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Composing a journal or diary is something, you do for yourself.  It is as individual as fingerprints or DNA.   My view of life, loves and longevity is unlike anyone else’s perspective. so I  jot down  my feelings, as well as  everyday happenings.   Here is a combination of reading and writing suggestions. Once, you put them into practice, you will begin to see a continuity and discover day to day dynamics. You can do this either in a handwritten journal or digitally.

Marking  Special Occasions.

Before you start your journal, circle or color code “important “ dates; anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

Also, add  “ordinary” ones;  the day your boss gave you a compliment, the time you brought the dog

home from the SPCA or the day  that grand baby lost  the first tooth.   By listing these personal memories, ahead of time, you won’t forget a milestone.

Tracking Your Health.

As you read and re-read  previous journals, you’ll see patterns emerge.  When are you prone to allergies?  What are your sleep cycles?  Perhaps your energy level is the highest in the mornings?  Subtle clues  of family illnesses solve health mysteries.

Create  An Atmosphere.

You might like to relax in the same spot  or move around to different locations.  My cocoon consists of a lamp, which has the new feel-good light bulb in it, (the one’s that mimic natural sunlight).  I enjoy a warm drink in my favorite mug or a cold drink in a glass goblet. A comfortable sofa or chair, with a wicker tray on an end table, adds to the ambiance.

Use Your Yearbooks As Examples.

Remember your high school  year books and college annuals? They were special because they contained autographs and photos of  students and teachers. You can create the same thing, by adding  pictures and newspaper clippings of events. Just use  a paper clip or  staple to attach them to the appropriate date.  Pass the page around and let your husband, children  or anybody write about their feelings of  that particular day.  You will treasure it in years to come.

Find Out Where the Money Goes.

Perhaps  you can gain an insight into your financial successes or setbacks.  Reading past entries, might help you establish a budget. If the word “shop” or “ buy” appears often, you can re-access your habits and chart your own  monetary  destiny. It can also show  purchases and styles, you enjoy.

Pick the Right Journal.

In order to start your own individual time-line, you’ll need paper, pen or computer screen.  If you choose a traditional journal, pick one that suits your personality; pets, gardening, sports?  My journal includes mini-biographies of Authors and their contributions, on the opposite page.  When  I write, their achievements, inspire me.  Journals can be ornate, with fancy fabric and gold leaf pages.  They can be as simple as a legal pad, index cards or a piece of scrap paper.   A bookmark helps to keep track of special times, or show you the page you are currently, writing on.

How Do You React to Stress?

By paging through your past journals, you might find out  if you cope or collapse, under certain circumstances. Are you too close to the forest to see the trees?  Step back and let a few months, even a year go by , in order to get a fresh perspective on your moods, behaviors and dispositions.

Make It Fun.

Since life is a passage of good times and not-so-good times, make optimistic observations.  This won’t be easy, because there will be times, then you’ll feel the need to vent your frustrations.  By interspersing amusing  anecdotes and humorous happenings, throughout your writings, you’ll raise your spirits. Don’t worry  about spelling, punctuation or penmanship. These will improve each time you jot down your ideas and feelings.

When you see your life in black and white, neon orange or fuchsia ink or on a computer screen, you will see a person evolving. Looking  backwards or forwards , you’ll see your innermost thoughts and expressions, that will lead you to contentment.