A Daily Paper Journal Year Long Challenge: Crazy or Courageous?

I am a huge fan of paper versus digital for all sorts of things. I use both daily and see the value in each for different things. For instance, I wouldn't trade my Alexa grocery list for all the paper in the world. But paper is my favorite for to do lists, gratitude journals, project lists, taking class notes, and doodling.

So I am very excited to start a daily paper challenge for myself that will combine ALL the things.

I have many random cute notebooks with adorable covers in my office. I started them in the past for different reasons, but I've found that I get started... and then don't finish. I also have 25 cent school notebooks I get at Walmart that I use for everyday ideas and lists. I use those much more and finish them up for sure, but they don't spark the imagination or inspire me.

Therefore, I have an idea involving Samsill's 12 pack of Mini Journals that will span an entire year: use 1 set of notebooks for everything.

I have a few goals for this project that solve a bunch of different problems, and who doesn't like that? I know the reason I stop using my random journals is that I'm making it too hard on myself. I make to do lists everyday. Ok. But then I use a different special journal to write 5 things I'm grateful for everyday. Ok - gotta switch, but still ok. Then, I break out a 3rd notebook to keep cute things my kids have said to me in there. Gulp. Next I read in my favorite magazine that I need to write daily about "X" to be a happy, well-rounded woman. So I find myself trolling Target, buying a "You Go Girl" journal to use for 8 days. Then I give up and stash it on a (well organized) shelf because I don't go girl and that idea wasn't for me.

The Samsill journal set consists of 12 journals so I'm going to use 1 per month. Simple enough. They are adorably tiny and cute, so I can slip them into my purse and write even if I'm not at home. Plus the size (32 sheets front and back = 64 pages) lends itself to 2 pages per day for a month perfectly. Yes on shorter months, I'll have a few pages left over, but I'm cool with that. The box, with a magnetic clasp, is also ideal for storage in my office.

My thought is that I'll write ALL THE THINGS I want to each day in here. If I have a particularly verbose day, I may run out of space, but I'm fine with that. Normally it's the opposite - I stare at blank pages, willing myself to be awesome, so this is a fine alternative.

I am also excited about the space limit for other reasons. Sometimes I over-do things as a form of procrastination. I'll rewrite a to do list instead of crossing off a task. Or I'll put 20 to dos on a list and get upset when I only accomplish 10. I could shoot for only 5 and celebrate when I get those done as that sounds much more healthy and less prone to burnout. 5 tasks will fill up a tiny page just like the trick where you use smaller plates when you want to eat less, but still seem like you have a full plate.

If I want to write about things I'm grateful for, then great. If I don't, I'll veer off on another topic and that's fine, too. I may even use a few pages as an artist journal again with a drawing per day instead of writing. My college art professors would be very happy with those results. As long as I am pouring something of me into the pages each day, I will consider it a success. And since the pages are small, the goal seems smaller somehow and achievable. If I do it daily, I'll be able to hold a year of my life in the palm of my hand at the end. That sounds so doable and a habit that I can follow through on.

Why do I feel this project will work when other journals have dropped off? One thing I know about myself is that I stick to deadlines that impact others. If I declare it out into the world, I follow through. 5 years ago I declared I would shoot 1 video per week and write 1 blog per week for my business and I did. The next year I promised 1 video a month, and 1 downloadable checklist. Boom - done. Since then I haven't declared anything and guess what? I haven't created much at all on a schedule.

So far, the only quirky thing I've observed is that one of the journals is noticeably smaller than the others. I'm not sure I would have noticed if I hadn't lined them up like this on a desk. It shouldn't impact my project though so I'm ok with it, but just letting you all know in case it happens to you.

On to the scary declaration part: August 1st is my project start date as that's the next upcoming month. I'll actually be on a beach vacation then, so it's perfect timing to see how mobile I can get. So here's to a year of daily reflection, complaints, gratitude, silly sketches and anything I want as long as it feels good. I'll keep you updated on social media and we'll see where this thing goes. You can play along, too, if you like, no matter if you think it's crazy, courageous, or both.

I purchased the product in this post with compensation provided by Samsill. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe in and use. All opinions are my own.

#papers #journal #Samsill #challenge #digital #accountability #productreview #office #planner #inspiration #fun #goals #artwork #lists #projects

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