Starting a 50/50 Journal
By Kathi Lipp
I am a serial journaler. In my years walking on this planet, I have left an impressive number of three page-filled journals in the wake of my path. I am a sucker for a cute journal—something romantic about a private place to keep my thoughts and dreams. Each time I’m at a bookstore I can’t help but peruse the journal section, dreaming about the beautiful things I’d write in that gorgeous black leather bound book—or maybe the bright orange and green floral journal with
the matching pen. Oh—the possibilities.
That is how it went on the day that I met my new journal. With its dark red cover and Irish proverb on the front, it not only matched my mood, it matched my hair color and heritage at the same time. Love at first sight.
After purchasing the journal and a hazelnut latte, I curled up in one of the bookstore chairs to … what I didn’t know.
I didn’t want this to just be another started and abandoned journal. I wanted this journal to be different. I spent almost half an hour staring at a blank page.
If I knew I was going to live another 50 years, what would I want those fifty years to look like—what would I like to say I had done with that time?
So, I started to write everything down. I figured that if I was healthy and stayed out of the way of people talking on cell phones while driving, it was conceivable that I could have another fifty years on this planet. I wrote down fifty things I wanted to accomplish in the next fifty years.
Somehow, this new journal seemed different than the ones I’d started before. This was not a daily recitation of deep thoughts that I had while walking on the beach. This felt big, important, and all for me.
I felt silly writing some of those goals down—getting my nails done once a week—that seemed less like a goal and more like self-indulgence. “Take a gourmet cooking class” seemed a little frivolous as well. But one of the things I promised myself was that I was going to be very free in what I wrote down—I would not censor myself because it seemed silly or trivial. I trusted that these goals were between me and God, and asked Him to bless me in the goals that were within His will, and to take away the desire for the ones that may not be from Him.
It has been fascinating to see God working in my 50/50 journal. About once a month, I update any progress made towards the goal. It can be as simple as buying a book on cross-country travel; I make a note of it on the page that has “Travel around the United States for a month without a schedule” as the goal. Any progress is noted and celebrated.
In my 50/50 journal, every small step is recorded and celebrated—my own personal record of how deeply interested God is in delighting me by first putting desires in my heart, and then blessing me by giving me the desires of my heart.
We all have these nebulous goals in our lives that we want to accomplish, someday.
If you have never taken the time to commit them to paper, do it today. There is power in writing your goals down. They become concrete and tangible. The goals are easier to break down into smaller steps—giving you a real chance at seeing those dreams become a reality.
~ Article adapted from a chapter in The Me Project by Kathi Lipp.
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Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today's Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. See www.Kathilipp.com