When it comes to Journal, we've been there, done that, now serving 97 tips in 18 categories ranging from Alternative Journal Ideas to Wedding Journals/Notecards. Need more advice? Ask a Life Coach or take our Life Coach Directory for a spin.
Remember to add the date, time and location, if possible to your journal entries. It will help you remember the context for writing your entry, if and when you decide to reread it. It's also nice to see where your journal has 'traveled' over time, whenever there is a significant gap between entries.
Want to make someone in your life smile and laugh out loud? Start by buying them a journal as a Christmas gift. Pick one that is either similar to a date book in that each page contains the date of the month and day of the week or buy a blank one and number each page with the day of the year. Then begin to write little sayings, ideas, and thoughts at the top of the page randomly, throughout the book. For example on January 12th you might write, “Remember to smile today,” and then skip to February 22nd where you might say, “Stand up no matter where you are or who you are in front of, throw your head back, close your eyes and sing at the top of your lungs. Do it NOW!” As they go through their days, they will run across these sayings, think of you, and more often than not, they'll call or email to say thanks for making them laugh! It's a great reminder to keep in touch!
Children love animals and often end up asking to bring home a fish, dog, cat, hamster, gerbil, horse, etc. Whatever pet they own, try getting them a pet journal in which they can keep all the information about their pet or pets. You may want to seek out an interactive pet journal that includes specific questions they will have to answer. A journal of this type encourages your child to take responsibility for their animal. The more responsible they are, the better equipped they will be to answer the journal questions. They can write a description of the animal along with a history of how that pet came to be a member of the family. Take a picture of the animal and paste it inside with information about its favorite treats and toys. Encouraging your child to write both descriptive information and factual information allows them to enhance their writing skills. This type of journal persuades children to look closely at details which are extremely beneficial for developing their writing and for noticing important things in life as well.
A Poetry/Photo journal is a good way to explore your vision of the world. Start with one word; try writing about “water”. Let your thoughts explore all of the associations you have with water. Do you think about drinking a cool glass of water on a warm day? Or do you think about how raindrops sound when they hit the surface of a pond? Write down whatever comes to mind and then close your journal. Return to it the next day and begin to mold the sentences and words into a poem. Every poet has a distinct style and voice; work with your words, try to let your own voice come to the surface. Once you have finished your poem go out and take pictures, gather any old photos or cut ones out of magazines that that relate to the idea of your poem. Take those photos and create a border around your picture or use the next page of your journal to create a visual collage of your poem.
When the holiday season has drawn to a close, remember to send thank you notes for the gifts you received from family and friends. Handwritten notes are meaningful because they can be saved. They say to the person you are writing to that you appreciated the gift and wanted to take the time to say thank you. When you write the note, be sure to mention the gift. For example, if someone gave you a journal you might try saying, “The journal is so beautiful that I cannot wait to spend time writing in it.” If it is a monetary gift, you can simply say, “Thank you for your generous gift.” At the end of the note, be sure to express how much it meant that they thought of you.
After your wedding and honeymoon, sit down and begin to work on your thank you notes. Do not send preprinted notes to your guests. They took the time to get you a gift and attend your wedding so give your thank you notes the personal touch. Handwriting your notes and addressing them to each person individually says that you not only appreciated their gift but you valued the thoughtfulness behind their attendance as well. Even if you did not like the gift, you should still send a note to say thank you for the thought. Remember to include a special thank you to those friends and family members who helped in setting up the wedding as well.