I have been journaling since I was young–but never consistently and never as a goal. It wasn’t until this year (when I started my blog) that I have completely made it a part of my daily life. I have loads of journals waiting to be used, and yay for me, I have already finished some! And throughout this past year, I’ve learned why keeping a journal changed my life for the better…
To reflect on myself
When I was younger, all of my entries were sporadic and there was never a true timeline to follow as I jumped from journal to journal only filling out the first few pages. But now its amazing to be able to read over my past, what exactly I did each day, and how my thoughts and views have changed. At the time, the problems I wrote were taking over my life and now they are just a blip of the past. Its great to see how I’ve grown, what I’ve accomplished, and reflect on the change in myself.
When I travel to somewhere new, experience something I have never done before, or just have a great day–I like to document it. I’ve learned that sometimes what I remember in my head isn’t all that was actually happening. I’ll read about something that I had done and say to myself “Oh yeah! I forgot all about that…”. Its great to have my journal to go back to and remember it all, especially if I’m having a bad day. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.
To stay organized
My journal is a way for me to stay on top of everything going on in my life. I can write down reminders for myself to come back to, color code my different days, or leave myself a tip on the recipe my mom gave me. I don’t necessarily use my journal like my planner–but its effective for long-term use.
To make lists
Besides the obvious grocery, school supplies, and to-do lists, I make my journal a creation of my world. A list of places I want to travel to, a list of things I’m good at (or not good at), a list of goals I want to accomplish this year. I have realized that writing down those things motivates me to work for them even more and seeing my dreams written out makes it seem all the more possible.
Tip: Buy a pack of multi-colored pens (bright and vibrant) to make it a colorful, fun feel as you make lists of all the magical things in your life.
To practice writing
I love to write–but I don’t like to share my personal pieces. Keeping a journal is a way to keep my inner thoughts to myself, but also feel like I am getting them out in the open. Although no one has read or will read my journal, it is a different type of writing for me altogether and I find it a useful tool in finding out who I am as a writer. I sometimes will read old entries and laugh at how different I sound in my own head.
To stay creative
A cool thing about journals is that its all up to you on what you want out of it! You can be as creative (or not) as you want and no one will ever have to know. As I said, I like having bright pens for little doodles, cool title pages, and different fonts. It keeps me feeling artsy and I like how my journal looks at the end of it all. Its something that I can make completely my own and I love that.
To get ideas
My journal gave me the idea to write this very blog post–among other articles or writing pieces I have done. I use Pinterest or Tumblr to get new journal ideas, things I want to add to my own, or themes I want to use. I’ve seen cute travel journals, decorations, posts I want to try. My journal keeps me on the edge of my toes and I never know when a new idea is going to come from it.
To have an outlet
If my journal is anything to me besides part autobiography, part future dreams–its an outlet for my deepest emotions, inner thoughts, and wildest desires. Its a place where I can be totally myself and let myself feel everything. I use it as an outlet for anger, sadness, anxiety…and my happiness. Its something that is always there for me when I feel like I can’t talk about what I’m going through or when it feels like nobody is there or would understand. A journal is so much more than a hundred sheets of paper and hard cover.
“The beauty of journaling is that it can be messy.”
I hope you find a way to bring journaling into your life, because now I can’t imagine my life without one. Stay creative and happy writing!