Journalling - tips & ideas
Use the power of writing to record your memories of the past and dreams for the future.
The blank page
There’s something eternally optimistic about opening a brand-new notebook or journal. There’s the smell of it, the blankness of it, the hopefulness of it. What will the coming year bring? What remarkable events will be recorded on these pages? What feelings will you work through in your own mind with the simple task of putting pen to paper?
If you’re new to journalling, you might find it daunting and feel unsure of what to write. But it doesn’t simply have to be a record of what you did each day.
Read on for some themes and advice to get you on to the next chapter.
If you’d like to use your journal for contemplation and soul-searching, rather than a record of your life, try some of these ideas:
1. Make a list of goals for the coming year and describe the steps you can take to accomplish them.
2. Finish this thought: “I have a dream that one day...”
3. What are five things that make you most happy right now?
4. List five people who have influenced you and why.
5. List 20 things you want your child to know about you.
When to write?
Your journal writing will quickly become a habit if you commit to doing it at a particular time of the day. Just before bed can be a good time to reflect on what’s happened during the day, and get your thoughts sorted before going to sleep. However, the morning may equally work well for you, as often the important things from the day before will have come to the front of your mind.
By popping a small notebook in your handbag you can quickly jot down any thoughts while you’re out and about, and expand on them later.
They said it…
If you’re inspired by great quotes from books or movies, then how about a dedicated quote journal? You might find it easier to record these in an online journal. Or how about a board on Pinterest?
The one-sentence journal
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, suggests the one-sentence journal as the ideal solution for busy mums “who want to capture the everyday moments of their child’s growth but are naturally short on time”. Gretchen has done the sums for you: 365 days, five years. That’s 1825 happy moments. Should put a smile on your face just thinking about it!
Journalling on the run
Day One is a great diary app for tech-savvy mums on the run. You can attach images and sync your entries between your iPad and your iPhone. A quick note on the run, a cute photo of the kids at the park, make an effort to make just one entry per day and you’ll have a great reference to the year. Price: $6.49 from iTunes.
Computer or paper?
Whether you keep your journal in a virtual world or you like ink and paper, there are pros and cons to both.
If your handwriting is a bit of a scrawl, you might prefer to use a computer. You’re also likely to type faster than you would write, and it’ll be easier to go back and search for a particular entry.
If you want to share your thoughts then create a blog as your online journal. Click here for a beautiful example by blogger Lisa-Jo Baker.
Writing on paper, however, can be a more intimate experience. A book is also a place to attach momentoes such as ticket stubs to your child’s first movie, favourite photos or magazine clippings.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 22 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW