How a $5 Walmart Journal Changed My Life
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?
- I don't like to journal.
- I've started so many journals and never finish them.
- I don't know what to write.
- I'm scared to mess it up.
- I'm worried someone will find my journals and blast it on Facebook.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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