In case you didn’t know it, the interwebs are packed with journaling inspiration. Or, as the cool kids call it: inspo.
I mention this because *I* didn’t know it. It’s weird because I usually turn to the internet for inspiration. (*ahem* I meant inspo, of course, ‘cause I’m cool like that.) Ideas for a shade garden? Yep, I googled that. Gluten-free vegan dishes for the staff potluck? Pinterest knows where it’s at. Halloween costumes for my dogs? Well, really, how else would I know which canine costumes are trending?
But when it comes to journaling, I never thought to search for inspiration. I just journaled. And when I got stuck, I just didn’t write anything until I got unstuck.
For most of my life, I kept basic writing journals. Then, a few years ago, I read Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Two of Jen’s tips resonated with me: keep a gratitude journal and make a vision board. But since I didn’t like the idea of a static “board,” I made a vision journal, starting a blank notebook for collages, inspirational quotes, and notes to myself.
I thought I was pretty rad.Look at me, coloring outside the lines! She said a vision BOARD but I made a vision JOURNAL. HA! But then, I was invited to blog for SohoSpark. I started to research journals and journaling, and may I just say: Mind. Blown.
So. Much. Inspo. Everywhere.
No matter where you’re at with your own writing journal, a little inspo can go a long way.
Luckily for you, I’ve already done the googling and can point you in the right direction.
Yes, YOU! I can imagine the excuses:
It’s time to get over it. Journaling has all kinds of benefits. I really can’t put it any better than Jill Conyers, who says:
Journaling is one of the greatest tool[s] in finding your purpose, healing yourself, and creating the life you most desire. It is a way of coaching yourself through your “stuff” and letting it out on the page, unclogging your mind from years of destructive thoughts. In doing so, [you] begin to see life with unsurpassed clarity.
If using a writing journal to live your best life isn’t inspiration enough, then how about this? Journaling has both physical and mental health benefits. Journaling can boost your physical health by strengthening the immune system, decreasing symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and decreasing the impact of stress. Journaling can also assist with your mental health by helping you prioritize your worries, tracking symptoms, and providing a forum for positive self-talk.
I get it. Trust me, I do. I got so excited by ALL THE INSPO that I bought two cute notebooks, 27 rolls of washi tape, and assorted other paraphernalia. A month ago. I have since made exactly two creative pages in my new blank notebooks and two weeks’ worth of boring text-only lists in my new work journal.
It turns out this is pretty common. There is SO MUCH INSPO out there that it’s actually counterproductive. Where do you even start? How do you decide what to do in your journal? How on earth can you ever create something as stunning as the spreads on Pinterest?
If you need inspiration to stop stalling and dive in, consider these ideas:
One other thing worth mentioning here (though it’s advice and not inspiration): schedule journaling time. Journaling will become a habit if you set aside the same amount of time to do it, at the same time each day.
If you’re already journaling but stuck in a rut, or if you’re living under a rock (as I was), do some online searching to see what’s possible with a journal. Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, in particular, have tons of journaling eye candy.
Facebook has some fabulous journaling groups, where you can seek out advice, ideas, and yes, inspo.
YouTube has instructional videos as well as walkthroughs, which are basically videos where people flip through their journals and explain how they created their pages.
If you need something a little more in depth--or something that requires commitment in order to get your behind into gear--why not consider an online class? A search for “free online class journaling” brings up millions of results.
The easiest way to deal with writer’s block is to use prompts. No matter what theme your journal has (if any), it’s easy to find free writing prompts online.
I’m off to create Page #3 in my personal journal. Friends, if this piece inspired YOU in any way, please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.
You already know this: being kind to others makes you happy. And, actually, it's a proven fact that kindness makes you feel happy and feeling happy makes you kinder.
Tracking kindness is a terrific way to keep kindness on our radar and incorporate more of it into our lives. Just as a gratitude makes us more attuned to the things that we’re grateful for, a kindness journal or tracker makes us more aware of those moments of grace. And, especially if we have a goal of recording one (or more) acts of kindness daily, we’ll be more apt to take action.
C'mon. Do it. Who would turn down happiness?