Updated: Aug 13, 2019
Do you ever slow down to reflect on the life you are living? I rarely do. I journal off and on, but not regularly. This weekend I wrote my quarterly reflections. It has been a FULL 3 months (I know you relate). Journaling was an attempt to be present with the magnitude of several key events. It was soooo helpful that I want to create a regular practice.
I created bullet lists under the following headings:
· Highlights of the prior 3 months (March, April & May)
· Losses to grieve
· Wins to celebrate
· Goals for next quarter
· Books I read and what I learned
· Things that made me smile
· Ways I tended to my soul
· Things that worked
· Things that didn’t work
It took less than 15 minutes and 4 pages in a journal. Totally worth it!!!
Here are 3 things I learned from my 3 in 3:
1. Chronicling life in 3-month intervals is manageable and effective for my life in this season. It provided clarity, perspective and intention. It felt good to pause and reflect on the life I’m living. Life happens fast – highs and lows keep coming. This exercise gave me a broad picture of the combined intensity of the events. It’s a perspective I can’t access in the middle of the storm. It was good for my soul to revisit the events, their significance and my feelings.
2. Clarity on what I want to focus on this quarter. I can easily identify what I want to stop doing, start doing and continue doing. For example, start taking notes on what I learn from the books I read. No screens after 9pm. (I forgot my goal to be screen free after 9pm, so it’s time to get back on track. No shaming, simply a re-commitment to the goal.) I began using an alarm on my phone at 1:30 each day to stop for silence and stillness with God. The alarm helps me remember to pause and center myself in Jesus. I will keep using the alarm. I’m clear that travel is a priority for our family. It’s where we want to spend our money – short term and long term. It’s worth it.
*** For a short version of the 3 in 3, simply journal what you want to stop, start and continue in the next quarter, month, or week. It’s a powerful tool to help you live the life you say you want to live, instead of living by default.
3. I need to deep dive into the emotions around a few key life events. Writing helps me connect with my feelings and my inner world. There were major highs (2 retreats - YIPPEE) and major lows (1 significant death, 1 huge loss, 3 cancer diagnoses) and they happened back to back. High, low, high, low. It was too intense to sort out at the time because the waves kept coming. It took everything to keep standing and moving forward. Now that things have slowed down, it’s time to revisit this intense season. I choose to revisit the events, internalize them and honor them well. I need to intentionally connect with my emotions, thoughts and the new reality that comes from change. It’s important work. Without prioritizing it, I will neglect the gift the work provides. It is essential for who I am and who I want to be. I will do it through writing, soul conversations with emotionally healthy friends and my amazing Christian Counselor. We don’t get through the big stuff alone. Find a tribe.
Now it’s your turn. Reading about me won’t impact your life the way action will. (That was said with love and an encouraging smile.)
I challenge you to create your own 3 in 3. Whatever format works for you – use my headings, make up your own, or try the stop, start and continue. I would love to know what you learn through the process. Email me or comment below.
Cheering for you on your journey. Enjoy the life God created you to live! I will share another 3 in 3 next quarter.