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Journaling For Intentional Living

Journaling For Joy

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At the end of last year, I promised not to take on any more work, practices, or hobbies unless I was sure I needed them. I committed to staying in that uncomfortable in-between space until my intuition or the Divine said it was time to move.

I decided on this intention because when I looked back at 2022, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what had happened. I’d spent the entirety of 2022 looking so far into the future that I’d missed the present. My agenda will tell you I had a very productive year, but I have no recollection of it in my body.

Circular Time Vs. Linear Time

I’ve long suspected that I don’t think about time how Western culture would have me think about time – linearly, one thing moving to the next. I felt validated when I came across Austin Kleon’s post “Circular Time vs. Linear Time”.  Kleon quotes this passage from Olga Tokarczuk’s 2018 novel “Flights”

“She says that sedentary peoples, farmers, prefer the pleasures of circular time, in which every object and event must return to its own beginning, curl back up into an embryo and repeat the process of maturation and death. But nomads and merchants, as they set off on journeys, had to think up a different type of time for themselves, one that would better respond to the needs of their travels. That time is linear time, more practical because it was able to measure progress toward a goal or destination, rises in percentages.”

Hobonichi Journaling

However, the problem remained the same. How do I live with intentionality when I don’t think in weeks, percentages, or goals? In a serendipitously YouTube moment, I came across this video about the Japanese journaling system called Hobonichi. In the video, the vlogger, who describes herself as being on the Autism spectrum, shares how she uses journaling to keep track of moments she feels are important in a way that is aligned with how her brain processes events.

I’ve been Hobonichi journaling for the last week and it has helped me to be more mindful of each moment, and as an added perk – I waste a lot less time on useless tasks than when I was trying to constantly check off to-dos to attain arbitrary goals.

If you’re curious, I write about three sentences every morning, and then throughout the day I keep track of my practices (breathwork, yoga, running, tarot) without adhering to a set schedule and I make notes about anything beautiful I experienced. I hope that at the end of this year, I can look back at my days and see a collection of joyful moments.

If you suspect this practice may help you live with more intention, here are some resources to get you started:


If you try journaling in this way, I’d love to hear about it.

Please keep the conversation going by sharing your experience below.


featured photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.

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