Do You Journal?

I tend to start the year the same way without fail. Each January I am determined that this will be the year I finally organise my thoughts and that the only way I can execute this goal is by spending a small fortune on a beautiful journal that will surely encourage me to use it each day. Crisp white pages present the possibility of a 'new me', a more grown-up and sensible me that is just waiting for the opportunity to show herself. Except this plan doesn't seem to last for more than a few weeks. Not long in to February I will find myself leaving it in the car or on the shelf at home gathering dust while the 'new me' retreated back for another year. Maybe next year, eh? During my January purge I found about a half dozen barely used diaries in my bedside table drawer left abandoned and forgotten. Bare pages became more frequent as Spring arrived acting as a stark reminder of just how crap I am at sticking to my goals. But this year I made a decision. I decided that this year I would boycott Paperchase and invest in a journal that would encourage me to use it each day. Instead of blank pages I wanted my imagination to be coaxed with motivational prompts and to really make me think rather than make me clam up and draw a mental blank. My problem in the past has been that I wasn't sure where to begin. Should I just jot down a few things that happened that day? Should I write about my worries or my dreams? There were too many options that I ended up not being able to commit to any. With this in mind I set out to look for a journal that would bring a little light in to each day. I didn't want too many blank pages that would pressurise me in to filling it with utter shite and I wanted help with committing to the goals I never seem to stick to. I ended up settling on 'Happy - The Journal' curated by Fearne Cotton, a beautifully coloured journal filled with thoughts and ideas, mindful tasks to complete and daily prompts on what to focus on each day. It's exactly the kind of journal I need and I have been carrying it in my handbag each day, itching to see what my task for the day will be. I know it's early days and I don't want to appear naive but I really think this might be the year I actually use a journal for an entire year! It's turned in to a daily ritual that I am cherishing and definitely brings in the light I was searching for. There are so many different ways to release our thoughts in to a journal; a few lines can be enough or the words can begin tumbling from our pen so that a few lines can quickly turn in to an essay of dreams. If you struggle like me to commit to your journalling then I've got some ideas for how you can best use that beautiful (and expensive) bit of stationery you bought yet again. Feel free to use them and let me know: how will you be using your journal this year?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ideas for a Journal

Gratitude Journal A simple idea where you can jot down a few things that made you feel grateful for that day. Your choices can be small (having a quiet moment in work with a good cup of tea) or big (that your body was able to carry you on your run) but they will no doubt help you to appreciate the life you have. Dream Journal Ever woke up and thought, "I am not well in the head to be dreaming that kind of craziness"? Yeh, me too. Keeping a journal by your bed and writing down your dreams is not just a good way to get a little insight in to your thoughts but is also a mindful way to begin your day. And might help you make sense of those dreams that make you question your sanity! Kindness Journal Noting down daily kindnesses is a fantastic way to check in with ourselves and how we choose to live. By keeping track of the kindnesses we have experienced as well as ideas for how to be kind to others we are encouraging a social conscience. Being good to others makes us feel good and by journalling these actions we are reminding ourselves of the good things in life. Bullet Journal Bullet journals can be as simple or as detailed as you like, there are no limits but I have seen people use them in the most beautiful ways, like this one. It's an excellent way to track goals so if you're in need of a journal to help you see improvements then this could be the way to go. Travel Journal Rather than committing yourself to a daily journal, how about just keeping a journal for different trips you take throughout the year? I've kept a journal for the last few holidays I've been on and I find I enjoy looking back on them far more than any photo album. It's a great way to keep a record of funny stories, special moments or details that would normally be forgotten after returning home. You will never regret keeping one.
About Author

I'm Alex, the writer, photographer and creator of The Full Shilling. I started writing as a way to share all my favourite places in Ireland and the list just keeps growing! My aim is that you'll find somewhere new to explore and you'll make some great memories along the way. Happy reading!


  • Juliana Sergio
    6 years ago

    I'm usually one to completely forget my journals, but ever since I started blogging I found myself a lot more disciplined with my blog plans journal! It's been helping me a lot writing down all my ideas and planning content for the upcoming months and so.

  • Jordanne Thelifeofaglasgowgirl
    6 years ago

    I used to journal a lot but last year I ended up so busy with other things that I feel away from it but I want to get back into it so much! A dream journal sounds like such a great idea.

  • Cath BattleMum
    6 years ago

    I used to write a journal when I was younger but I just can't seem to stick to them these days. I do journal all our family holidays on my blog so we can look back on them in the future.

  • Mudpie Fridays
    6 years ago

    I use to keep a journal religiously before discovering blogging.I couldn't keep the two up so I ended up stopping journaling. Instead I write frequent posts about the boys which does a similar job. Good luck with yours this year x

  • Fashion Police
    6 years ago

    I like the idea of having a journal for different things. I think I will steal this idea.

  • Rhian Westbury
    6 years ago

    I have a bullet journal and I use it for lists, charts and things like that to keep everything together. I tend to use Google Docs and things for to do lists as I find it's easier as I can access them at work, home and on the move x

  • Ami
    6 years ago

    I used to keep a diary where I would write all my thoughts but now I tend to use my blog for that so just have a diary for dates and appointments etc.
    Although I would love to do a bullet journal but I just don’t have the time

  • Laura Haley
    6 years ago

    I have a diary I keep forgetting about but am making myself pick it back up when I remember, figuring that weeks between entries is still better than not at all. It'll be good to look back and realise I just didn't need the diary during that time.

  • Tracy
    6 years ago

    No, I don't have a journal but did have a diary from when I was a teen right through to my late 20s. It makes for VERY interesting reading! haha. I don't have one now because one, I don't lead that much of an exciting life these days and two, I would be like you and leave it abandoned somewhere after a couple of weeks! Love your ideas of journal topics though - the kindness and travel ones really appeal to me!

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