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As you begin your journal, write what topic is that you have picked, i.e., I want to better understand my relationship with my friend Betty, or I want to process my feelings about passing of my parents, or I want to know where every penny I spend goes.
Next state your goal about topic, and then how you, at this point in time, plan to resolve getting to your goal.
Example - My Goal - I want to understand who Betty is. My Resolution - I will write a list of my likes and dislikes.
Example - My Goal - To feel my current feeling about my parents. My Resolution - I am going to write my memories about them.
Example - My Goal - To better understand what I spend money on.
My Resolution - I will record every expense amount, what it was for, and day I spent it.
Every day, write 3 words that best describe how you feel about your topic that day. Good, moving, curious Angry, confused, frustrated
Every 5 days, confirm if your topic, goal, and resolution need changing, and if so, change them.
Every 10 days, re-read your journaling and write a summary of how you feel about last 10 days of writing.
After 30 days
Decide if you want to keep your journal, or dispose of it in a safe way.
You may find that you have reached your goal and resolved your topic before end of 30 days. If so, stop journaling. Or, you may find that you want to explore this topic further, so start another 30 day journal. There is no set amount of time, 30 days is a guideline. Your time for a particular topic may be 10 days, 45 days, 90 days, etc. If you journal several topics, each topic can vary in number of days. Journal until you feel complete and supported.
Doreene Clement, a cancer victor and author of The 5 Year Journal, is currently writing a new book, Blessed, about her life and her cancer experience. For more information www.the5yearjournal.com 480.423.8095 Copyright 2005 OMDC, LLC All Rights Reserved
Feel free to pass this along to your friends. If you want to see my column, About Journaling, every month, www.the5yearjournal.com