…I was taught…in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days … having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God, therefore, I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
~ 1 Nephi 1:1 ~
If there ever is a time to make a resolution, it is at the beginning of the New Year. This year is no different. This requires an individual to begin reflecting upon the past year. Where was there challenges? Where were there times of growth? Personal experiences that have shaped who we are. Missed opportunities, regrets, and poor decisions. This year, let it be a year of reflection and writing of your own personal story and history.
According to the article from PsychCentral, there are definite health benefits of journaling:
Scientific evidence supports that journaling provides other unexpected benefits. The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. Begin journaling and begin experiencing these benefits:
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings. Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
- Know yourself better. By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being.
- Reduce stress. Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings. By doing so you will feel calmer and better able to stay in the present.
- Solve problems more effectively. Typically we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
- Resolve disagreements with others. Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. And you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict.
In addition to all of these wonderful benefits, keeping a journal allows you to track patterns, trends and improvement and growth over time. When current circumstances appear insurmountable, you will be able to look back on previous dilemmas that you have since resolved.
Part of my New Years Resolution, for 2018, is to work on a memoir. This memoir will be based on letters to my younger self. The goal is to publish these letters. The inspiration? From a song by Mercy Me entitled Dear Younger Me.
The hope of these letters are:
- Reflect on the personal experiences of the past in order to come to fully understand and appreciate who I am as an individual
- Provide inspiration and personal experience to others that may be struggling with their own sense of worth, identity, spirituality, and find ways to grow from their own past afflictions
- Leave something for my own children to understand and know who I am as an individual, and as their father.
Take each day as it comes. Without judgment, without criticism, and begin making a record of your own proceedings in order to discover who you are and how you have grown.