We’re over a week into the #GlobalYou365 journaling challenge, and so far I’m loving it (more on that below). What about you?
If you’re new to SPS you might be wondering what the #GlobalYou365 journaling challenge even is. Well, it’s an opportunity to reflect on who you are, now that you’ve been abroad, in just a couple minutes a day.
I started this challenge because I kept hearing global adventurers say “I know that going abroad changed me, but it’s SO hard to describe exactly how!” I know how frustrating that is because if you can’t articulate how you’ve changed and what you learned abroad, it’s nearly impossible to share your abroad experiences in a meaningful way in job interviews and with friends and family. And lacking this self-knowledge makes it even harder to create the satisfying and sustainable global life you want. The #GlobalLife365 journaling challenge is here to help!
Here’s how I’m doing the #GlobalYou365 challenge:
- I’m giving myself about 5 minutes each day to record my answer to the day’s prompt. I typically jot down the first thing that comes to mind and use that as a starting point for further reflection.
- I naturally lean towards writing, so I’m challenging myself to take a more creative approach design-wise. Not every day, but as often as I can.
- To keep things simple, I often write a list or simply jot down keywords.
- I’m using my travel pocket journals for this project because they’re small. I use one page per prompt, making daily reflection sound do-able.
- I glued January’s prompt list to the front of my journal so I never have to search for the day’s prompt.
- I’m letting go of perfectionism. This is a hard one for me. I want to record the perfect answer and have the perfect design in my journal. But I know that doing so would require me to turn the #GlobalYou365 journaling challenge into a full-time job! And perfection isn’t what the challenge is about anyway.
- I’m sharing my pages on Instagram. This is another hard one for me. I’m not one to share a lot of my life online, and so it feels awkward sharing each day’s journal page. So why am I doing it? Because I want to challenge myself to put myself “out there”, even when I’m not completely ready. And because I want to show you the challenge, not just talk about it.
When I initially put together the prompts for January, I thought they might seem too superficial. But once I started journaling a few minutes each day, I found myself reflecting deeply at random times throughout the day. For example, a few days ago the prompt was “favorite travel snacks.”
I spent a few minutes jotting down the snacks I often have in my day bag or carry-on when I travel. Those 5 minutes led to a day of thinking about 1) why I choose certain snacks and what they say about what I value, 2) how I’ve changed as a traveler, and person in general, over the years 3) how that change is reflected in something as simple as the snacks I gravitate towards when I’m on the road. That led to making some connections about myself that I hadn’t consciously made before.
What I’m loving about this challenge is that the prompts are simple enough that I can record my thoughts in a few minutes each day, which means I’m more likely to stick with it. And the practice of recording my thoughts each day is naturally leading to much more substantial reflection.
I no longer worry that the prompts are too superficial. Simple topics can lead to big insights about who you are and what’s important to you!
5 tips for getting started
Want to know yourself on a deeper level and have fun at the same time? Awesome! Here are few suggestions for starting the #GlobalYou365 journaling challenge.
- Join any time! Click here to get access to each month’s set of journaling prompts. (I’ll post the prompts on or a few days before the first day of each month.)
- Make it easy. Set yourself up for success by setting the bar as low as possible so you can’t not succeed. My bar is spending no more than 5 minutes recording my answer to the day’s prompt in my pocket journal. I’ve decided that a single word response is totally ok. How can you make this challenge so easy that you can’t help but succeed?
- Make it fun. I love writing in my little SPS pocket travel journals, I love colored pens, and I love adding a little creativity to my pages. What would make the challenge fun for you?
- Figure out your challenge. Making the challenge easy and fun makes it more likely that you’ll actually do the challenge. But you do need to make sure that there is a challenge so you get something out of it! For me, it’s recording my answer in a creative way and sharing my pages on Instagram. What’s your challenge?
- Let your mind wander…and learn. What you record on paper is less important than the internal reflection it sparks. I have the most powerful insights when I let an idea percolate in the back of my mind. I highly recommend simply spending a few minutes each day answering the prompt and then seeing where reflection takes you.
I’ve been talking with some of the SPS community members who are doing the #GlobalYou365 challenge and in the coming weeks I’m planning to highlight how they’re making the challenge their own. Stay tuned for that!