Journaling provides the perfect channel for introspection. Writing, even for only a few minutes a day, helps you be more present for the rest of the day. It cultivates a sense of awareness, calmness, and purpose. It boosts creativity. It can help you cope with stress and anxiety. It can improve sleep, memory, organization, and communication skills.
Journaling offers a private zone for looking back, being present, and looking forward. Writing about challenges can help you process them; writing about achievements can help boost your self-esteem. You may start to appreciate things you didn’t notice before, and these discoveries can help you grow into the kind of teacher and person you want to be.
Veteran teacher, presenter, and author Dorthy VanderJagt brings you this 80-day journal with prompts to help you develop greater self-care and mindfulness in her book Permission to Pause.
Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt is a teacher, administrator, and sought-after speaker with an extensive educational background from the classroom to administration. She is well-known for developing energizing, educational workshops that provide educators with practical strategies for immediate use.
She works as a leadership coach for administrators; coordinates seminars; and has published research on problems facing schools, leadership, and curriculum strategies. Journaling has helped her through difficult times in her life and she wants to share the power of journaling and self-care with you.
For the greatest benefit and impact of journaling, make it a habit. Create a consistent time, frequency, and space where you give yourself ten or fifteen minutes of quiet. You may want to write every day, every other day, or three days a week. You may want to write in the morning, during lunch, or just before bed.
As for Dorthy, journaling has allowed her to create clarity and increase her self-awareness. She prefers to journal in the morning, as it helps her center and set a positive tone for the day.
She says, "I create a quiet space, play meditation music, and light a candle. I work my way through the sections of the journal, checking in with my self-care, noting my gratitude, thinking about how I want to impact others, choosing how I will act on my intentions, and writing freely as I wish. Afterward, I feel more optimistic and tend to focus on the positive."
"I gain clarity for my day and make an effort to stay focused on my priorities. I enjoy having this personal space where I can guide my favorite pen to record my learnings and reflections."
This journal offers sections on self-care, gratitude, making a difference, taking action, inspiring quotes and journal space. This is the section where you will be able to write down your thoughts, ideas, goals, and inspirations, and a unique prompt for each day.
Here are 5 journal prompts to get you started. Be sure to spend time with each question and really search your heart for the answer.
1. What makes me happy? Is anything standing in the way of my happiness?
2. How can I focus on being present with others today?
3. We all have doubts. What are my doubts, and how can I overcome them?
4. How do I deal with failure? What lessons can I teach students about failure?
5. What is my greatest strength as a teacher, and why?
Dorthy says, "I wish for you the self-permission to pause, the peace of mind that comes from writing in this journal, and a purposeful life moving forward."