January (Journaling) Blues

Although I always try to maintain a positive outlook I can’t deny that January has been quite a difficult month.. 

It seems to have been a particularly bleak winter in Scotland this year with continual rain and long dark nights which haven’t had a positive influence on my mood at all. And although I don’t usually put too much emphasis on New Years, I found that this year I put an immense amount of pressure on myself, in the form of New Years resolutions, which quickly turned from a help to a hindrance once I was a few weeks into January.

And so I seemed to begin this year by setting myself up to fail.


A quote by Lao Tzu in my Traveler’s Notebook


From a journaling perspective, at the beginning of January I was still feeling a little unsettled as to the decisions I’d made regarding which journals I would be using this year. Or more accurately, what I would be using each journal for.

Towards the end of last year I had found I was losing myself in different ideas and a desire to try new things. And so I decided this year I would use my Traveler’s Notebook as my Bullet Journal, my new Hobonichi Techo (original) as a memory keeping journal, an A5 dot grid journal for Bullet Journal collections and my Zelo journal for goals and planning in relation to my website.

A week or so into January I discovered I had perhaps taken on slightly too much as in truth I just can’t seem to allocate enough time to indepthly journal every day, the way I had envisioned I would be journaling this year.


“You can have it all but not all at once” – Oprah Winfrey


And although I love each of the journals mentioned above I’ve decided to slightly amend my journaling plans, for the time being at least, to alleviate some of the pressure I’ve put on myself.

My Zelo Journal is working out fine for me as I use this for quick lists, planning ahead and goal setting (specifically focused on my website). And using my Traveler’s Notebook to keep my Bullet Journal Future Log has also worked out really well because I take this Journal everywhere with me. (You can read about my future log set up here).


Memories recorded in my Hobonichi Techo (original) calendar pages


But throughout January I’ve been coming and going between my Traveler’s Notebook and A5 Journal while trying to decide how I’d like to Bullet Journal this year and so my journaling pages this month are spread over two different notebooks. Which is nice in a way but from February I’ll keep my monthly Bullet Journal in an A5 journal exclusively, as I’ve discovered I enjoy the space of an A5 notebook for my Bullet Journaling. I also realised how many notes I keep in my Bullet Journal and this in itself forms a journal of memories. And although some days are incredibly minimalist I do enjoy drawing when I have the time and taking part in some journal challenges hosted on Instagram.

Unfortunately, I’ve hardly used my Hobonichi during January as I haven’t yet been able to schedule my time efficiently. In addition to this, although it sounds silly, I’m quite intimidated by this gorgeous little A6 journal, to the point that I’ve almost been too scared to use it for fear of messing it up.

However, I’m comfortable now to write January off, in a way, as an experiment/ learning month. And with February comes a new beginning, starting with writing, drawing and memory keeping every day, in a new A5 journal, even if I only write one line a day – I’m not putting any pressure on myself!


Have you ever felt overwhelmed when it comes to making decisions about which journal you’d like to use? I’d love to hear in the comments below!



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