Dear sparkly unicorn friends:
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 personal diaries and 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, where I keep 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.
Cool cats: no matter where you’re at with your own personal 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. Read on, sparkly unicorns, read on.
Get Inspired! Journaling is for YOU!
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 personal 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.
Get Inspired! Stop Stalling!
I get it. Trust me, I do. I got so excited by ALL THE INSPO that I bought two lined journals, 27 rolls of washi tape, and assorted other paraphernalia. A month ago. I have since made exactly two creative pages in my new personal journal 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.
Get Inspired! Search for Inspo!
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.
Get Inspired! Kick Writer’s Block to the Curb
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.
Got Inspired! How About YOU?
I’m off to create Page #3 in my personal journal. Sparkly unicorn friends, if this piece inspired YOU in any way, please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.
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Of course you want more joy in your life. Who wouldn't?
Joy and gratitude are very much interconnected. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown notes: "Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice."
Journaling can help develop and enhance your gratitude practice - and so too it can help develop and enhance your joy. Here are six tips to help you get started.
How do you feel about new beginnings? The uncertainty of what's to come can be scary, exciting, nerve-wracking, overwhelming.
You can take control of each new beginning by setting intentions. Intentions are not goals. A goal is something that you work towards and check off your list when it’s done. Intentions are about your way of living. They're about who you want to be in this world and how you want to show up. Intentions are rooted in mindfulness and gratefulness.
Many people set intentions through meditation alone. But, you can absolutely set intentions in a blank notebook and there are several benefits to doing so.
Bullet journals, in particular, are known for their splashy, artistic spreads, like those tagged as #bulletjournalspreads over at Instagram. One look at all the flowers, cartoon characters, and pastel colors, and some men might decide that, nah, bullet journaling is NOT for them. As one Redditor says, he was initially “blown away by all the girls with fancy tape and stuff.”
Here's the thing, though: journaling is what you want it to be.No one says you HAVE TO use “fancy tape” but no one says you CAN’T. Stop worrying about what your journal should look like and just start writing.