How far have you come?

In case you didn’t know – I’m a bit crackers about notebooks. I just love them…and last year on my birthday the lovely Dave (my hubby) bought me a fantastic one. The mother of all notebooks! It was A4, purple and had a velvet cover! In fact it was so lovely that I left it at the side of my bed for two months unopened as I didn’t know what I could use it for. None of my scribbles seemed good enough.

Then in October (after Dave found out I still wasn’t using it, and told me to get on with it!) I decided that I’d start a journal. Now, over the years I’ve had a few goes at keeping a diary, but didn’t enjoy it all that much, too much structure, so instead I decided to keep a random journal so I didn’t feel the pressure of writing down every little thought every single day – and promised myself that I’d only write when I felt the need – and that’s exactly what I did. Every so often I’d scribble down my thoughts, aspirations, goals, frustrations etc. Sometimes it was weekly, sometimes once a month (but never daily!) and I soon found that I really enjoyed it.

Anyway, last week I was putting my youngest to bed and she wanted me to sit on the end of her bed until she fell asleep. So I grabbed my journal and using the crack of light coming in through the door decided I’d quickly do an entry. I opened it up and suddenly caught sight of the date on the very first page. It was pretty much exactly a year since I’d started (give or take a day!) so before I knew it I was reading through everything that I’d written over the last year cos that’d be a nice thing to do wouldn’t it?…Yeah right!!

Every so often I read an entry that talked about things that I planned to do and every time that happened I kept thinking…. ‘I didn’t do that.’  ‘Nope…didn’t do that either…’ and I started to feel really rubbish. Pretty soon I’d read the full year and although there was loads of lovely stuff in it – all I’d managed to do was remind myself of some things I’d wanted to do…and hadn’t – and I was only half way through this fantastic notebook!!

Not to be beaten, I quickly grabbed a pen and started making a list of all the things I had done (but wasn’t in the book!!) On and on I went until I’d exhausted everything and the list was amazing – every achievement that I might not have planned for, but had done all the same…and it turned out that I hadn’t had a wasted year after all. I’d done loads of stuff!! And more to the point moved massively forward with my goals, albeit in a different route than the one I’d intended.

And there I was sat in the dark thinking…why on earth haven’t I done this sooner? I’m a massive goal fan, so why have I never given myself the chance to review progress? Sometimes we’re so busy running after our goals and planning that we don’t always take the time to have a sense check of just how far we’ve come.


So – my challenge for you is to do just that. Grab yourself a cuppa, turn off your e-mails for just a minute and write down everything that you’ve done so far this month / year no matter how small or routine you think it is…

And let me know how you get on



  1. Vicky Grisenkova

    Hi Barbara,

    Love this one! I am a bit lover of those lovely little notebooks which I tend to buy most years. The idea of not having to constantly write down every thought is quite refreshing, and why haven’t I thought of that already?!

    I think my November resolution and in the spirit of spontaneity (I don’t think I can be patient enough to wait until the New Year) will be to start a similar “feel good” kind of notebook.

    Thank you for another lovely article!

  2. admin

    Vicky I have to say I LOVE your idea of a feel good notebook!! What a fab idea!! I’m on it too!! Thanks so much for sharing and writing a comment. Don’t forget to report back and let me know how it’s going xx


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