Journaling is an important part of my self-care routine. I have been using undated blank paper notebooks for several years. This means instead of starting a new one in the new year, they usually roll over from year to year, and it is not unusual for me to use more than one notebook in a year. I’ve just started my second 2023 journal.
In the past I used lined notebooks, then moved to plain paper, then back to lined and I’m now using dotted journals. I like to use different styles of journal entries, so I moved to dot grid as I found lines restrictive, but still wanted something to help me draw lines for journaling prompts or add decoration reasonably straight.
My journaling routine
My regular habit is to free write in the mornings. It is great to prevent overwhelm as I could be to empty thoughts in my head or to capture ideas for the day in a simple daily plan. At the weekends my journal entries as usually longer and might include decorated pages and journal prompts to support my personal growth. The prompts could be from something like an oracle deck or one of the prompts I’ve developed based on books I’ve read; I’m developing a wide range which I’ll keep sharing. I intend to write in the evenings before bed with a positive round up. This is partly to develop a habit of reflection and partly as a gratitude journal, however I haven’t done this many times in 2023 yet.
My 2023 journal — the first one
I started 2023 continuing with the journal I was using in the second half of 2022. It is A5 purple Leuchtturm1917 with dot grid pages*. It is similar to the Castelli journal I’ve used in previous years, however the Leuchtturm is wider which I prefer. I decorated it with a Pipstick sticker after being inspired in one writing session. It means my journal became an affirmation every time I looked at it.
My journal — the second one
I didn’t fill the Leuchtturm as quickly as I expected as I reduced my writing in February and March. So I started my second journal in April. It is A5 Kenji dotted journal which was gift from my sister. I haven’t tried decorating this one yet, but as the cover is textured I don’t know if anything will stick. I may just colour it’s pretty inside cover instead.
My fountain pens
My main Tom’s studio fountain pen was a gift from my husband at the end of last year. I love the colours. I’m using purple Diamine ink*. I’m also using a Cross fountain (also a gift from my husband over 15 years ago) with red Diamine ink which I use for titles or questions when I use journal prompts. I’m getting close to the end of both bottles, so I’ll have to starting thinking about what colours I use next.
My 2023 word of the year
Last year was the first time I’d chosen a word of the year (DEVELOP). I found it a useful reminder through the year, so I’ve decided to do it again this year, except I’ve chosen a main word and a supporting word this time, STRENGTHEN as the main word supported by EASE. I want to strengthen what I developed last year, with the reminder that this is not at all costs.
I work on embedding these in my mindset when I use my positive prompts in the evenings. I add extra prompts asking What have I strengthened during the day? How have I incorporated ease today?
What notebooks are you using for your journal this year? Do you have a word of the year? How do you use them during the year?
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