Someone told me years ago, “Document what you do. Somebody is sure to ask.” That has been good advice over the years and I want to pass it on to you.
For most of my adult life, I’ve kept a journal or diary that I write in every day. This isn’t a journal that I pour all my innermost feelings into. I’m just not that capable of putting feelings on paper. Rather, my journal is a record of all the minutia that makes up the day—from the time I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. It is usually the last thing I do before I turn out the light.
I probably take this to extremes because I also keep track, right down to how many veggies I eat, how much water I drink and how much exercise I get in. I always write my goals in the front of this journal so I can look at them every day. Another way to help me stay focused on my goals.
What has this done for me? Well, for starters, I’ve won a lot of arguments. You know how it goes:
“We are way late planting our tulip bulbs this year.”
“No we aren’t. We didn’t plant them until the first weekend in December last year.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“I’ll check my journal. Yes, I was right. I planted them on Saturday while you were hooking up the Christmas lights.”
Now of course I’ve lost a few arguments too. But I don’t want to talk about those!!!
Another way my journal helps me is to look back at my last training session, to see what I felt could be done better next time. Or what exercises I used and whether they worked or not, or ideas for what I might do differently next time.
I can find out where I bought those shoes I love, or when I last replaced my running shoes.
I record advice I get from my accountant, and how much I had to pay CRA.
I’ve just been reviewing the past twelve months, and I recognize how much has happened this past year. Without my trusty journal, I would have forgotten much of it.
However, my method of keeping track isn’t infallible. I bought a new journal for 2014 in November and put it away so it would be safe until January 1, 2014. Now I can’t find it—and I didn’t record where I put it. Oh well, nothing is perfect!
Edited to add:
PS: I did find my 2014 journal right after I wrote that blog!