In Search of Goals: 3

I promised to share some thoughts about “Journaling” and “Images” for your Goal Notebooks. So here they are:


Journaling is journeying . . . traveling through introspective space . . . a trip without reservations. A blank page provides me with that instinctive need to fill it with words — my words. I have an entire bookshelf filled with journals: some have pages filled with words, sentences, paragraphs; others are partially filled; still others have yet to be opened. The unopened ones have such beautiful covers, such velvety pages, that it takes courage to open one up and write the first word. But I eventually do reach for one and write a few sentences in it, quickly, before I can change my mind.

I carry a journal with me everywhere I go for two reasons: (1) to have paper handy when an idea blooms and (2) to force myself to begin to develop that idea. I am not, by nature, a courageous person, and I would rather record an idea and let it go at that. The developing part takes courage. The journal makes me a more courageous person.

Where does the Goal Notebook fit into all this? As soon as a journal idea is developed — even a little bit developed — it is on its way to the Goal Notebook section labeled Journaling Ideas.  I copy it here, work on it, embellish it, edit it, until finally it is ready to be moved to either the section on Long- Term or Short-Term Goals.


This portion of my Goal Notebook is the least tidy. I collect images of two varieties: (1) things that are printed, snapped, or sketched. These include postcards, pieces of paper torn from newspapers and magazines, and snapshots. I staple or paste these onto the notebook pages.  The subject must always be something that encourages a strong feeling. For example, my notebook contains snapshots and sketches of several houses that (metaphorically) opened their doors and invited me in. It also contains faces, flowers, birds, brick paths, and a small printed card that commands me: “Just do it!” These are all visual images that have been recorded in printed form.

(2) I include images that are seen or heard and that I can describe with my pen. For example: “The dust motes fell slowly, softly, like snow on a winter night.” Or, “The sparrow tree is a giant aviary, a gymnasium.” Or, “The clouds are frothy bubbles on a glass of milk.” These images can be from my own imagination or from quotations (with sources noted).

Such images seem important to me when I record them in my journal, but I’m seldom sure why. By the time they get to my  Goal Notebook, it always surprises me to find that so many of them seem to fit into something I am currently writing. I believe in serendipity, don’t you?

If you haven’t already created your own Goal Notebook, I encourage you to get started. You won’t be sorry!


4 responses to “In Search of Goals: 3

  1. Gloria McQueen Stockstill

    “The sparrow tree is a giant aviary, a gymnasium.”

    You have such beautifully descriptive words!


  2. Thanks, Gloria. You made my minuet of a morning turn into a symphony!

  3. Marjorie Flathers

    This is SUCH great imagery, Marilyn. Good going! Marge

  4. Marilyn, you are certainly a Word Smith! Beautifully done.

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