Resolved: Living Well One Line A Day

One Line A Day Journal

After vowing to NOT BUY ANYMORE NOTEBOOKS, I, of course, went out and bought another notebook. But I have an excuse. This one is DIFFERENT. It’s blank, but structured, and just the thing I’ve been looking for. So I invoked the “notebook purchasing exception clause” (which I just made up) and bought this five-year reflection book at my local Barnes & Noble. It’s a late Christmas present or early birthday present. Whatever. NOW the vow is back on. (Until it’s not.)

One Line A Day Journal

I was ready to buy the original One Line A Day blue version when my eyes fell on this taxi yellow Living Well version. I had to have the yellow because a) the weather has been SO bleak and gray and the yellow reminds me of the sun and warmth and hope; b) the orange ribbon is…well…orange. Bright and cheery. If I can’t have the sun, a yellow notebook with a vibrant orange ribbon will have to do. Every little bit of brightness helps when you’re trudging around in snow and wind and bitter cold.

Line A Day Journal

The non-color reason I wanted this is that it’s a five-year journal, meaning that there’s one page for each day of the year, with space for entries over the course of five years. So, for example, I’ll write an entry for January 1, 2015 through 2019, all on one page. Whether it’s the weather or my mood or what I had for dinner, ultimately, I’ll be able to read about a specific day over the span of five years. I’ll be able to see where I made progress and where I didn’t, where I was grateful and where I was whining, where I succeeded and where I stumbled. It should make for interesting reading five years down the road.

Line A Day Journal

Because my journaling (brief and repeated attempts) always seems to devolve into a basic “we did this” and “we did that” monotony, I was particularly pleased to see a page and half of writing prompts at the front of this book. I want this to be more than just a daily record of chores, errands, and day-to-day minutiae. I’d like to dig a little deeper. But how? What do I write about? Well, the book suggests a number of things, from “What excites you?” to “What are you afraid of?” to “How will you reward yourself tomorrow?” You can track exercise, sleep, glasses of water— any kind of habit. The prompts are nice because they give you a gentle nudge when you’re stuck. When I’M stuck.

Preferred pens

The journal is small— just 6″ x 4.5″ inches so you have to be brief and/or write quite small. I tried this before with a larger format journal and petered out after a year or two as the missed days started piling up. I think the fact this book is smaller, and thus more portable, will make it easier for me to keep up with my entries. At over an inch thick, it’s not pocketable, but fits fine in my Levenger messenger bag so taking it along is not a problem. Plus, I REALLY want to keep this one going. Five days in and all is well. Just a line or two and I’m done.

Preferred pens

In order to keep my writing small and precise, I’ve selected three favorite machined pens to use in this book— the TactileTurn Shaker with a black 0.5 mm Moleskine gel refill, the Ti2 Techliner, by Ti2 Design, with a 0.5 mm Signo UMR-85N black refill, and the Karas Kustoms Retrakt outfitted with a 0.38 mm Pilot Juice blue-black refill. All lay down neat, clean, and crisp lines, and are a joy to hold and use (reviews forthcoming). That’s key— journaling with a pen you enjoy.

Living Well One Line A Day

I’m not really one to make resolutions (we can see how well the “don’t buy any new notebooks” one went), but I HAVE resolved to stick with this journal. FOR FIVE YEARS. Hold me to that, okay?!

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post. I just wanted to point you in the direction of some favorite goods.

23 thoughts on “Resolved: Living Well One Line A Day

  1. This looks like something I can manage. I have started journals in the past, too, and gotten discouraged at not keeping up with them. I may have to break my no-more-notebooks promise, too.

  2. I have that original blue one, gathering dust on the top of my desk. I think it has evolved into part of the decoration now. Your post reminds me that it really is my fault that I couldn’t keep it up. I used to blame the trips that I frequently make and the ahem, weight of the book. But it’s just me….
    I’ll start again tonight!

  3. I’m terrible about even keeping the days events jotted down in my date book, but I like the idea of a five year journal where you can just jot down a little bit each day. An emotion, a thought, the price of gas. I might try one of these one day. It might be fun to start one next year so that I finish in 2020… I’ll have to keep it in mind. Maybe having only a little to write about would be good. Though I still think I’d need a regular journal because some of what I write is pages long.

    • I want to keep a regular journal as well. I think that keeping this little one may give me the momentum I need. We shall see!

  4. Just purchased a year and a half (2014-2015) one week per two pages Moleskine diary from Barnes and Noble today (half off!). I’ve already written in it this afternoon and I was surprised at how much I recorded for each day since the first of the year. Wish I had gotten a page per day diary instead now. This is my first time journaling and since I’m starting a new life, I thought it was a perfect time to record my everyday events/thoughts. I’ve wanted to do this for years! Let’s hope I can keep it up.

    • Carrie!! Let’s keep each other on track! Here’s to the new life!! (Last night I was re-reading entries from January 2014 in my current “regular” journal and even though I didn’t feel like I was writing anything all that meaningful at the time, it’s interesting to see what I was thinking about things, and to get some perspective.)

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  8. I’ve seen these before and thought they were fairly neat–though as the loquacious type, I worry that I’d write too much to fit in each day’s section!

    For the past two years or so, I’ve cultivated the habit of writing a little bit in a journal every day before bed. I like the practice a lot, but I do have a tendency to slide into the “‘we did this’ and ‘we did that’ monotony” you describe. I didn’t realize these journals came with a list of prompts–they could be just the thing to revitalize my own daily journaling (if I could find their text somewhere).

    • It’s hard to break the “we did this” habit (I’m still kind of stuck in it, to be honest), but even that is useful down the road when you’re trying to pinpoint when a specific thing happened. I need to learn to use this journal a little differently, then a “regular” journal for getting down the day to day stuff…or vice versa. Work in progress!

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  11. Hi Mary! I’m starting a 5 year journal to chronicle my baby boys milestones and every day life, and have been looking for success stories. It’s been a little over three years since you posted this article… how did your journaling hold up?!
    I’d love to know!

    • I have to say that this particular one was a fail for me. BUT, I have managed to maintain a “morning pages” journaling habit for about a year and a half, AND always fill the daily page in my Hobonichi Techo (started my third one this year). The Techo is easier for me because it’s always with me, while the book I wrote about here seemed “extra” and I didn’t successfully incorporate it into my daily routine. So, in summary, I sort of failed, but then also sort of succeeded. Your project sounds awesome! Congrats on your baby boy!! I should revisit this book and make use of it in some way…maybe as a dream journal or something. Thanks for the nudge!

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