The introvert in me means you can often find me inside my own head. It’s not an ‘I’m so shy I’d rather keep to myself’ kind of thing, but more about the tons of ideas typically floating around my head. Most times, those thoughts are a combination of plans I’d like to implement, somethings I wish I’d handled differently, a few things I wish I could do or a place I wish I could go but can’t, or ideas and wishes for the future me. There are times, though, when I’ve got to get outside of my own head. It can be for a host of reasons:
The regret from something I messed up gets to be too weighty (or maybe I just need to make a literal note to never make that mistake again). That ‘one time when’ still makes me grin til’ my cheeks hurt, and made me so happy that I think I even want to tell my future children about it. And on the subject of my future family, oh the places I want us to go one day.
Journaling for anxiety, for wellbeing, journaling as a stress reliever or just a simple hobby to be enjoyed, has been such a life changer for me. So, welcome to the places where the magic, the unwinding, the dreaming dreams and planning plans happens. A peek at them anyway. I’m excited (and a little nervous about a few) to share with you what I currently use my journals for.
I needed a reason, and a space, to be my most grateful, most ‘see the good’ self possible. You could call it the paper version of a gratitude jar. There’ve been moments and things that trigger an insecure side of myself that isn’t always pretty (hello, comparison, hey social media feeds). For those moments the Positive Pages have been a good space to record and remember the little things that made me smile one day, that changed my perspective on another, a joke someone told that made me cry with laughter, and the wins that shape my career, relationships, or life overall. It’s a good space to go when I need a reminder of my potential and capabilities. It can be easy to forget sometimes when you’re blinded by the flashing neon lights of other people’s successes.Why keep a gratitude journal you ask? Sometimes, a positive life depends on it. Click To Tweet
‘Letters to My Future Love’
Ten points for speaking (or writing) things into existence! The idea behind this journal came about unexpectedly. What started off as wanting to document my thoughts about life and everyday occurrences that intrigue me (hence the ‘Musings on’ bit that I never removed), turned into me writing to a person that doesn’t yet exist. (Ten more points for being a total hopeless romantic. I’d like to turn that on its head and say that I’m a hopeful one.) I started writing about things that I know I would share with my ‘significant other’ if I had one. Every time I wished for ‘him’ I would write ‘to him’ (told ya, total sap over here). Who knows, this just might make a really interesting wedding gift. Sometimes weeks and months go by where I don’t write anything, but there’s no pressure attached, or particular person in mind. It’s helped me to cement the things that I value in a relationship and my life overall, and gives me space to sort through my feelings about love, life and if the future allows, family.
‘Her Hopes, Dreams and Plans’ Journal
You know those ideas that cross your mind and you shrug them off because ‘nah that’ll never happen” or”…but I can’t because…”? I have many of those. It’s a form of self-sabotage, if we’re being honest, and it’s a place I decided not to stay in anymore, especially surrounded by many inspiring friends who have taken their ideas, their goals and turned them into successful businesses, foundations, even published books. They believed in their ideas enough to take them from just a thought to a well-developed plan. They took their plans and made them realities. In this journal, I give myself ample space to begin to do the same.
Marketing is at the core of not only my academic qualifications, but also my corporate job and a number of other endeavours. I love it. It intrigues me (intrigue alone will keep you awake at 3am trying to balance accounts for your Marketing Analytics class). I’ve re-written all my lecture notes from my Masters’ year in this beautiful copper Leuchtturm 1917. It also functions as a catch-all for taking note of industry insight, whether in the form of podcasts, newsletter emails (I think I’m subscribed to every online industry podcast out there), or something I read in a business publication. Dedicating one journal to my profession keeps me on top of my toes and instead of trying to swim through information in a one-hour podcast, or sift through emails to find what that one guy said, I make note of the information that’s most useful, most resonating in one little place. It also helps if I happen to be somewhere that doesn’t have internet access!
My Everyday Journal
This one is for the days when I simply need to clear my head (usually everyday). I’d made a promise to myself to try to journal everyday, and there are days when there are no goals or plans to jot down, no lovey-dovey thoughts to chronicle, or anything related to work. “Just write!!” a friend told me one day when we were talking about creating stories. Am I much of a storyteller? Who knows. But those simple words stuck with me. So I’m trying to take his advice and ‘just write’. If for nothing else, to be able to express my thoughts and ideas more effortlessly.Writing each day, just for the sake of it, helps to cultivate the habit so that it becomes naturally to you. Think ‘Morning Pages’ at any time of day.
Here’s where your advice is needed. I’ve got one final journal that remains untouched (that new book smell, anyone?). If we’re being honest, all that pretty glitter makes me not want to mess it up at all. So, I haven’t. And it’s sitting pretty in my room (with absolutely nothing on top of it to disturb the glitter). There’s also the fact that I have no idea what would be the best use for it.