This is the announcement post for the “21-Day Journaling Challenge” (21DJC) for November 2011. The challenge is over but you can still do the tasks in your own time! Visit the overview page for all Journaling Challenge tasks and posts.
Last week, I asked all of you what you wanted to see for November’s Challenge. Many of you commented with excellent ideas, and from there, I cast a poll for you to vote for your top pick. 354 votes were casted, and the winner is clear… a journaling challenge is what we’ll be having in this month of November! 😉
Introducing: 21-Day Journaling Challenge (#21DJC)
Come next Monday, November 7, we’ll be having a 21-Day Journaling Challenge! Are you ready? Because I sure am! 😀
Why Journal? 5 Key Benefits
- Connect with your inner self. We’re always busy with our daily life, rushing from one task to the next, never stopping to connect with our inner self. Journaling helps you to (re)connect with that inner self, because it’s when you peel off that external veneer and write from your heart.
- Grow. It’s undisputed that journaling is a fantastic tool for personal growth. The blog at Personal Excellence is my personal, public journal, and writing here in the past 3 years has allowed me to gain so many revelations about myself, and in turn grow as an individual. To be really honest with you, I doubt I’d be as conscious as I am today if I hadn’t been writing all these stuff at the blog.
- Help you gain mental clarity. In Increase Your Mental Clarity in 15 Minutes, I shared a brain dumping exercise, where you expel the things circulating your mind so you can have a clearer mind for other tasks. Journaling is sort of the same thing. See it as sorting out the files and folders in your computer so it’s easier for you to find what you want.
- Improve your writing skills. Whether or not you’re interested to be a writer, the fact is this – writing is a key tool of communication, right next to speaking. Every day, we write to convey our message to others, be it in work, school, or personal life. And to improve your writing skills, you’ve to first spend time in writing in the first place! Think: To develop any talent, you need to invest your 10,000 hours. And what better way than through 21DJC?? 😉
- The 5th benefit is integral to joining 21DJC. By joining 21DJC and journaling with a big group, you’re going to get exposed to a whole lot more insights than journaling by yourself. You’re going to be so much richer, wiser, and intelligent, because you’ll have access to the perspectives of hundreds of different people of different backgrounds, from all around the world. How’s that for a mega boost in personal growth?? 😀
How It’s Going To Work
- Starting next Mon (Nov 7), which is Day 1 of the challenge, I’ll be posting one question a day, for reflection. The question may be a very simple, benign question, to a deep, thought-provoking question. The intention is to get you to think, reflect, and write. Some questions will be loosely based on questions from the hit post, 101 Important Questions To Ask Yourself In Life.
- Your task is to answer the question and share your answers via the comments area within the day itself.
- Use as many or as few words as you like. I recommend to go for at least 30 words; more if you can. That’s because the more you type, the more you get to the deepest answers within you. Usually the top-level answers are just fluff; nothing more than mere conditioning from the society and media. It’s the answers within you that we’re looking for.
- In each day’s post, I’ll include a simple text box where you can type your answer in, for your convenience. I’ll also include a word counter, just in case you want to know how many words you’ve typed.
- After typing your answers in the text box, copy+paste in the day’s comment area and share it with everyone else.
- Besides just posting your answers, check out others’ answers too. Share your thoughts. Discuss your answers. This is a group challenge, and we’re all here to learn and engage with one another!
- The challenge will end after 21 days, which is 27 Nov, Sunday. I will close all comments and 21DJC posts by 30 Nov, Wed.
How can you do well in 21DJC? Having been writing at Personal Excellence for 3 years, I’ve a fair amount of experience when it comes to writing. Here are some tips I have for you:
- Just write whatever comes to mind. Seriously. Leave the editing for later.
- Clear your mind first before you do your writing. This can be just a few seconds of tuning in with yourself. Don’t write while you’re talking to your friend on the phone, or while your parents are nagging at you, or while you are watching TV. That’ll only result in pretty poor quality output.
- If you’re short of time, make use of time pockets. For example, when you’re waiting for the bus/train; traveling to school/work; waiting in the queue; waiting for a meeting to start; ironing your clothes; and so on.
- Don’t worry about the number of words. It’s okay if you have 10 words only. It’s okay if you have over 100, 300, or 500 words even. Focus on conveying your desired message – that’s the key.
- That said, write as much as you can to get to the deepest answers. As I mentioned above, the first answers are usually external, imposed messages. It’s the answers within you that we are looking for. You can delete the top level answers after you are done.
- Since it’s a public challenge where other members will be reading your answers, I seek your help to use proper capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar where you can help it. Common English mistakes include using “your” instead of “you’re”, “dissappoint” instead of “disappoint”, “suppossed” instead of “supposed”, “occassion” instead of “occasional”, and so on. Please also do not use chat speak and shorthands like ‘d’ instead of ‘the’, ‘mi’ instead of ‘me’, ‘haf’ instead of ‘have’, and so on. It’s pretty rude to type up a whole passage laden with English mistakes and expect others to plough through that behemoth of errors. It’s perfectly okay if English is not your first language. However, it’s not okay though if you’re just being lazy and inconsiderate.
- Let your heart do the speaking. Don’t worry about your command of English (see #6). We’re not here to compete on whose English is the best! This is not an English or writing competition. This challenge is all about journaling, self-reflection, and sharing of insights.
- Since you may get special “a-ha”s through the course of 21DJC, you may want to create a special 21DJC file to store your journal entries. Simply create a word or text document and save your entries inside every day as you type/share them here at PE.
Regular challenge members should know the drill by now! 😉 3 steps to sign up:
- Sign up for the Personal Excellence newsletter and RSS Feed now. So you will receive all the tasks for the challenge – The daily tasks will be delivered to your inbox every day as they are posted. Signing up for the newsletter will also get you 2 members-exclusive ebooks, 101 Things To Do Before You Die and Most Inspiring Quotes of All Time! Not only that, you’ll get a life-time access of free personal excellence articles from PE! 😉
- Spread the word about the challenge via emailing to a friend, liking on Facebook, retweeting on Twitter, voting on Google Plus and/or even posting on your blog if you own a blog. The more people we can get to join the challenge, the more powerful the experience is for all of us!! There are the convenient share buttons at the bottom of the post for this purpose.
- Last but not least, post a comment here with your intention to sign up. Make sure your email is the same as the one you used to sign up for the Personal Excellence newsletter in step #1.
Once you do the 3 steps above, I’ll update the participants list with your name within 24 hours!
This is not compulsory, but staying connected with the community will enhance your experience of the challenge. Many readers are on my social media pages, where I post latest updates on my life, including real time updates about challenges and more.
- If you have Facebook: Join my Facebook page (over 3,200 readers to date!!)
- If you have Twitter: Follow me on Twitter @celestinechua. Use #21DJC in your tweets so other participants who look up the hashtag can see your tweets too.
- Blog comments: This is where all the discussion and sharing on the challenge will take place. Bookmark Personal Excellence and check by the comments section of the daily posts. Post as many replies as you want; ask questions; share your thoughts; add your 2 cents to others’ comments!
Spread the Word!
The best way to make this challenge a real success is to get as many people on board as possible. Those of you who have been in previous challenges would have experienced this – When we have more people doing the tasks with us, we generate more positive energy, we gain momentum, and all of us benefit together. We get more people sharing their results, their insights, and we learn so much more in the process.
Hence, I need your help to share this to as many people as you can. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Email, etc (all share buttons can be found at the end of the article, if you’re reading this at the blog and not your email reader). Get all your friends, family and acquaintances to join. The more people who sign up, the more powerful this experience is going to be!
Get Ready for the First Question on Nov 7!
Are you excited?? Because I surely am!! 😀 Let’s get going, guys!
Update Nov 9, ’11: Sign ups are now closed – we have a whooping 650 official participants! 😀 Join us now: 21DJC Day 1 – What Would You Do If You Have 1 Million Dollars?