Most of us can remember keeping a journal or diary as a kid.  The little notebook held our deepest and most private childhood thoughts – all about the unfair punishment a parent dished out to us or the crush we spend all of class daydreaming about.  We often even password protected the journal and guarded it with our lives for fear that a sibling or friend would discover it.

Just because you are older, doesn’t mean that you can’t still keep in a journal.  In fact, writing in a journal has proven benefits.  Studies have shown that journaling can relieve stress, be a place to write about your hopes and dreams, and be a place to get the creative processes going.  Journaling – especially reflective journaling – can be a great way to help you decide what you want in life and how you’re going to get it.  Reflective journaling is great for college students because this is the time in our life that we are trying to figure out our futures.

These days, there are tons of options for how to keep your journal.  You could keep it handwritten and buy either a basic composition notebook or get a really nice notebook.  There are also a variety of digital options too.  You could use something like Evernote or a word processor to write down your thoughts.  There are so many app options so that your journal can be synced to all of your devices – your phone, your computer, your tablet, whatever.

Your journal doesn’t have to be filled with long, elaborate, super detailed entries.  Your journal can have short, quick, bulleted pointed or it can be in paragraph form.  There is no minimum length of entries or rules for what must be included.  The whole point of the journal is that is serves as a place to reflect on your life and the direction it is going or the direction you want it to go.  Your journal is a place to take responsibility for your life and what you want.  It is a great way to reflect on your strengths, your weaknesses, your fears, and the realities.  The journal helps you grow and serves as a record of your progress.

Do you keep a journal or diary?  How often do you write in it?  Is it kept in a notebook or on a computer?

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Basekys and used with a C.C. Attribution 2.0 License]