Journal Idea: How the Day is Going to Go

A month ago I watched the British television series Cranford for the first time and loved it. Did anyone else see Cranford? Well, it's a bit slow and windy, but like any good nineteenth century novel the end is packed with all sorts of new understandings.

I particularly enjoyed Judi Dench's character Matty, and at one point during the series she relates a story about how her father taught the girls to write in their diaries in the morning how they thought the day was going to go and in the evening write down how the day actually went.

How the day is going to go...
How the day went...

I thought this was such a neat idea, that I decided to experiment with it for myself. I'm on day thirty-four, and I have to admit that it is hard to put into words how this exercise transforms your thinking. First off, I have appreciated writing down my intentions for the day. I've never been an oral learner, so being able to physically write and see my intentions has proven to be so much more powerful then just thinking or saying them.

Secondly, I've noticed that it is actually somewhat easy to reach many of my goals for the day, but often I subconsciously sabotage events in the spirit of having a spontaneous adventure. My crazy monkey mind loves to blow things up and create stimulating chaos so as to provide a new kind of distraction that I've never seen before. It's very entertaining to watch :)

Another thing I've observed is that in the beginning my journal entries started out as hum drum. Such as "I will go to yoga class and feel rejuvenated." Doesn't take a rocket scientist to make this event happen, but you'd be surprised how many little wrenches I could throw into the system to whack this personal goal out of place. Nevertheless, as I progressed, my journal entries have begun to be a bit more fanciful. I suppose you could call them hopes, wishes, or dreams that I write in the present tense. So far none of them have actually come true, but what is most interesting is my emotional reaction to writing them down.

As soon as I write a wish down, I feel my body tense up and then a voice inside say, "you're crazy." This experience is quite leveling for I've noticed that even though it is my natural tendency to be dreamer, I'm sure afraid of letting myself enjoy these daydreams. When did I start sucking all the pleasure out of a simple daydream? I can't put my finger on it, but it seems like it may have been one of those adult requirements.

Here's the thing...the dream doesn't have to come true before we are able to take pleasure in the experience of daydreaming. Imagine that! Imagine dreaming for just pure pleasure with no need for an outcome. How would life be different for you if this were so?


  1. This makes me think of watching my 3 year old grand daugter playing. She builds entire worlds out of pots, pans, blocks and sheer fantasy. And she is happy as can be doing that. A lesson?

  2. fabulous! how lucky are we all to have you?! a wellspring of sharing and honesty and inspiration... i want to try this - and i need to check out that show...

  3. LeAnn, I want to get to that place more often. Thanks for bringing up that image of your grand daughter!

    Mary Jane, I hope you are going to try it! I look forward to hearing about the results.


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