I know, I know. You are probably already rolling your eyes at the idea of journaling, or you are really curious but don’t know where to start. I wanted to write this to share my best journaling practices and how they have helped my life in many ways.
I first began journaling consistently in August of 2022. I recently graduated from college and all my friends were starting up classes again. I had been pretty busy all summer and my last trip (for work) had just ended. On the ride home from the airport it really dawned on me that I wasn’t in college anymore. I can remember the minute I walked through the door, I felt like a failure. My business wasn’t 6 figures, I still lived at home, I was going to be working part-time at the job I had in high school, and most of my friends were still back at college. I had no way of describing the hurt I felt other than writing it down on paper.
Ever since that day, I have not stopped journaling. I had found through journaling a sense of peace and discovery in myself. Often times my mind would just take whatever I was feeling and travel down a dark hole. Through writing every day, I was able to catch these feelings, analyze them, and put them to rest, so I could actually rest. Yes, I actually sleep better at night because of my journaling.
Through these few months, I found what feels like the secret to journaling success. It might seem simple, but it’s the size of the notebook. I believe a notebook, no bigger than 8” by 5” is perfect. Why? Because it is easily manageable to write a full page. My ONLY rule when journaling is to complete the page. Some days I simply write, “I don’t know what to say, so I am filling up the page”. On other days I am itching to write in my journal. The act of filling the page, makes me feel accomplished; it makes me feel even more relaxed knowing I completed something for the day when I might have been otherwise unproductive.
Now all of those things that were bothering me back in August are still true, but journaling has allowed me to see that some of these were blessings in disguise. By looking back on past journals I can see now what I couldn’t see then, and I feel that is a really special feeling. It was also through my journaling; I can take notice of patterns. One of the biggest patterns I saw was my unhappiness with selling boutique clothes. Had I not noticed this pattern, I may have continued with the boutique and been unhappy for even longer.
I don’t expect everyone to journal after reading this. My only hope is that you give it a try. Things won’t magically change in one day, may not even a month, but genuinely journaling changed my life and I think it could change yours too if you gave it a shot.
- Cora Sanfilippo <3