I began to journal on a regular basis about 10 years ago. It was the lowest point in my life. I was struggling with addiction, and my life was caving in on me.
Writing my thoughts, dreams, fears, and prayers in a journal helped me process. It also helped me to stay focused.
I know that most men probably do not journal. I do not care really. It works for me.
Below is a snapshot of what I normally use for a journal. As you can see, nothing fancy. Sometimes, I journal daily. A few times, more than once a day. Other times, it is only a few times a month.
A few years ago, I began to spend some time around the New Year reading back through my journal and writing down a summary, month by month, of the past year. We talk about New Year’s resolutions, but how often do we talk about last year’s blessings?
I leave enough space at the back of the journal for 2 pages for each month. Then, as I read, I make bullet notes of answered prayers, highs and lows, goals met or unmet, or whatever else impresses me.
What is the benefit? The main one is seeing God’s hand on my life. It is a tremendous faith builder. It also keeps me grounded in humility and gratefulness.
So, before we all close the book on 2012, I think it could be a good thing to reflect on what the year was like. I imagine that you can find something to be thankful for, another to be proud of, another to forgive or let go of, and another thing to move forward on in 2013.