Journal series – part 2: Prepare and start writing
Now that you got yourself a journal (if you did not read our first post, find it here: The journal series – part 1 / Die Tagebuch-Serie – Teil 1), lets get started with filling it with your own story.
Preparation of your journal
Open either the first page of your journal or use the back of the cover page to write down the following (use about half of the page for these questions, there will be some others coming):
- Make a daily goal
- What am I willing to give to others today?
- What 5 things am I grateful for?
- What am I grateful for that someone else does for me?
- What am I happy about right now?
These questions are adapted from Alan C. Walter who wrote the book “The secrets to increasing your power, wealth, and happiness – How to be ‘in the zone'”. They are great questions to make your mind think about what you want to achieve during your day but also to think about the thinks that are going on around you. The idea is to think in a positive way because what you focus on will expand. So if you only think about negative things happening “to you” then you will notice more and more negative things. It is true for the other way around, too. Think positive and about all the good things that happen to you and they will appear to happen more and more.
When to write in your journal?
Make that dependent on your own clock. Some people like to write in the morning, fresh after waking up to fill their thoughts with their goal and with all the good things that are around them. Other people prefer to write just before going to bed, summarizing their day and preparing their brain to work on a solution for the goal for the next day. If you can, keep your journal with you most of the time during the day, there may be instances where you want to write something down right away.
Writing in your journal
Answering the questions is the start of every journal entry per day. Make it a habit to answer them and then add additional thoughts like
- Where are you right now in your AuPair-year? How are you feeling about your decision, what would you like to do or change? Any recommendations you want to give to yourself?
- Your inner thoughts, your feelings of joy and anger, excitement, frustration, love, and sadness. Anything that is on your mind and important to you – it allows you to go through your thoughts and feelings and return to them at a later time.
- Your daily impacts like events, articles, quotes, ideas, movies, books, music – anything that has touched you or came to your mind as something you want to remember (one reason to keep the journal close to write the thoughts down).
- Additional Goals that you want to achieve – long-term and short-term.
- Add a drawing or a picture (have a digital one printed) that will remind you of something that happened, of a feeling, of an experience – these are memories and great to recall when you are not feeling well. Little tokens from places you have visited work well, too.
- Write about places you visited and about your thoughts and feelings about them.
See the attraction guide with Las Vegas Pass
What not to write in your journal is a very personal decision. It may not be necessary to write down how many new like a post on Facebook got or that you hit your toe today. However it always depends on your situation and what is on your mind. If your toe is hurting and you are thinking about it this may obviously be a subject to write about. The same with your Facebook-likes if you run a page that wants to grow (hint: please like our Facebook-page because we want to grow and connect more AuPairs!). The journal is your place to be yourself, to have conversations with your own “inner voice” (jep, it exists!), and to give yourself recommendations and ideas.
It is a great way to keep memories, thoughts, and ideas “alive” for later – what I mean is that it can be great to go back years after your AuPair-year (or anytime you write your journal) and read about how you were at that time and think how much you grew from something. You often may not realize how much you grow over the course of the year and keeping a journal offers you a way to reflect on your path and growth.