On and off I have kept a diary all my life. As a teenager I mainly daydreamed in it. In my thirties it was useful to get a grip on my relationships. During our holidays I described where we went and what the prices were.
It’s only for the past 7 years that my way of writing changed. That’s why nowadays I call it a journal instead of a diary.
My journal serves several objectives. I explained in other blogposts how you can be more happy by being grateful and why it’s good to allow yourself to experience emotions. In this article the focus is on making a daily intention.
Text, colors and drawings
The bigger parts of my journal are written pages. I express gratitude daily, write down what worked that day and what didn’t.
Another part consists of monthly lists of goals. These are small goals I want to do daily. If I managed to do them I make the dot green. The objective is to have a whole green page at the end of the month!!
One of the goals for instance is no single used plastic. This might be a nearly impossible goal over here in Spain, but I am still trying to achieve it.
Another goal is to walk at least 5.000 steps, and preferably 10.000. That’s a goal with a lot of green dots.
Or to study Spanish for at least 10 minutes.
Oh, and a goal that was very hard in the beginning (I started this one half a year ago), but has a lot of green dots nowadays: being positive that day.
Intention of the Day
An important part of my journal is the Intention of the Day. A daily intention is not exactly a goal you want to reach. A goal belongs to your to-do list. An intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carry out an action (Wikipedia).
The main result of setting my intention for the day is that I am feeling very purposeful and that I am more happy than ever. You can make all kinds of intentions. Choose for example something from these categories:
- You have wings to fly
- There’s always a way, if you are committed.
- You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
- Celebrate your accomplishments
- Acknowledge yourself
- Don’t give up
- Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part
- Giving your 100% is more important than gaining or failing
- You could either be right or happy
- At the end of the day, both optimists and pessimists are always right
- Focus on what you want – not on what you don’t want
- Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing
- Tears will get you sympathy, sweat will get you results
- Dare to dream
- Hurrying is not always the fastest way to get somewhere
Write them down
Writing your intention in your journal makes it even stronger. Handwriting activates 3 different parts of your brain, where typing on a keyboard activates only 1 part.
I read a great example about the power of writing in a book by Robert Cialdini:
In the old days when salesmen were working door to door to sell encyclopedias or kitchen utensils one of them had a remarkably less number of people who had second thoughts about the buying than the rest. It turned out all the salesmen were writing down the data and letting the client sign while this one salesman let the client fill in all the data and sign.
Another way to enforce your intention is to express it in public. You can tell your partner or friend(s). Or post it in social media. For instance in our group on Facebook. You’re more than welcome to join us!