Finding Joy in Planning & Journaling

This year is about creating new healthy habits, giving yourself the opportunity to stick with those new habits and have fun with them. Putting my thoughts down on paper has been a rather healing experience. There’s something therapeutic about getting your thoughts out of your head. Though therapeutic, I am learning that it also requires true commitment in doing so. You must be willing to continue to put the work in. My coworker gifted me a planner. Funny thing is, I haven’t used an actual planner since I was in college and that was about eight long years ago. She got it for me because she explained how using a planner has changed her entire life and helped her organize her daily life, schedules, and routines. I desperately needed some sort of organization in my life. It’s a fun planner with stickers, quotes, and space to take notes. I’ve been using this planner since she gifted it to me but haven’t really put much energy into focusing on what I put down in it. Sometimes I forget that I wrote something in there, and then the day had passed and I’m like…I was supposed to do that thing. I have a habit of doing that and I am trying to break it. It could be something simple as “Laundry Day”, nothing too crazy.

I mentioned to my therapist how I’ve been really enjoying the process of getting my to-dos on paper. She explained just how a planner can help me become more assertive and confident as well. By writing that “to-do”s  and every important event, I am telling myself, that I need to commit to doing so. I need to show up for myself and do those things. This is what I have planned and this is what I am doing. Damn, do I have commitment issues to? Am I unreliable? Even to myself?!  You see how therapy will bring other aspects into light? I digress. Nonetheless, I am trying to be more assertive and commit to the actual plans that I make in this planner. I decided that I would have fun with this process. I watched several TikTok videos of “planner aesthetics” and took it to Amazon to purchase “aesthetically pleasing” highlighters. I even picked up fun pastel pens from Five Below. There’s really no need to get extra stuff to write in a planner but I have a deep love for stationary and I am indulging.

I’ve also started journaling again. Growing up, I would write in my diary from cover to cover. I missed doing that. Why is it that the older I get the more I want to go back to doing the things I loved when I was younger? Those things brought me a whole lot of joy and I didn’t even appreciate that until my 30s. It’s as if the older I got, the more distractions came. From social media to boys, of course, boys, but I am getting back to those things that I loved and that made me feel like, me. Before therapist, there were diaries. Now I do not know if people say “diary” anymore. The buzzword is “journaling” so that is why I am saying it. I use my “journal” as a “diary”. I capture my experiences, feelings and then once down on paper I never read them again because, I just can’t. I feel that I wrote what I wrote and I don’t need to read it again. My therapist is trying to get me to work on that though, because looking back helps you realize how far you’ve come. She’s right. I’m going to work on that too.

I can honestly say that using my planner and keeping a diary is bringing me lots of joy right now. In some crazy way, these two items have become the highlight of my entire day, other than spending time with my daughter ofcourse. They have become a great escape for me and reminds me of my younger self that  used to sit in my room on my bed for hours, writing, writing, writing.

that  used to sit in my room on my bed for hours, writing, writing, writing.

Here are some ideas on how to use your planner:

  • If you are coparenting, capture the schedule in your planner so that you can clearly see when pickup and drop offs are.
  • Plan out when you will clean your space.
  • Capture time for yourself (self-care, hobbies)
  • Schedule time to call that friend or spend time with family/friends ( I have National Margarita day in my planner as I write this, it’s Feb 22nd if you are wondering. You’re welcome)
  • Capture your children’s’ extracurricular activities.
  • Mark when your pay days are, when bills are due, etc.

If you are a stationary lover like myself, have fun with it, use stickers, highlighters, write quotes, put pictures in it, whatever brings you joy.

Happy Healing Folks.

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