A Half-Decade of Discovery: Uncovering Deep Insights with Long-Term Journaling

This year I started a new journal, and since I’ve been keeping it up for almost a full year, I want to share my insights.

This type of journal is called a 5-year journal.

I started it because I am a stationary addict and love journaling! Now, with continuous use, I realise the value it can bring.

Let’s dive in!

The 5-Year Journal

A 5-year journal typically has one page or one spread (two adjacent pages) per 5 years. It is split into five sections. You fill out one section per day, and next year you will fill out the next on the same day.

There are several brands out there, and I’m sure you can find the right one for you; however, it also works with a normal notebook as long as it has at least 365 pages!

This enables you to keep memories and observe change over time.

Capture Growth and Change

Documenting five years of life offers unique insights. I also observed some of them in my first year.

I write my entries in the evening or the morning after. I capture what type of day I had, and then I write what I did. The main highlights only. My main thoughts and patterns of behaviour.

While I write my entries, I’m wondering what I will think of them in one or five years. This gives me perspective.

Will something matter and impact me in the coming years? If not, there is no reason to fuss over it.

Tips: How to Sustain a 5-Year Journaling Practice

What will make you keep it up is to make it meaningful to you and manageable.

There was a period in April when I didn’t manage to keep up with it. The habit just disappeared, and there is a gap of 1.5 months where I don’t have any memories now! This is what it feels like.

If I don’t keep it up, I will miss a chunk of my growth and life to reflect on later.

That might sound drastic to you, and that is okay. You have to find your own meaning.

It usually takes me less than 5 minutes to write my entry for the day. This is manageable for me.

I’m looking forward to next year, when I get to read what I felt the year before.

Your Action Items:

1. Start with intention: Be clear on what you want to document.
2. Establish a Consistent Routine: Decide when and how much time you want to invest, and make it a regular habit.
3. Reflect and Review: Look back from time to time on past entries and observe patterns and how you grow and change over time.

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Last Update: December 08, 2023