Some people shy away from the words ‘diary’ or ‘journal’ thinking it’s some super exclusive, personal, spiritual thing that you only do if you’re very self-reflective in nature (or a great writer) but that’s not the case. Here at CGD we love planners and diaries, and can’t get enough of writing out our weekly tasks, but how would our lives change if we took ten minutes a day to be reflective?
Keeping a personal diary can absolutely change your life, studies have shown that journal writing can help students improve grades and dramatically lowers anxiety and stress (Source) which is perfect for us career girls who need some stress relief. Here’s how keeping a personal diary will change your life, and some inspiration for all you girls who need to know where to start.
#1 It’s so therapeutic
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love calling their friend and having a good rant? But chances are there are some things you’re holding back, even from them. In your diary, you can say whatever you like, no matter how awful or self-obsessed it would seem out loud. Make sure you know that nobody can read it whether you put an old fashioned lock on your diary, or you hide it away under your pillow. It feels so good to get all your thoughts out instead of fretting over them late into the evening.
#2 It can give you perspective
At the time, things seem much worse than they are, you write them down in your diary and you struggle through, but in a few weeks time, you turn back to your first diary page and you laugh and laugh. The things that seemed so important and so life or death at the time, suddenly look silly. It’s a great way to get some perspective and teach you some important lessons about yourself.
#3 It can get you organised
Writing in a journal every morning and night and trying to be reflective can help you focus on your goals and motivations. In the evenings write a to-do list for the next day, so that when you’re on your way to work and school you know what you need to get done. In the evenings write a paragraph about what went well today and what you felt you needed to do better, sometimes you can identify areas in your life that need more effort, for example, if you read your entries and they’re all about career you might realise you need to take a break and go and see your friends.
#4 It improves your memory
You know that feeling you get when you find an old photograph and it just transports you right back to that moment? Journaling gives you the same feeling. Reading a journal from a few months ago can transport you back to moments you thought you’d forgotten, and writing things down can help them stay in your mind for longer. Don’t forget the fact that it’s quite fun to scribble away in your personal diary for an hour or so every day, too.
How to get started with your personal diary
#1 Get yourself the right tools
If your book isn’t aesthetically pleasing you’re less likely to pick it up. We’ve made a few lists of cute planners, books and organisational tools. Writing is so much easier when you have the perfect tools for it. At first you might get wrist cramp, especially as we’re all so used to typing these days, but there’s nothing better than looking in your diary and seeing your beautiful, unique handwriting aided by a great pen. Our favourites are always going to be Lamy, simply because they’re stylish, comfortable and don’t run out after a few uses. Plus they make our writing look much neater than it is.
#2 Overcome your fear of the blank page
Just write anything, seriously. Take a look at these journaling prompts from Life Captured Inc if you need to fill your first page with something. Once you’ve filled your first page, keeping it up will be so much easier. Even if you invest in a great journal like The Happiness Planner or The 52 Lists Project that come with prompts inside, you can get some great writing done!
#3 Enjoy yourself!
You can keep scraps of advice, quotes, praise and things you’re grateful for inside your diary. Collect photos, stamps, sparkly things, anything that will entice you to open up your journal and keep writing. It’s important to go back over old entries, too, no matter how hard it feels. You want to motivate yourself to be the best you can be and let go of all the negative feelings that might be holding you back!
Our office favorites!