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Today I am going to talk about using journaling to helping me learn how to be a better dad. I have always understood the benefits of keeping a journal, and have done so (with less than consistent frequency). But it is only recently that I am exploring the idea of journaling with intent; the intent to become a better father.
Journaling is not just a little thing you do to pass the time, to write down your memories—though it can be—it’s a strategy that has helped brilliant, powerful and wise people become better at what they do.The Daily Stoic
The moment that I sat down and opened the Fatherhood Legacy Journal for the first time I surmised the amount of time, passion, and excellence that went into creating this journal. It is beautiful. You can feel the quality of the craftsmanship when you hold it in your hand, and you can see the beauty as it sits on your table.
When I assess the usefulness of a guided journal, what truly matters is the creation, content, and layout of the book. The Fatherhood Legacy Journal does not disappoint. Upon first glance, it can be concluded that a lot of thought went into the creation of this journal. Let’s talk about the different individual sections of the journal.
The Fatherhood Legacy Journal does an excellent job of traversing the owner into the journaling process. You aren’t just presented with a nice looking journal and directed to write. The creator, Ned Schaut, guides you through the process of beginning your journey, whether you are experienced or just a beginner.
This is your life. Welcome to the adventure. The voyage is here.Ned Schaut – Rebel & Create
It all begins with the opening page, where you will write in your name, the date, and season that you will start your journal. Below this information is a line that reads, “if found after my death, please give to my children.” This actually made me tear up. I also quickly realized that this process is not only important for my being the best father that I can be now, but also for creating my legacy and how I will be ultimately remembered when I am gone. That’s deep, and I am only on the first page.
As I move through the opening pages, there are prompts that ask me to ponder important questions.
- Who do you want to be for your family?
- How do you want to be remembered?
The following pages talk in detail about the importance of journaling, redefining fatherhood, and what Ned describes as the “Five Waves of Fatherhood.” Lastly, Ned shows you how to create your Mantra, which he encourages you to read each morning as part of your journaling process (more on this later).
The Fatherhood Legacy Journal is designed to use daily. It isn’t mandatory, as there are no page numbers or dates prepared. You can determine a FLOW that works for you, but you are provided with 31 days of journaling pages for each month, for a total of three months.
You are provided a sample of the monthly calendar, a sample of the daily journal page, and an explanation of the monthly reflection that you will complete at the end of each month. This is provided to show you one way to navigate this process to ensure you can be successful with your journal. There is a lot of flexibility with the design and layout.
The OATH consists of a single page, but it is an integral part of this process. What will it mean for you and your family to embrace the voyage and to mastering the craft of fatherhood? How many days are you willing to commit to this process? You will answer these questions, and others, on this page. Then you will sign to assure your level of commitment because becoming a better father is the challenge that we all should embrace.
We have finally arrived at the meat and potatoes of The Fatherhood Legacy Journal. The daily pages are for where you will do most of your writing, and the prompts provided are extremely well thought out. It doesn’t take much time, in fact, I completed my first few days of writing in the morning, before the kids woke up, in less than ten minutes.
You should absolutely watch the video below on a more detailed explanation of each prompt, and the importance of each question in the DAILY pages.
The MONTHLY review section is intended for you to complete at the end of the first month, and each subsequent month of your journaling journey. You are given ten writing prompts, or ideas, in which you can use to reflect on your month. Feel free to use one, two, or all of the ten prompt questions provided.
I really like that these questions are so well thought out. Sometimes, journaling can be a difficult task for me, because I don’t know what to write about. But, after completing the DAILY pages each day, it is nice to be able to sit down at the end of the month and reflect on who I was that month as a father, and more importantly, to look forward to where I want to go next month.
You will find a different TRAINING exercise at the end of each month following the monthly review. The TRAINING exercises really impressed me. It encouraged me to put life into a different perspective and gave me a better understanding of the big picture. I have yet to finish all three months yet, but having completed the first TRAINING exercise (and sneaking a peek at the following months training exercises), I can honestly say this is my favorite part of the book. The TRAINING really caps off an extremely well thought out, beautifully designed, and powerful journal.
I am not sure if you can tell, but I am in love with the Fatherhood Legacy Journal. It has made the process of journaling fun, easy, and rewarding for me. The most beneficial components of the journal are the monthly reviews and training exercises following each month. The journal has given me hope that I am not only able to become a better father, but also that I don’t have to struggle in doing so.
The entire process of becoming a better dad can be a daunting one. There are so many priorities and responsibilities simply to maintaining the day-to-day, that it is challenging sometimes to imagine what else I can do to improve. Journaling allows me to reflect on the day-to-day, once it has transpired, and helps provide me with some insight into the question, “what else can I do to improve?” More importantly, it allows me to plan for the future. Specifically, the Fatherhood Legacy Journal has allowed me to plan for the future, and has helped me answer the question, “how do I become a better father?”
You can learn more about the Fatherhood Legacy Journal, as well as other products offered by Rebel & Create here.
Finally, Ned hosts an awesome podcast which I recently started listening to, specifically aimed at helping dads. I actually discovered Greenlight, a debit card for kids, from listening to one of his podcasts where he interviewed Tim Sheehan, the co-founder, and CEO of Greenlight Card. It is an awesome product, and I will be posting a review here soon, so stay tuned.
If you want to stay updated on my most recent product reviews, or just general insight, musings, or advice for dads, please follow me on my socials below.