. It’s similar with this. Keeping journals and expressing your thoughts, whether they’re not really that good, or sometimes are really good, is a good thing to do. Sometimes by sitting down, reflecting and writing things down we can view issues we are facing from another perspective. We can zoom out and escape the tunnel vision we sometimes suffer from. Journaling is one of the best tools I have for dealing with my personal life and putting things in perspective. I can recommend it to everyone. Especially if you don’t know how to begin, I’d suggest trying something like the 6-minute diary first, because all you have to do there is answer the questions and everything is set every day, so you know what to expect. By doing these things over and over, they then become a part of your routine and I can say that after almost two years of daily journaling, I am mentally far more able to deal with whatever life throws at me. That and my daily meditation session.

So, what are your hopes and dreams for 2021? Are you hoping to achieve something, or finally start, or finish a big project? Please let me know in the comments!

Happy journaling!


3 replies »

  1. Jeffrey, “Kicking of 2021” ambitious as always!!! Having followed you, as I read this your morning routine is already so familiar to me! –All in 1 hour including breakfast!!! Shower? And reviewing your 4 journals & their respective contents, brought to my mind once again Thomas Jefferson’s “Day Book.” He went through many of them in his lifetime. I proudly own one published portion of his Day Books. I am ever so jealous that I never started this practice even when I learned of it in my 50’s. Basically, he combined his version of your journals all rolled into one. But the best part of his Day Books was, instead of writing in the margins of books or on scrap notes, his reactions/reflections/quotations from books he read!!!!!!!!!! –All there at his fingertips forevermore until he died! What a luxury! And I love your old Dutch saying, “He who writes, remains.” YOU WILL SURELY REMAIN, JEFFREY!!! Happy New Year & Happy Journaling! Phil

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Phil! Best wishes to you and Geri too! We hope you had a wonderful new year’s eve 🙂

      Journaling has become one of my favourite times of the day and I do it at the start and end of every day. It really can help you reflect and put things in perspective, as I said in my blog here. Your mentioning of the Thomas Jefferson day book makes me curious to read it as well!


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeffrey, Jefferson, apparently, went through many Day Books. How many were published or lost I do not know. Interestingly, in the book I am presently reading John F. Kennedy kept a Day Book as well. Phil

    Liked by 1 person

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