WTF?? Did I really want to be THAT honest to myself? – On my first weeks with the Clarity Journal

Like already written in the initial blogpost of that series, the Clarity Journal (Klarheit Journal in German) was the first one I started my daily journaling experiment with. Before delving into some of my personal experiences, here are some key facts about the Clarity Journal:

  • it is a dark-green A5 sized book
  • it has about 140 journal pages – one for each day – plus some guidance in the beginning, inspiration inbetween and some blank pages at the end so has 174 pages in total
  • every 7 days there’s one page with various exercises to support reflection
  • it has a super smooth surface (I just fell in love with its haptics :))

Now let’s jump into the more personal parts and impressions…

Ramping up

Initially the challenge was how to make the journaling habit stick. Considering, following, living what I’ve written here and the sharing on twitter turned the journaling activity quite quickly into something I didn’t want to miss to start and to end my days with.

a page for one day (morning and evening)

The two-part daily pages for each day (one half for the morning and the other one for the end of the day) in addition to the weekly extra one-pagers to reflect and invite positivity in my life were just the right-sized (i.e. short and specific enough) bits for me to digest. 

Also the flexibility of the whitespace below each question or impulse really suited me well because it invited creativity and flexibility and prevented having the feeling of being limited to e.g. only two lines.

First it was mostly my curiosity about my self and the writing process itself what kept me going. Later on it was the willingness to endure at least a month and the curiosity how that daily routine’s impacts on my life will look like.

The low-hanging fruit

Almost instantly I noticed a bit more/better structure for my days – although I thought I was already quite organized before.

I felt more satisfied with my days – also with the “tough ones”.

And I learned to celebrate especially my little achievements, both in professional and private life. Mainly “just” because I took those regular small pauses to reflect and to harvest them.

Now in retrospection: all these things were only the low-hanging fruit!

The unexpected things start setting off…

Suddenly I started feeling a huge resistance every time it was “journaling time” especially in the evenings. It took me quite some days to figure out where that resistance came from.

It turned out that this was because “the journaling thingy” started becoming uncomfortable.

What kind of uncomfortable?

Well, I started to see my own patterns – written and clear – right in front of me (sigh!).

Honestly, at that point I began to empathize with people working on agile teams who also sometimes resist to do retrospectives. Quite often the root cause of this behavior is that leaving the comfort zone is already (unconsciously) anticipated.

Eat your own dog food!

When working with individuals and teams in the business part of my life I then keep asking powerful questions. And depending on the context, I can keep digging… because that learning zone or the “partly-uncomfy” zone is where the magic is most likely to happen in.

Well, now it was time to eat my very own dog-food!

And I did exactly so by asking myself: “Now what? What will I actually do about those revealing patterns?”

From clarity to responsibility

Long story short: those insights, that clarity, told me that I actually didn’t listen (well-enough) to my body for quite a long time.

After seeking another coaching session (somehow I needed kind of a double-confirmation), I had things crystal clear on the table in front of me: it was time to ask for help right now! So I finally took full responsibility for that part of life and made health my top-priority.

Within the next blogpost I will share what made me change to 6-Minutes-Diary before I reached the end of the Klarheit Journal.

Take care,
Cosima