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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

As the new year has started, I have set a goal to bring more organization and structure into my life. It’s safe to say that, like all college students, my life is a bit disorganized and disoriented almost half the time, and this year I’m making the attempt to change it all. My list of new year’s resolutions is always never ending, but one item on that list that has stuck and has honestly been the most beneficial to me has been journaling! 

Even though journaling is not a daily habit for me (which I’m trying so hard to make it one), it’s a habit that has proven to have brought plenty of positive energy into my life. I look forward to picking my journal up every single day, and it can honestly sometimes be the highlight of my day. If interested in starting your journaling journey, here are some tips that have helped me along the way: 

Shut the perfectionist in you out!: Journaling has made me realize that I am a default perfectionist. In the past, if a sentence didn’t quite make sense or if my handwriting was less than perfect, I would scrap the entire entry and start over. This perfectionist mindset prevented me from creating a consistent journaling habit, leaving me frustrated with constantly restarting over silly mistakes. Two things to keep in mind as you start is that, one, this is your journal! It is your intellectual property, a key to your confusing thoughts and desires, so the choice is always yours. Secondly, mistakes are a significant part of the process, and the more you make, the better. Part of having a journal is to look back on your thoughts and feelings, but also your mistakes! They show that you are not perfect, and the best part is they remind you that you don’t have to be. The sooner that settles in, the more fun it will be! 

Do not limit yourself: Do not pressure yourself to write pages worth of entries every single day because the thought of that alone is overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, allow your journal to be a canvas for your raw emotions, unspoken thoughts, and creative visions. It’s important to clarify that journaling goes beyond simply keeping a diary. Your journal can be a sketchbook, a playlist, a to-do list, or anything else that resonates with you.  My own journal is a collection, ranging from sketches of future tattoo ideas to heartfelt letters addressed to myself or loved ones. Let your journal be a sanctuary for whatever thoughts or expressions are on your mind each day.

Take it with you everywhere: Inspiration does not wait for anyone! When it comes, it comes. There is no telling when you’re going to have an amazing thought or when you will experience an intense amount of emotion. Carrying the journal with you wherever you go allows you to compile all your thoughts right then and there. Even if you know you will not have the time or the urge to write anything that day it ensures that there is always the option! 

I’ve realized in the last month that journaling kind of serves as a scrapbook. It holds a lot of sacred information about past feelings and emotions, and personally, as life moves on I forget how I felt in certain recurring situations. Looking back in my journal, it always serves as a reminder. It reminds me of my worth in this world and always pushes me to be better. Reflecting on entries allows me to remember and appreciate my experiences, and honestly lead a life with no regrets.

Hi my name is Ashna Haiderali! I am a second year psychology student. I am a passionate writer and advocate for mental health, which is the main reason why I joined HerCampus this year. I want everyone to know that there is someone always in their corner (me!) even if they don't know it. My passion for writing stems from being a reporter on my high school newspaper. My time on that staff allowed me to discipline my writing skills and improve as a writer, which I wish to continue to do through HerCampus!