As 2018 came to a close, I collected a series of pictures to reminisce the year. Scrolling through all of my Year-In-Review Instagram stories could have occupied you well into the new year.
I realized these pictures were only a supercut of the year's cheeriest highlights. I am grateful for my accomplishments this year, and I do want to commemorate my victories, but I also don't want to live my life with one-sided, shallow reflections.
I had dark days this year that didn't make my Facebook Year-In-Review video, and I am sure you did too. I can't learn from my lessons in 2018 if I don't take time to record my hardships.
My goal for the new year is to improve my journaling habit, so I can look back on 2019 and know how I was feeling when I posted my most-liked Instagram selfie.
I have included some tips that I will be using to revive the healthy habit I left in high school.
1. Buy a new journal.
I have enjoyed the symbolism of starting a new year with a new journal ever since I saw "Bridget Jones's Diary" for the first time. You can buy a journal at a local bookstore or online. I recommend buying a book with lined-paper, like my new caramel colored leather travel journal. I start new journals by writing some of my new year intentions or resolutions.
2. Waste your time on a new app.
My failed 2018 resolution was to journal every day on the Grid Diary app. I highly recommend this app, though I have never been able to maintain a consistent online journaling habit. I used this app as a bullet journal after logging in the day's weather and my overall mood. I customized the homepage of this digital journal to include eight prompts, which I used to record the process of my other resolutions. Some of the customized prompts have your journal about your sleep schedule or family life. This app also sends you helpful notifications to remind you to write. Just remember that you have enough time to journal on this app if you have enough time to scroll through Twitter for ten minutes!
3. Set a time.
I recommend setting a timer on your phone to remind you to journal. I do this regardless of whether I am writing on paper or online, though it is easier to use digital journals that include notification features. Like Jim Hopper from "Stranger Things" said, it's all about coffee and contemplation. I am most reflective during the earlier hours of the day, so I have set an alarm to remind me to journal every morning at 9 a.m. I guess I should add the resolution to wake up earlier, too.
4. Get to know the moon cycles.
Though I find journaling by moonlight to be both challenging and ridiculous, I recommend picking an object or event that occurs frequently enough to build a writing schedule around. For example, I once journaled for six months consistently by writing every full moon. The full moon came around once a month, so I was never overwhelmed by the idea of writing whenever it shined through my window. Maybe plan to journal every rent day or on Wednesdays if celestial objects don't work for your schedule.
5. Rethink wine night.
One of my old roommates and I used to say that we talked so much about life during our wine nights that we might as well pull out a journal too. Maybe we were onto something? Next time you're having a heart-to-heart with a good friend try writing down some of your thoughts before the bottle runs dry. They say a drunk girl's words are a sober girl's truth, so lay out a cheese plate, rosé, and grab a pen.
I hope these tips help you develop a journaling habit this new year.