Category Archives: Journals

40 Things I Love About Myself

The following was in my digest ML from MEDIUM. I thought it would make a good writing exercise as well as an idea for one’s journal.

For the exercise Do the same as this guy did. Write Well at least 10 things You like/Love about yourself. For myself I’d have to say the #1 item would be my creativity. And I always have ideas for things (including how make other businesses better, improving products etc. but just don’t have the means of getting them out there and some I think I might need an engineering degree for. If  could ever find someone with the money their money my ideas… we could have the coolest hotel and Movie theater ever. (Even better than Alamo Draft House and tat place Is another home.

As for the exercise, The more things you love about yourself why not split them in half and make 2 star characters for stories! (or a series)


40 Things I Love About Myself  (by

You know that annoying dude who takes part in every challenge but always bends the rules to the point where you’re not even sure if he’s playing the same game? That’s me. So when I see everyone sharing 40 things they love, I can’t help but think: “How can I make that more interesting?”

Gratitude is wonderful and there’s nothing wrong with listing stuff you’re lucky to have in your life. But I think coming up with 40 things you genuinely love about yourself is an even more valuable exercise. Because when do we ever take stock of all the great things that flow from the inside out?

It feels more empowering. Kinder. I’m reminding myself of what I have that no one can ever take away from me. They might not all be things I’m responsible for, but they’re mine forever and that’s worth a lot.

I highly recommend you try and come up with a list of your own. It’s hard. But worth every second. That said, here’s mine. I hope it’ll inspire you and make you see things in yourself you didn’t know were there.

  1. Optimism. I don’t know whether I was born with it, raised to be, or cultivated it — probably all three — but I refuse to accept anything other than the idea that the day after tomorrow will be better than today. It’s a great source of motivation to work hard and do my best, and it’s made my life a lot more fun in countless ways.
  2. Blue eyes. It might not be if it wasn’t for this genetic break of dumb luck, but blue is my favorite color. The sky, water, hope, trust, loyalty, wisdom, they’re all blue to me. So every time I look in the mirror, I’m reminded I should stand for these things. Plus Superman, so it wins right there.
  3. Intelligence. I’m book-smart. It’s not a free ride to success, but it’s allowed me to breeze through a lot of things with ease that other people deem complete hell (like school). Sure, I overthink everything, but I can also wiggle out of a lot of situations where being dumbstruck just wouldn’t do.
  4. Terrible puns. If there’s a bad wordplay to be made, I’m there. Life’s too short to skip the crappy jokes. So I take one for the team and make them. And then I laugh about them anyway. Often, it catches everyone else too. Mostly because of how embarrassing it was, but hey, a laugh is a laugh.
  5. I’m short. The older I get, the more I can appreciate my default underdog situation. I might never see anything at any concert ever, but at least it’s easy to prove people wrong. No one expects a shorty to pack a metaphorical punch, but I do and I love the moment people realize it.
  6. Insane memory. The number of TV show lines, inspiring quotes, random facts and song lyrics stored in my brain is mind-boggling. I used to think this was useless for the longest time but now, as a writer, I never seem to run out of references and ideas to connect things to. Score!
  7. My smirk. I have a really great smug face. It says “I told you so” and “couldn’t help myself” and “bet you didn’t expect that” all at the same time. Maybe that’s why it always triggers a hilarious response in the person who sees it and then we all laugh together. Love it.
  8. Introversion. How to take care of baby Nik: Dump him into a pile of Legos, pick him up again four hours later. And now, thanks to this wondrous, connected world we live in, I can use the same quiet and daydreamy-ness to assemble a lifelong career around myself. Winning!
  9. Neat-freak. I’m definitely OCD when it comes to cleaning and organizing. And while I waste a ton of time checking if I have my keys for the third time, I also rarely forget anything. Locking myself out, losing my wallet, not knowing where my phone is, these almost never happen to me.
  10. Rationality. This wasn’t always the case, but thanks to my obsession with self-improvement, you can now tell me something doesn’t make sense, and if it doesn’t, I’ll agree with you and change my mind. Speaking of which…
  11. Open-mindedness. We live in a world where success depends on your brand and all brands must stand for something. Therefore, most people stick with their opinions, but it makes no sense. You’re human. All you do is change. We should applaud people who publicly change their mind, not trash them. From Walt Whitman: “I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”
  12. Irrational fear of debt. Debt can be a useful tool if used wisely, but most people don’t and never will, so they’d be better off avoiding it altogether. I’ve always done that by default and while it’s not perfect, it served me well. I feel more in control of my financial fate than anyone I know.
  13. Mr. Nice Guy. I’m too nice. I’ll have the busiest week of my life yet still say yes to revising your CV if you ask me. I had to learn not to get taken advantage of, but I’d still rather have it this way than being too selfish.
  14. Paranoia. Being paranoid about people will drive you nuts, but obsessing over plans is useful. I’m always looking over my shoulder. I have a backup for the backup of the backup. You absolutely need some minor obsession with failure if you want to succeed in business (and I guess life).
  15. Goodwill. Because I’m too nice and always have a fallback plan, it’s easy for me to trust people first. Here, have at it. What can go wrong? If I feel treated badly, I can always retreat later. But everyone deserves a shot and most people don’t disappoint you with theirs. It takes goodwill to see that.
  16. Sense of rhythm. When a catchy song is playing, my body is moving. A slight head nod, a tap of my foot, a swaggering step on the street, you are not getting this infection with music out of me. Ever. And it is contagious. It lifts people’s spirits when they see it. Not to mention my own.
  17. Zero poker face. You can read my face like a book. There might be some situations when this is bad like, you know, actual poker, but most of the time, it makes communication a lot easier. And god knows we need that.
  18. Imagination. “In meinem Kopf ist es lustig” means “it’s funny inside my mind.” My head is like that. If I don’t like what’s happening outside, I can take the elevator and land in a world of fun and fantasy. So long, reality!
  19. Being my own best friend. When asked about what depression feels like, the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park said, pointing at his head: “There’s another Chester in there that wants to take me down.” Things like that make me cry. Because the only other self in your head should be one that lifts you up, pats you on the shoulders, dusts you off and says: “Come on, you’ve got this. I love you and you will figure this out too, like you have done with everything else so far.” That’s what you deserve. Nothing less.
  20. Discipline. I don’t want to do some things any more than anyone else you know. I just grunt and say “fiiiiiiiiiiine, I’ll do it anyway.” In a world where most people fail to show any, having a basic sense of moral duty and obligation to whatever you’re tasked with doing is quickly becoming a way of positively standing out from the crowd. It shouldn’t be this easy, but it is.
  21. Minimalism. This is definitely an acquired taste that was born out of necessity, but it grew into an amazing source of time, energy, and happiness — although none of those things are front and center. To me, minimalism is about making room to solve true problems in your life. To find the resilience to carry on with little when life takes things from you.
  22. Lightweight. I weigh 140 lbs, give or take. Weighing less means eating less, paying less, processing less, spending less energy on making energy. Plus, it means I’m really good at stuff like push-ups, which are a great form of bodyweight exercise. This makes my life simpler and, thus, better.
  23. Dexterity. I’m really good at things like balancing and all sports that involve toggling, hitting, catching or throwing balls. It’s good for fun and party tricks, but it also means I rarely drop things, I can close doors even when my hands are full and I can type fast. Kinda neat for a writer!
  24. Faith. I’m not religious. Mostly because all religions wrap everything that’s good about them into some form of ridiculous, sometimes even inhuman doctrine. But I have a lot of faith and I don’t think it matters whether you call what you believe in God, karma, Vishnu, the universe, midichlorians, Zen, the lifestream or the good spirits of the sitting bull. At the end of the day, you want to believe life makes sense. Whether it does or not is secondary. Believing everything has a purpose is purpose itself.
  25. Manners. Where I grew up, we don’t slam doors. We sit straight at the table and put our devices away. We say “hello” and “bye” and “thank you.” I’m no Brad Pitt so I can only imagine how much this has — sometimes literally — opened doors for me in life. Manners are a very basic form of respect and, again, one that’s often missing today. Check.
  26. Straight, healthy teeth. I can take zero credit for this, but thanks anyway. I knew a lot of kids with braces, retainers, and all sorts of dental, and I guess mental, torment. I’ll take the glasses in third grade again, thank you.
  27. Family first. This obviously requires a family you’d actually want to put first which, luckily, I have. But it’s good to know your roots are something you can always come back to. A safe haven to recover and recharge in. A room full of people who’ll always have your back — and you’ll have theirs.
  28. Language-natural. When I shotgun a bunch of commas all over the place, it usually turns out okay. When I read a line in any Latin-based language, I guess okay. I’m no math guy, but words? I love them and they love me.
  29. My voice. People tell me my voice is very calm. When I did Instagram stories every day, some would listen to them to fall asleep. If that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is. Can’t sing to save my life, though.
  30. Self-compassion. Related to #19, but when I have a hard time, I don’t give myself an even harder one. I lean back, breathe and say: “Okay Nik, do you want to take a break? You can take one.” Sometimes, I accept. Other times I say: “No, I can take it.” But I always check in with myself.
  31. Bullshit radar. My BS detector is pretty good which, luckily, extends to my own. When a 22-year-old yobbo tells me about all he’s done, but can’t back up any of it, I call BS. And when I tell people something that’s not true or that I haven’t lived through, I call BS. Better for everyone this way.
  32. No complaints. I think most people I know would tell you I bitch very little about things. That’s good. It means I have perspective. That I know most of my problems are things other people wish for. And that in the grand, cosmic context of things, they’re probably not worth fussing about.
  33. Awareness of death. Don’t quote me on it, but the fact that I’m going to die probably pops into my mind at least once every day. I don’t want to and I don’t think anyone does, but I feel much more comfortable knowing the guy with the scythe is always around. If I make an effort of knowing him while I’m alive, maybe he’ll one day greet me as a friend, not an enemy.
  34. Appreciation for the little things. My first (leased) car was a 2010 BMW 116d. I thought it was a huge deal. You know what shitty first cars most people have? A BMW?! That’s insane. And I treated that car that way. It was always clean and every time I opened the door, I felt a little spark of joy at getting to drive. My sense of “this is a gift” wears off rather slowly.
  35. Habit drag-and-drop. When my ex-girlfriend challenged me to drop coffee, I went cold turkey on the spot for 100 days. When I decide to add a new piece of writing to my roster every week, I publish it every week. It took a long time to get there, but being able to change your behavior at with a snap of your fingers is a priceless habit itself.
  36. Loyalty. If I’m your friend, I’m a real friend. Not a fair-weather one. I write, I call, I check in with you. Sometimes, it takes me a while, but I always answer. We all drift apart from people here and there, but for the ones where it counts, I can at least say I make every effort not to.
  37. Work ethic. When you’re working with me, you better get things done. Because I do. When I’m there, I’m there. No 3-hour coffee breaks when we’re on a deadline. I’d rather finish this thing, then get outta here, instead of wasting all this time now only to have to pull an all-nighter later.
  38. Philosopher. If you walked in on me and my best friend casually chatting, you’d probably declare us nuts within two minutes. One is quoting Nietzsche, the other asks whether wormholes exist. I hate small talk. That’s not what we’re here for. I want the big talk. Always. And I love it.
  39. Tech-savvy. I love new tech. I love learning about it, thinking about it, experiencing it. Even if I’m never going to use it. And if you put me in front of something I’ve never seen before, I’ll figure it out. I think this will be a huge advantage when I’m 60, 70, 80 years old.
  40. Romantic. I’m such a Ted Mosby. As I get older, I tone it down and avoid the creepy, not-at-all romantic stuff, but I’ll always be a hopeless ball of goo at heart — and I have a feeling it’s gonna come in handy one day.
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Posted by on February 15, 2019 in Focus, Journals, Lists


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The Bullet Journal Method

The Bullet Journal Method

Want a cheaper more simple way to plan your life and keep track of things? I’ve seen what is called Bullet Journals, Now I may have covered these before but I really don’t recall if I have. I have set up my own for 2018 but I have some things to change for next year. Also I thought maybe I should have 2. a different one for each year, and maybe a more permanent one,  even if its just to have a record of layouts (templates) to use.

I’ve noticed when I use a journal for the year, that by the end of the year (somewhere between July and October I end up not really interacting with it as I did when I started.

I don’t’ have nice neat handwriting or drawing

The Bullet Journal Method EXCERPT by Ryder Carroll

Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

Get the Kindle or Hardcover Edition   *    BOX SET


Or if you want to try your own here are my recommendations to get started.


1        2 Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium Dotted Journal [Berry]       3DesignWorks Ink Standard Issue Bound Personal Journal, Green

1How to Guide & Journal set

Leuchtturm1917  5″ X 8.Choose Your Color Dotted Grid Page

3   I also like the Design works brand of Standard Notebooks,  Deluxe Composition Books (choose your color),

Need help on icons and making a key for your Bujo

Bullet Journal Stencils 26 Packs Diary DIY Drawing Stencils, Greeting Card Template             Bullet Journal Supplies, 10 Bullet Journal Colored Marker Pens and 12 Plastic Planner Stencils DIY Drawing Art Supplies on Notebook/Diary/Scrapbook                      30pcs Journal Painting Stencil with Extra 6 Different Design of Cards(No Duplicate)-Notebook/Diary/Scrapbook Plastic DIY Drawing Template,4x7 Inch

26 Pack BUJO stencils starter kit                       10 marks & 12 stencils starter kit                          4×7    30 pc stencils for bujo/art and more    

See the source image



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Paper vs Digital

Why Physical paper is better than the digital variations.

There are a few reasons I still prefer to use paper or a notebook to use a digital version (like a computer/laptop/internet based e-reader). E-readers are another reason but I finally gave in to getting myself a Kindle Fire a few years back so that if I couldn’t get out of bed if my back is giving me a problem I can just check my email and be entertained that way. Now I do have books on my Kindle, but I prefer to read print books. I’m sure I have a post on this or my Entertainment blog all the reasons why a print book is better. (2 reasons I love the feel of the paper even the smell.)

I still use a notebook/paper to write my drafts.

I have a small journal to write poems I get an idea for. Sometimes it comes out a full complete poem, and sometimes a verse or 2. So if I get stuck on finishing it, I just have to open the journal (which is right next to my bed) and write the idea in.

I have a couple stories I started which are in a binder, then an idea for one which is in a composition book with xerox copies of notes from library books of my research.

So what are my reasons to ‘shun’ the digital at least until you are ready to write up the short story or poem. (If it’s a novel you are writing I’d advise typing up 5-10 pages at a time.)

So this is my lists for the pros for paper and cons for  writing

Digital                                                      Paper

1-Turn on computer                                                                    Open Book

2- wait for it to boot                                                                     Turn to page

3- Open program (word, internet etc)                                 start writing (or reading even)

4- Open new file/type in site                                             Always Available (power or 0 Power)

5- start writing                                               even if something spills on it, you can still fix it (dry it out) paper & read/write

6- now power/wifi = no work done                          *No Glare

7- distracted by the internet

8- file corruption (see paper #5)

9- screen glare


so that’s 2  steps before you get to writing on paper, and 4 before you can write on digital.

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Help, Journals, Lists, Reading, Writing


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3 reasons to read a book now

Have you ever wondered WHY some people read? There are certain things that reading can help you with.

The first thing is Books are usually used for education but they are not just text books or story they are (or can be…even if fiction and fantasy) experience in a single subject or topics in a subject. Think of them like this.

They are the summary of many years of experience.

Reason 1

Its the SUMMER! It’s reading season!

If you are a student now’s the time to read something you want to. (unless of course you get some stupid reading list, then I am so sorry but the faster you get through what you HAVE to, the sooner you could read something you want) heck you can even challenge yourself… read a the ones you have to all at the same time a chapter from say 1-3 of those books a day. Me If I had a questionnaire I would do that as I skimmed through the book.  You can read what you want when you go to the beach or pool, maybe something that you could finish in a day.

If you are a parent now is the time to read something (especially when you don’t normally get to)

I don’t know if any of you are off to stay home with the kid, but even if you can only do it the week or 2 you are on vacation) but while at home even  if you have to read during commercials, while the kid is napping (if they still do that), in the bathroom, while at the pool or beach, before bed (it will help you fall asleep and sleep better) in the bath, or if you wake before anyone else just read in bed just be careful not to make too much noise if reading a print book or even on a device. Also if you are working and take public transportation why not read while on that train or bus or plane!


Reasons 2 and 3  and there are many! 

Creativity— *and my favorite reason  I’ve written a few poems inspired by a line, or paragraph in a story, or was inspired by the story itself.  Sometimes the description of something gives me the picture in my head or a poem to write.

Relax— While there are true crime stories,  I find there’s plenty enough of that in real life.. WHY do you want to read stories like that when you can just watch it on the news or basically any night in a Police drama on tv? I always saw Books and movies and TV series to relax  and get away from reality.

Life.–sometimes they can be therapy. I recently finished a book about a character that was obsessive Compulsive.. While I don’t have that I do have anxiety and depression and I was able to relate in parts as the character mentioned things I went through or still feel. So in a sense it was sort of like I had a friend that actually understood me.

Learn– while yes there are text and workbooks there are others that instead of those sort can help you learn and improve yourself. Say buy a language phrasebook and try to learn at least one to 5 words (or phrases)  from it a day. You broaden your vocabulary. There are times I come out with a word and my mother is like where did you learn that word, or I shock myself and end up looking up the word myself  as I don’t remember learning it which means I picked it up from something I read, and am not always clear if its right to use in that moment.

Brain– Yours. write down your thoughts in a journal what you do or need to each day what movies and  ‘TV’ shows you watched  music listened to and  books you read or write your reviews for them it’s nice to look back after a couple of months and even years  to see what was going on. It also works as a record. Don’t want to have one like that Then have a common place book… keep your recipes, favorite quotes and lines and just keep lists (with a grade ‘review’ of the books you read movies and shows you watched and so on. You can do this for restaurants and such. This is what you’d call a brain dump.

Health – frankly I find writing in a journal diary whatever healthy. it helps when you air things out especially more so when you feel like you don’t have someone you can talk to about your problem, or everyone just always seems busy.

This post was inspired by 3 Reasons to read a book now


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Inkjoy Pens by Papermate

Inkjoy Pens by Papermate

I know nowadays some people just write directly to a computer file. I don’t, no matter what I am writing one of the stories i’m starting or still working on same for poems, letters etc I always use a pen. For me I prefer to use the thick (fat) barrel pens so that my fingers don’t hurt and cramp. This is one I’ve been using well over 10 years!

I was in the market for a new set of color pens, as the last ones I had for one…didn’t write smoothly (I had to press on them and that tends to tire the hand out faster) and  2. the orange was more that brownish orange (rust) color.

So I remembered the Inkjoy commercial,

When I first saw this commercial, I wish I still had the old Spirograph set I had as a kid

I had previously grabbed one of the purple ones that came with the ‘pen’ stylus for phones, tablets etc on it. I liked the way it felt and wrote so I ordered a pack of the retractable Color  pens for writing in my journal, and letters. They’re not fat like my Tandem pen, but they aren’t so thin like the papermate stick ones that my fingers start to hurt. Even though these are an average size pen, they are still comfortable to use. As for what the commercials say, I LOVE these pens! They are my new favorite kind! They write so smooth you would think it was water or air! I even found a mini set of them in a discount store! These are great for anyone for summer roadtrips, days at the beach and vacations. No matter what you do draw, journal, doodle or scrapbook and anything else I may be missing.

and just so you don’t have to deal with my my review, here’s a video one from youtube.

For those of you that want them for the office I looked up a few options for your convenience

36 count Office pack Black *  12 pk Blue*





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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Journals, review, Supplies, Writing


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52 Week Writing Challenge

Here’s an idea for us busy bodies who can never seem to get our writing in!

Instead of trying to get so much time in a day, do a little each day for a week. Write short stories, even if its only 1 page front and back, write for 5 minutes, poems whatever you think of. Don’t forget to shut the world out, especially out of mind. Make a character sketch for someone you see during lunch at work, or outside in the park.




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Journaling – color coding idea

I use colored pens in my journal and especially planner. They are used for a variety of things.

One example is for appointments, I use purple for more mine and red for mom and green for my dad. I do the same with my blog posts. I use pink for my beauty blog, purple for craft one, a bright light blue color for this blog and black (grey or silver) ink for my entertainment blog. Use different Inks for addresses for your friends Their favorite color, or just use one color for one group that hangs out together and another color for others.. maybe a one color for family (or 2 one for moms side and one for dad’s side…

I also use small page flags, if I want to find certain pages quicker, dividers, and even washi tape (that decorative paper tape)

If you are using a journal for everything… Quotes could  be light blue, daily entries in regular blue or black ink,  creative writing purple, recipes in green etc. Or if the journal  is for one topic color code subtopics…say for recipes…desserts in red, side dishes/veggies in green. orange for entrees etc. and anything grilled in brown or black basically it’s to be creative and to organize so you can find what you are looking for quicker.

I have a nice new big journal to write in, i was thinking of making it a common place book quotes and everything else like fave go to recipes and so on, now I have a mini journal I write quotes in, but I can take those and write one on each page or every few pages. Also poems, short stories,  and anything else I come up with.

And either on this blog or my writing or Journal Pintrest boards you can find other color coding ideas, one person not only did their school notes & work, but made it an art form!

Journaling & smashbooks Pintrest board        Writing Pintrest board how-to-color-code-your-bullet-journal

Journaling & smashbooks Pintrest board        Writing Pintrest board

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Posted by on June 15, 2016 in Journals, Writing


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