How Quickly Do You Give Up On Your Dreams?

I was twelve years old when I first read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. It was possibly the first science fiction book I read. I didn’t even know at the time that it was science fiction. The book did something that no book had done before with that much impact. It took me on a journey, and left me with longing to return.

Since then, I have always wanted to go on a submarine.

It’s been a while since I was twelve, but that desire to go on a submarine never quite left me. In 2010, I finally managed to fulfill my desire, by going on a Yellow Submarine in Tenerife. Even though I knew the whole under-the-sea set up was arranged for tourists, I loved every minute of it. I loved diving under the ocean. My dream had sort of come true, but not quite. Because I wanted to go on a “proper” submarine. I wanted to go on a Navy Submarine. I didn’t give up on that, but I didn’t really expect it to come true either.

Fast forward to last week. I was on a business trip, driving from Connecticut to Rhode Island with Max, who is a colleague and a good friend. On the way, we saw a sign for the US Submarine Museum. Just at that time, I was talking to Max about how much I wanted to go on a submarine, and that what I really wanted was to go on Nautilus.

He asked: Nautilus? As in Jules Verne? Does that exist?

My answer: It does in my head.

This is the kind of answer that does not surprise people who know me. So the conversation ended, and I didn’t think anything of it. When I read the sign for the submarine museum, in my head, I pictured a museum with historical pictures or some bits and bobs from old submarines. I didn’t really think about going there. I didn’t even think I would ever see it again. We carried on driving to Rhode Island, went to the meeting.

But on our drive back to Connecticut, Max asked if I wanted to stop at the submarine museum. If he hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have thought about it. If he hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have said anything. If he hadn’t asked, I would have missed out on what was quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event.

So we took a detour.

There was the museum, which actually turned out to be very interesting. But more importantly, because of Memorial Day coming up, there was an event going on. Visitors were able to go on an actual Navy Submarine, and it was no other than USS Nautilus.

Until that moment, I didn’t even know that US Navy had submarines named Nautilus.

Until that moment, I didn’t actually expect to be able to go on a submarine named Nautilus.

I can’t explain what it felt like to walk around the cramped quarters, see the engine room, and have my picture taken next to Jules Verne’s plaque, all the while feeling this strange feeling – a mixture of elation and astonishment – that such an old dream came true. It was a child’s dream that I dreamt.

How often, do childhood dreams come true?

Or is it that we give up on them too soon?

How does this story of a science fiction book, of a submarine, and of a childhood dream relate to journaling? It doesn’t relate to journaling. It relates to life – and life relates to journaling.

What are your old dreams?

How many are you holding onto?

How many dreams you have given up on because they were too unrealistic, or too childish? The next time you feel that way, I want you to remember this story. Because if I can go on a submarine called Nautilus, you can also go wherever you want.


Journal about your dreams. List them. Old, forgotten ones. Childish ones. New ones. Scary ones. All of them. Give yourself permission to remember your dreams, and keep on dreaming. Because everything begins with a dream. Once you have a dream, you can figure out how to make it happen. And sometimes, universe might just surprise you by handing them to you.

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3 Levels of Journaling (and Why Kaizen Journaling is not Just About Tips and Techniques)

If you’ve been following the blog and keeping an eye on the comments, you might have noticed an interesting discussion going on in this post. That discussion has led me to write this. I’m really pleased that it has, because it means digging deep into the value and purpose of this blog and sharing it with all of you.

Kaizen Journaling is not just about journaling tips and techniques. It wasn’t intended to be that from day one.

Here is why:

After twelve years of experience in keeping journals, I now divide journaling into three levels. These are not official rules, dictated by Journaling Gods. These levels are what I have created, because they make sense to me. They often overlap, and they will come at different stages for different people, but nonetheless, I think they exist.

[typography font=”Gentium Book Basic” size=”30″ size_format=”px”]3 LEVELS OF JOURNALING[/typography]

[typography font=”Gentium Book Basic” size=”27″ size_format=”px”]Foundation Journaling[/typography]


This is the beginning. This is when you pick up a blank notebook or download a journaling app or buy yourself a fancy journal and a fountain pen, and wonder what to write. You may write for days, or for weeks. Sometimes you write now and again for a few years. Or you might write regularly for a certain period and then stop.

In the Foundation stage, these are some common things:

Focus is quite often on the negatives

You had a bad breakup or an illness, and you journal about it to get it out of your system. You might have financial troubles that you don’t know what to do with. Journaling would either help you clarify your thoughts and eventually you will move on from that trouble, and stop journaling.

You seek out prompts and tips and read journaling articles

Once you don’t have a particular negative problem to dwell over, you don’t really know what to write. Your life feels too mundane and boring. You wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner, spend time with the family, watch kids, go to bed. Like millions of other people. There is nothing special. There is nothing to write. So you scour the internet for prompts and techniques, and look for a way to make your journal more interesting.

[typography font=”Gentium Book Basic” size=”27″ size_format=”px”]Advanced Journaling[/typography]


This is the next step. If you reach the Advanced stage, congratulations, because you are already ahead of hundreds of thousands of people who are never going to move past the Foundation stage.

You know that journaling adds value, even if you are not quite sure how. 

You begin to feel attracted to the habit. Something happens when you write in your journal. Maybe you feel soothed afterwards, or you feel like you do have someone that you can say anything to. Your mind feels clear. Your decision-making ability gets better.

You become conscious about improvement

You are still used to habits of your foundation days. You either keep a diary of your day-to-day activity, or you keep a particular type of journal such a one-liners, morning pages, gratitude journal, depression journal, dream journal etc. You are not sure how to move onto different things, and you worry about doing it right. But now and again, you have real urge to do more. Sometimes you give in and get inspired by a burst of creativity. Or you seek inspiration from other people. But you know that there is more, and you want it.

You try new things

Art journaling is often the first experiment people do. If you find that you are artistic, you move on to art journals and create amazing stuff. If your artistic ability isn’t up to your standards then you get frustrated, and look for something else. You try different prompts, and have fun with it. You learn about new techniques, such as creating lists. You join in journaling challenge. You write daily, and you write more.

[typography font=”Gentium Book Basic” size=”27″ size_format=”px”]Kaizen Journaling[/typography]


This is the final step, because it never ends. When you get to this stage, journaling is both a reflection of and an extension to your life. It is not a hobby or a chore. It is not something you force yourself to do. It is part of who you are, and how you process life. Kaizen Journaling is for a Kaizen Life.

You focus on thinking big

Day log is still important. You want to record the life you are living, but that is only a part of it. You journal for progress. You journal to dream your big, audacious goals and then you create a plan of how you will make them happen.

You analyse your self for personal growth

Authenticity is important, but authenticity doesn’t mean we stay as we are, and nurse our weaknesses. To live a Kaizen Life means constant growth, and without awareness, there cannot be growth. You realise that, and so you read your old journals, you evaluate the emotions and the rational, and you observe your progress as a person. You learn to find the areas of your life where old pattern keeps repeating itself. You learn to find the blind spots that hold you back. You record your evolving personality, and your evolving dreams.

You make necessary changes based on the results

You record your evolving personality, and your evolving dreams, and you adjust your course accordingly. You use your journal as a guide to steer you in the right direction. It’s not about stubbornly doing the same thing forever, just because you once decided to do it. It’s about focusing on the right choices for you, at any given time.

You learn to gain subconscious awareness of your life, through your journals

This comes with time and practice. It comes from experience of doing many of the above things. But eventually, you get to a stage where as you journal, your mind is subconciously aware of the shifts in your life, in your opinions, and in your attitude. It is aware of your values, and where you are fooling yourself. It may take you time and effort to bring it to your conscious brain and do something about it, but the seed is there, and it will sprout if you continue on the path to a Kaizen Life.


Every article here is in itself a journaling prompt, because under every article you have an actionable step that you could journal about.

The title and the tag line of this blog tell you the core values of this blog, and each article is to help you focus on one or more of those values, whether by direct journaling tips, or ideas and questions that make you reflect on your own life.

Kaizen Jouranling is not for people looking for just journaling tips. This is for people who want to be Kaizen Warriors. This is for people who want to take their journaling to the next level, and be the best they can be.

This is not about just writing. It’s about applying. It is no use to outline your brilliant plans in a journal if you are never going to use them. Kaizen Journaling is about constantly and consciously striving towards a Kaizen Life, and understanding that the process is all about the journey, not the destination.


Spend some time, thinking or journaling about which of the 3 stages of Journaling you are at. It doesn’t matter what the answer is, because it is never too late to start, and it is never too late to start moving forward. But you need to know your starting point, before you can have a goal post.



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Ask the Readers: Why Do You Keep A Journal?

Today, I would love to learn about your journaling habits. This site is, at its core about using journaling to create the life you want. It’s about using journaling to help you achieve your ambitions, have the courage to be more audacious, and be at ease with who you are.

What is the purpose of your journaling?

Do you even keep a journal, or wish that you kept one?

Are you a daily writer, or an occasional one?

Do you use particular methods or techniques?

I would love to know anything and everything about your journaling habits. So let’s get the discussion going.


Please tell me in the comments below, Why You Keep A Journal.

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Where is the “Journaling” in Kaizen Journaling? (And my FREE Birthday Gift to You)


Recently, someone unsubscribed from this blog. Fortunately, they left a very helpful leaving comment, for which I am truly, genuinely grateful.

I always appreciate it whenever anyone takes the time to leave a comment or email me. We are all extremely busy, and so when you spend that two minutes, I know it touched you enough to make that effort.

This particular comment said:

You’re less about journaling and more about a BRIGHT SPARKLING NEW AWESOME LIFE, which is not what I’m interested in. good luck.

I’m going to be the first to admit that this site, or any site is not going to be for everyone. Just like in life, on-line people get in-sync with certain things and certain people. And that’s perfectly okay.

When I first read this, my reaction was: “But that’s what journaling is for.”  After a few minutes, I thought about it some more and came to two conclusions.

1. Either I wasn’t clearly communicating my concept of journaling


2. This person has a particular idea about journaling and it is not in sync with mine

Number 2 is beyond my control. It is simply a matter of differences, and I don’t need to worry about it. But Number 1 did concern me. As I prefer to be a woman of action, instead of worrying about it, I decided to write a post about it.

This is how I would rephrase that original comment:


I wouldn’t say “new” because most people don’t need a new life. Most of us are blessed with enough good things in life that we wouldn’t want to change everything.

All we are aiming for is improvement. Improvement in our personal growth. Improvement in our circumstances. Improvement in our relationships.

People use journals for various reasons. Some use it as a therapy. Others use it simply as a diary to log their day-to-day activity. Some people use it for emotional cleansing, family legacy, illness diary, dream diary, fiction diary, and no doubt countless other reasons. They are all valid, because journaling is about self-expression, and therefore, it is about YOUR Expression.


I use journaling for a Kaizen life. What does that mean? It means, I’m not simply sitting there, filling out pages after pages of expensive moleskine paper, getting cramps in my fingers, and pouring out words that are just venting or emotional baggage, or pretty designs or fun prompts. I do all those things too – but they are a part of my journaling, not the whole of it.

I journal because it helps me focus on issues that are prevalent in my mind. I journal to figure out the thoughts that are keeping me negative, positive, excited, enthusiastic. I journal to clarify my goals and objectives, and my dreams. I journal to figure out the next step in whatever new scheme I might be cooking up. I journal to sort through people issues. I journal to dig deeper into more spiritual aspect and work on personal development, and overcoming or at least improving my weak points.

I journal to measure my achievements and my failures, and to record a life that is uniquely mine.

By doing all of these, I consciously and deliberately attempt to take steps towards creating a life that is BRIGHT, SPARKLING, AWESOME.

Journaling for me, is not the end. It is a method by which I achieve desired results. A journal is a medium. Some people paint, others make things with their hands, I journal. It is a medium of communicating with myself, in a way that is most efficient and effective for me.

Perhaps that is not how you see journaling. And that’s okay. There are plenty of other awesome blogs that will teach you about all different kinds of journaling. I am here because I recognize what an amazing, powerful and potent tool a journal is to take control of one’s life, stop wasting time and effort, and create the life you want.

So this blog absolutely is about journaling – but it’s about practical application of journaling, as it applies to living a fulfilled life in which you are free to follow your dreams, achieve success on your own terms, and be completely and outrageously authentic. This blog is to help you embrace your inner Kaizen Warrior. 

What is your view on journaling? Please share your feedback in the comments below.

Moving On To Your Free Gift 

Tomorrow, May 6th, is my Birthday. I’m one of those people who like their birthdays (Hey what’s not to like. Life is for living and enjoying), so I wanted to do something special. And I wanted to involve you, my fellow Kaizen Warriors and people who are supporting my blog and my work by their presence and their enthusiasm.

That’s why I have decided to give YOU a present. I honestly don’t know how long I’m going to do this for. It depends on time and circumstances. But whether this lasts for a few weeks or a few months, it definitely isn’t going to be indefinite, so now is your chance.

So what do you get?

You get 15 Minutes of Free Coaching. I’ll personally help you with a particular question or problem you have, and guide you so you can use journaling, and make some clear progress.

Whether your question about improving your journaling, living a Kaizen Life, or brainstorming your personal goal or ambition – I can help.

Again, this is at absolutely NO COST to you. I’m doing it, because I want to show my appreciation to the people who are supporting Kaizen Journaling. It makes my day whenever I receive an email or a message from someone I’ve never met, telling me how my posts have helped them.

I believe, whole heartedly in Kaizen Journaling. I believe that journaling is a potent tool that can accelerate the pace of your personal and professional growth. I believe that you too can see tangible results if you utilise the power of journaling. 

All you need to do to take me up on this offer is to enter your email address below, and follow the instructions to receive your free coaching.

I look forward to working with you.

[typography font=”Yellowtail” size=”43″ size_format=”px”]-Dolly [/typography]




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