Journaling in July

Today 1 July is start of the new Financial year. All the accountants have made all the entries and have closed off all the journals and now it’s time to start all over again. All that journaling – enough to have you seeing double or, in an accountant’s case, seeing double entries.

The start of the new financial year does not being with it the spate of new year resolutions that the commencement of the calendar year seems to attract, but I am going to buck the trend and have my own new financial year resolution – to journal more.

I like journals. I like academic journals – provided they are on subjects I am drawn to and they are presented in a way that I can understand – which knocks out quite a few right off the bat. Meredith Carpenter and Lillian Fritz-Laylin, from the Molecular and Biology Department at UC Berkeley, scan the Scientific Journals and then blog about  it. Their site, ncbirofl.com (National Center for Biotechnology Information, Rolling On the Floor Laughing), is a repository for absurd papers published in scientific journals. Here’s a few highlights from their top ten…

  • Optimising the sensory characteristics and acceptance of canned cat food: use of a human taste panel. (Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition)
  • Effects of cocaine on honeybee dance behaviour. (Journal of Experimental Biology)
  • Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull? (Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine)
  • The nature of navel fluff. (Medical Hypotheses)

Plenty of bedtime reading there.

I also like the act of jourmaling – keeping a written record of thoughts, experiences, and observations daily, or whenever one feels the urge. “Each time you make an entry into your journal, you open another door into yourself” says Lucia Capacchione author of many books on the topic.

Opening doors aside, there are said to be many scientifically supported benefits to the act of journaling. According to the noted journal of record The Huffington Post, there are 10 surprising benefits to keeping a journal. Author Thai Nguyen, says these include stretching your IQ, evoking mindfulness, achieving goals, developing emotional intelligence, boosting memory and comprehension, strengthening self-discipline, improving communication skills, healing, sparking creativity and nurturing self-confidence. Actually it’s a great little article, and far more evidence based than I thought it would be.

I also like the role journaling can play in leadership development. The best leaders are highly self reflective and a journal is one way to facilitate that self reflection. I was bought to journaling in a business leadership sense through the work of Shawn Achor and his book “The Happiness Project” where he pondered the question of why the best and brightest students at Harvard were not happy. I love the book but it is his Ted Talk that is sensational and truly if you haven’t seen it, you must. I laughed and laughed and laughed as I learned. As at this 1 July, the Talk had 13, 544 590 views. I am not the only one who likes it.

But mostly  – and I need to be transparent about this – I like buying journals because I love stationery. I would buy a journal every day of the week if I could which I suppose would really defeat the purpose. I am not so keen on the journals with rather lightweight motivational sayings on the front that have flooded the market though for the sake of transparency I should declare I have bought some of this variety because they were visually pretty but the sayings on the cover- ahhh not so much.

That’s why I was so excited when I came across this relatively inexpensive but very classy wrap journal recently. I love the Kraft look and the twine tie and the blank pages of lovely creamy rich paper therein. I have taken to buying these as gifts for friends and they are always appreciated and I don’t even wrap them _ a big ask for someone like me –  because the wrap journal is in my opinion already wrapped with twine and ready to rock’n’roll. The recipient can write their own motivational saying on the cover if they feel the need. I think anything that is both stationery and a wrap is a fine thing indeed. All the more reason to keep my resolution and start journaling in July.

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