How a $5 Walmart Journal Changed My Life

Woman in big black button down shirt sitting at table with journal writing.


I began my journal practice in 2013 when I was going through perimenopause to track my perimenopause symptoms and to feel better. This $5.00 Walmart journal led me to quit drinking through letters and questions that I asked myself like, Why are you drinking so much? 

Before this journal, I had kept a diary when I was younger, which I loved to do. I had a beautiful diary with the lock and key that I guarded with my life, so my sister wouldn't see what I wrote the crushes I had.

My Walmart journal said Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away and I remember seeing it and thinking this is perfect! I was pretty down during perimenopause, and I had recently lost my mom to cancer, so I knew that the journal would be a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings. 



I realized that when I started journaling, I stared at the blank page, and I didn't know what to write, so I wrote what I ate for the day, my cycles and lack thereof, my moods, and my overall wellbeing. 



As I started to uncover how I felt when I was hungover for days and tired and bloated, I began to dive deeper into my thirty-year love affair with alcohol. My questions were hard to answer in a positive let's keep drinking way.

All entries were signs that said, hey, maybe it's time to quit drinking, so you don't feel like shit anymore. 

I had never imagined my life without alcohol! I was the party-girl since 1982 and hung onto that title even when I was passing out and blacking out in my early forties. But, the journal doesn't lie. 

Once you are honest with your journal, your entire life will change. 

I get asked if perimenopause was the catalyst to quit drinking, and it was one of the reasons, but not the entire reason. I was miserable in my head and body, and I was hanging on by a thread to excuses and justifications to try and make alcohol work.

I had enough Chardonnay and champagne to last me a lifetime, and I knew that the older I got, the harder it was going to be to stop drinking. 

I was terrified of becoming a woman who was still escaping her life at 75. 

Through the pages in my journal, I uncovered so much about myself and my drinking. The self-awareness that comes from staring at blank pages, and putting honest thoughts and words to it is life-changing.

Are you resisting journaling for the following reasons? 

  1. I don't like to journal. 
  2. I've started so many journals and never finish them. 
  3. I don't know what to write. 
  4. I'm scared to mess it up. 
  5. I'm worried someone will find my journals and blast it on Facebook. 
  6. I have no idea how to start. 

If you said yes to any of those questions, you are not alone, and I have good news for you; it's easy to start and stay consistent with writing in your journal daily. 

Here is how: 

  1. Invest in a journal that lights you up. When I first chose my journal, I went with the sentiment on the front Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away and used it as a daily reminder of why I wanted to journal in the first place. 
  2. Buy pens that will get you excited to write. You can use whatever color, tip, or style of pen you choose. I find that I write better when I'm using a pen that I love! (it's true!)
  3. Make your journal time unique. Light a candle, grab a cup of coffee or tea, your favorite blanket, and make sure you are not distracted.
  4. Open your journal to the inside cover and write a mantra to help you stay centered and the date and year. Example: I am finding myself, October 1, 2020.
  5. Put pen to paper and start writing on your first page. Start with your intention for the journal or what your grateful for or what you are wearing. Just start. 
  6. Set a time of day, location, and a time limit on your journal practice for the next day forward. Example: I will journal every morning at 6:30 am on my couch for 10-minutes. 
  7. Rinse and repeat daily.

Now that you have your daily journal practice created, please don't allow yourself to skip a day. 

Whenever you create a journal practice, you are building a system to become your best self, and that system will break if you aren't consistent. 

Think of your journal as a love letter to your future self and start today! 



To help you get started, I've prepared a quick list of my favorite go-to journal prompts.  Click here to download now. 


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