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Ideas to Help You Start Journaling in 2021

When it comes to a new year, we often find ourselves listing new activities we want to try and setting goals we hope to achieve. Sometimes these resolutions may be something new, but many times there might be one or two resolutions that are the same as those from last year. For me, journaling has been the one resolution that I continue to put on my list year after year. You may ask why, and the answer is simple… I never stick to journaling. This time, it’s no longer listed as “start journaling” but “continue journaling”. 

I first started journaling in my freshman year of high school because I wanted to create a space for myself to reflect on my everyday life. Keeping track of my days was exciting at first, but as each day became more similar, I decided to take a break from journaling. This month-long hiatus ended up being forever. Time was a construct in quarantine. Since I didn’t have anything planned for the day, I found myself feeling unmotivated and not wanting to get out of bed. I decided it was time for me to give journaling a second chance. I used to think that I had to write in my journal every single day because I always viewed it as a diary. However, after picking up this hobby after a four-year break, I realized that journaling was more than keeping a record of my day. Journaling allowed me to be honest with myself because I felt safe sharing my vulnerabilities and raw emotions. It provided me a safe space to reflect on who I am as a person, to ponder on questions that intrigued me, and to have honest conversations with myself. 

If you have been considering whether or not to start journaling, I would highly recommend doing so! No one ever made the rule that you have to write in your journal every day. If you don’t want to journal today, you don’t need to. If you want to spend a good chunk of time journaling today, go for it! Journaling shouldn’t be something that adds to the burden of your already busy day, but it should be a platform for you to share whatever, whenever, and however you want to. If you are ready to start journaling, here are some ideas for your journal: 

  • Best feelings in the world

  • A list of songs for different moods

  • People/things/moments you love 

  • Planning a trip for when it is safe to travel again

  • Interesting dreams you want to remember

  • People/things/moments you are grateful for 

  • Things you love about yourself

  • Track your growth (or savings)

  • Letter to a person (could be a thank you note, an apology letter, or something you wish you could’ve told them) 

  • A page for stickers/photos/words that are meaningful to you

  • Profiles of your friends

  • Letter to yourself (could be your younger self, your future self, or any time)

  • Beautifully written quotes/lyrics/poems

  • Random doodles or thoughts 

  • Reflection/thoughts/opinions on current events in your life

  • Sweet moments you want to remember 

  • Books/movies/TV shows you want to read/watch

  • List of places you’d want to show someone when they visit your hometown

  • Highlight of your day/week/month/year

This new meaning I gave to journaling reignited my love for a hobby that was long lost. Journaling has become a constant reminder for me to take some time out of my busy schedule to breathe, to think, and to keep making space for personal growth. If you have been journaling or are just now starting this new hobby, I hope it does wonders for you the way it has for me over the past few months!

Priscilla is a sophomore majoring in Economics with a concentration in Financial Markets. She calls Taipei, Taiwan home and misses the food deeply... Besides Her Campus, she is also an active member of Colby Student Investment Association and Women in Economics & Finance Club. She also serves on the Student Government Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee!
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