Journaling (and blogging) have been a big step for me. I started half a dozen gratitude journals and traditional journals over the years but could never stick to them. I’d been great for about two weeks then fall out of the habit. Last year, I broke the cycle. I started a gratitude journal on the first of the year then started traditionally journaling faithfully over the summer once I saw that I could stick with the smaller task. A friend of mine showed me two journaling techniques that really spoke to me: the Hero’s Journal, which I’ll discuss in a moment, and a gridded habit tracker. The grid method works well for me because there’s no extra “work” that goes into it. I color in a square if I did chores or read a book. That’s easy! This method is less about filling in all the squares and more about becoming aware of your habits and what you actually spend your time doing. It’s brought a mindfulness to my life that I haven’t always had.

My friend bought the Hero’s Journal, and it blew my mind. It’s a goal-oriented, fantasy-themed, illustrated journal. In it, you can be the hero of your own story, following your personal North Star. What a great concept! It reminded me of all the support in the NaNoWriMo community (They even did an interview together here). I’ve been following the Hero’s Journal guys ever since. They’re so positive and encouraging rather than shaming, even when stumbling blocks get in the way. Identifying aids and obstacles in daily life as well as maintaining focus on a purpose or goal are so useful. And I LOVE the story told through the artwork. As I’ve mentioned in my two monthly entries, I struggle to maintain a journal without some enticing visual element. This solves that! The illustrations are also in grayscale, so you can color them – a nice little mini game for the day. Anyway. After watching many of their livestreams as well as some of their older videos, I finally bit the bullet (I’m a cheapskate) and bought the journal. I won’t be able to see the physical copy until early March because I had it shipped to my family’s home in the States. In the meantime, I will be using the digital journal for the rest of this month (Yep, a digital copy is included in the purchase). I’ve been successfully journaling for a couple months now, but I think the added visual and psychological appeal of the Hero’s Journal will really help push me toward my creative goals in a way that unguided journaling just hasn’t. If goal-oriented, fantasy-themed, illustrated (and all the other descriptors) journaling sounds appealing to you, check them out. Check out NaNoWriMo while you’re at it if you like to write.

‘I am half-sick of shadows,’ said the Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse

Here are this week’s suggestions for fun and enriching activities:

  • Relaxing Music: “On My Way Home” from the album The Memory of Tree by Enya. You can listen to it here or find the album on Amazon or streaming.
  • Soothing Sounds: “Forest Creek Sounds” by The Guild of Ambience. These videos are so relaxing to me.
  • Puzzle: Sudoku. You can find the game here along with everything you need to know about how to play.
  • Movie: Matilda (1996). You can find it on Amazon or on a streaming service.
  • Creative Prompt (write, draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, or collage something based on this subject): magic
  • Mythology Lesson: Hecate. Read about her here, and do a little further research if the mood takes you!
  • Short Reading: “Snow White & Rose Red.” You can read it here, or you can listen to it on YouTube.

Try one per day, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a more vibrant daily round.

Hylas and the Nymphs by Waterhouse

Do you journal? Let me know if you’ve found a method that works for you.

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