Should You Keep a Hard Copy Diary + Why I Still Do

With smart phones, smart tablets, laptops and now smart watches, does anyone still write in a hard copy diary? Yes, over here, me, I’ve got my hand held high for this one.

When I talk about writing in a diary I don’t mean like when you were a teenager, keeping a diary can simply be a place to put your special occasions, events, to-do’s, bills and where you can brain dump at the end of the day. You don’t need to have a deep and meaningful with this notebook, but you can still fill it with meaningful things which will help you feel organised and ‘together’ throughout the year.

The thing about keeping a hard copy diary away from a ‘screen’, is that it’s a form of true presence, being in the moment. You can’t get sidetracked by flipping the page and seeing what your friends are up to, because your notebook isn’t a phone, your phone is on charge, it’s just you and the notebook at the dining table, ink pen in hand. See, writing is a traditional art form, I call it art anyway. We spend so much time typing, that writing can become a lost tradition in our lives. Even our to-do lists can now be written in our smart phones, at least with a notebook you don’t have to make sure it’s charged. There is no quick typing or spelling when you write, it makes us really think, it encourages our creativity and creates space in our busy tech-heavy days.

Diaries I love..

  • Active Living Diary by Lorna Jane (this is what I have for 2018 as pictured above)
  • kikki.K Diaries
  • MiGOALS Diaries

Admittedly I’ve had some really good years where I’ve written in it regularly, so much so that it has been a go-to hub for my entire calendar, I’ve also had some years where I’ve bought one and it’s sat in my drawer for the entire 12 months (can you relate?). This year though I am making the effort if not daily, but every Sunday to get my diary out and write in it from anywhere between half hour to an hour.

During this half hour/hour I will..

  • Fill out any extra things that have happened during the week.
  • Fill out my coming week with all my to-do’s and check for upcoming bills.
  • Check the month calendar.

At the start of each new month I will..

  • Fill out the month calendar.
  • In the month calendar I will also include the book I plan to read that month (this is part of my 2018 goals – blog post to come).
  • Fill out my coming week (as above).
  • Go over my goals section (the Lorna Jane diary has an amazing section at the front dedicated to this – I had so much fun filling out this years! Below is a snapshot of mine for 2018).

What I include in my diary..

  • Special occasions (Birthday’s, anniversaries).
  • Events (Public Holiday’s, invitations).
  • To-do’s (everyday to do’s, appointments).
  • Bills on their due dates.
  • Brain dumping/everyday journaling (anything worth remembering or perhaps that I might need to look back over I add to that day at the end of the day).

For me keeping a diary is so special. I really do thoroughly enjoy the practice of writing in a yearly diary, it’s a small amount of time during my day or my week just for me, I find it calming to put my up and coming’s onto paper and when I do well at keeping it all year it makes for a beautiful reflection on your year. There’s nothing like a handwritten diary to look back on and see what you really achieved (and let me tell you, when it’s all written down on paper, it’s a lot!).

Note: Writing in this diary is seperate to my gratitude journal which is a lot more personal and part of my self love practice (check out my blog post ‘How to Start a Gratitude Journal‘).

I hope after reading this blog post you are feeling inspired to put pen to paper during 2018. To those who might say ‘I don’t have time to add yet another thing to my daily rythym like writing in a diary’, well to you I say, we all have 24 hours in a day, and at the end of the day we are all doing what we know how to do with what we’ve been given. Some things in life really are as simple as that, if you want to do it, you will make time for it. Do you keep a yearly diary? I would love to know how you find it and what your favourite diary is in the comments below.

All my love,



Stress Less + SPARKLE More

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography

Last year was most definitely my biggest year yet, and by big I don’t mean it was all about success. Once again my year started off with heartbreak in January after losing yet another loved one which hit me really hard.. in May I was promoted which was really exciting and then I launched this blog in July after months (if not years really) of working on it.

Over the last few years so much has happened in my life personally and professionally that eventually it was going to come to a point where it was too much if I didn’t allow quality time to heal and rest, and soon after the first part of last year it did, it all became too much. The amount of stress running through my body had become beyond imaginable, though on the outside you couldn’t see it, on the inside my heart was aching, my body was exhausted and I had nothing left to give, because I was giving too much and not filling myself back up. One day I woke up in so much pain running through my entire body, it had finally given in, it was telling me to stop, right now, that day, stop completely and heal. So I did.

That day I had a couple of days off work to rest, I had health checks, blood tests, then from there I began a journey of about 6 months of physiotherapy to mend my body, I focused on resting and worked on slowing down in every aspect of my life. I let go of the temptation to do everything and be everything to everyone all of the time. I cancelled my gym membership and stayed home a lot more to do some serious winding down and to sleep more than I ever had in my life, I literally had to come to a complete stop in order to start again. After all of this work I finally feel like I am becoming my best self again.

It’s a funny thing that it’s not until something stops us in our tracks that we take notice of what is affecting us from the inside-out. I had let life’s stressors build up pressure inside me for a couple of years, and when my physio first touched my body she could feel the intense tension, the pain, running all the way up through my back to my neck and my head. She said she hadn’t seen a young persons body like this, that it shouldn’t be like this. She was one of the first people to tell me that I needed to do some work, not just physical, but I needed to stop and heal. Notice the reuccurance so far? Stop to heal. I know I’m not the only one to push through the pain, the workload, to make my dreams happen no matter what, I’m not the only one to push aside wellness to keep moving forward in whatever way possible, but I’m not that person anymore, today I stop and heal, every, single, day.

Here are some of the things that I now know that stopped me in my tracks and the things that helped me heal..

What stopped me..

  • I held emotion in for a long time, too long.
  • I didn’t get enough sleep and didn’t listen to my body when it was tired during the day.
  • I was constantly trying to hold together toxic friendships.
  • I took on too much at once.
  • I thought I was obliged to keep going when I was exhausted, that taking time out just for me wasn’t an option.

What healed me..

  • I let everything out and talked to my loved ones about how I was feeling.
  • I seeked professional help, for my mental and physical state.
  • I began sleeping whenever I needed to, even if it meant one to two times during the day on my days off.
  • I stopped the pressure hanging over me from having a gym membership, I cancelled it and did healing exercises instead like yoga and walking.
  • I worked (and continually work) on being grateful for what I have.

I don’t want anyone to ever be where I was at one of the lowest points of my life. I thought I had it all together, that I was doing all the right things, I was exercising, I was eating well,  I was living by the ‘books’, but still I wasn’t truly listening to my body, I wasn’t taking notice of the signals until it was too late. Would you believe that on the day of the photoshoot I did for this blog (most of the photos you see here including the one above) that I was in such intense pain that I could hardly open my eyes, but yet I still pushed through? I had put my body under so much stress over a couple of years without even noticing. Never again, from when I started to feel well again I made a promise to myself to always listen and remain consciously aware through everything I do.

I hope this resonates with someone out there who has been through something similar (you are never alone) or is beginning to feel their body coming to a stop, there’s a reason for this, it is telling you to stop, so stop to heal, give yourself the permission to. I promise that it’s all going to be ok, that the world will not fall apart when you take time out. Listen to your body beautiful souls, honour it, it is the only one you have, do not be afraid to reach out for help from loved ones or professionals, and remember, finding gratitude in simply being well and feeling good is so powerful. Be grateful for your health, always.

All my love,

How to Start a Gratitude Journal

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography

By now you may have heard of the term ‘Gratitude Journal’ or the action ‘gratitude journaling’, so what exactly is this journal, and should you start one? My personal opinion is most definitely, for me this simple practice has been life changing.

What is a Gratitude Journal?

A Gratitude Journal is not a diary as such, but a purposed journal, usually a small lined notebook that is used for the specific purpose of writing down what you are grateful for in that moment.

When to journal?

I personally write in it organically, I don’t force myself to do it everyday like it’s part of a ‘routine’, because when we force things, that’s when I find that this new exciting thing we really wanted to do can soon become more of a chore. Practicing gratitude journaling should not be a chore, it should simply be a beautiful practice, rather than just another thing we have to do in our already ‘busy’ lives. Sure if you write in yours daily, amazing, sometimes I write in mine more often, but a lot of the time it’s just when I feel like it, and this can be any time of the day.

The layout

I usually write the date at the top so I can refer back with a timeline, then I will start with.. ‘Today I am grateful for..’ followed by three numbered dot points below (eg. 1. 2. 3..). Three because 3 isn’t an overwhelming amount to have to think about, but more than 1 so that you do have to sometimes put some heart and soul into it on the simpler days.

What to journal about?

There is always something to be grateful for.. Examples could be, you got to have a little sleep in, the sun was shining when you woke up, the smell of your first coffee of the day, your favourite song came on the radio on the way to work or on the way home, or something as simple as a home cooked dinner.

Benefits of having a Gratitude Journal + actually sticking to it

Firstly, it’s a form of self love, something just for you, to do on your own. I know a lot of people out there probably struggle with making time just for themselves, I know I do some days, but having a simple, affordable, everyday practice like this allows you to do just that, even if only for 5 minutes every so often.

Practicing gratitude encourages you to focus on all of the good in your life, especially helpful during the seemingly mundane weekly routines and lack of sparkle in our lives. Trust me when I say, when you start your journal you will realise there is always sparkle in our lives, and it probably doesn’t cost a thing and is right in front of our eyes.

We all want to start new ventures to change our lives for the long haul, and actually sticking to having a Gratitude Journal, I promise you, can be that life changing venture. I have a lot of good days to write about sure, but I also have some bad days.. some end up with headaches, and some end in tears. Since starting my gratitude journal, not only do I get filled with joy when I write on a good day, morning or night, but it’s the joy I get on a bad day that has had the biggest impact on my life. When I pick it up on a not so sparkly day, not necessarily to write in it, but to read back on all of the things in my life I already have to be grateful for, it changes everything, and once again no matter my day, I’ve found gratitude.

If you have a Gratitude Journal or start one in the future I would love to know your thoughts and feelings towards keeping it in the comments below.

All my love,