Top 12 ideas for diaries

If you kept a diary when you were a teen, it was probably full of secrets and feelings you didn't want your folks or nosy brother to see. Maybe you had different coloured pens to express your feelings. We're sure you doodled your crush's name in all the corners. Picking up this habit again today may feel a bit foolish, especially if you're not sure what to record in a diary as a big person. But, while you may not be dishing out the gossip you eavesdropped on during geography, you're never too old to put your thoughts in a diary of your own. Here are some grown-up clues. If you're not into "adulting" yet, we've included some fun stuff too.

  1. Your reflections on inspirational quotes. Spend a few minutes writing down an inspirational quote, then hold it in your mind and see what comes up for you. Does it have a message for your day? Your life? 
  2. Count your blessings. Gratitude makes you happier, according to psychology studies so turn your diary into a gratitude journal to bring the sunshine back into your life. 
  3. Most important thing of the day. Life flies past us so quickly it's sometimes hard to remember what happened yesterday, let alone 5 years ago. Turn your diary into a record of the things that are going on in your life by capturing the most important event of the day, even if it's something like: finally got the washing done. Like a time capsule, you'll look back later and get a true sense of what your life was like back then. 
  4. Write your dreams down as soon as you wake up. Your dreams hold important clues for your life, but so often we jump up out of bed and our dreams vanish like smoke. Write them down and the beginning of the day and reflect upon them at night to help you untangle your issues and grow your life's garden. 
  5. What's the top good news story of the day? It's so easy to get mired in the disasters of the age we live in, but there's a ton of good things going on as well. Seek out the sources of good news and write them down. Not only will you feel more optimistic about the future, but you'll be helping to move the world into a more positive timeline by recognising the possibilities beyond disaster. At the end of the year, you've got a treasure of positivity to look back on.
  6. Learn a new word every day. Learning new words makes you smarter. It stretches our working memory as well as opening up our perspectives and helping us to communicate more easily and effectively. 
  7. Write questions to an imaginary wise friend, then write the answers too. You'll be surprised at how much wisdom your imagination holds. Just suspend your cynicism and play without expectation and see what silly and profound wisdom your imagination serves up. 
  8. Positive affirmations. Affirmations are like snippets of computer code that run your life. Take a moment to look in on your mind and see what stories it's running - are they kind, supportive, optimistic? Great! If not, then start feeding your mind better ways to think, and watch your life start to unfold in new directions. 
  9. Brilliant ideas. Start capturing your fabulous ideas. There will be silly and crazy and impossible ones, but amongst them all there just might be one that changes your life. So, open up the tap and let the ideas start flowing. 
  10. Song lyric or poetry snippets. Do you wake up with a song circling in your head? Capture it in your diary. Do you relish the way words come together? Capture those too. You don't have to write the whole song or poem, just bring the snippets to the page, and let the magic of creativity work out the details later. 
  11. Daily haiku. Creating a haiku is a mindfulness practice that some people find very satisfying. The rules are simple: a 3-line poem, in which the first line has 5 syllables; the second, 7 syllables; the third, 5 syllables. The fixed structure stretches your creativity and gives you a glorious sense of accomplishment when you hit on just exactly the right word. 
  12. Family history - record the stories of your everyday life. The days fly past so quickly, and life is changing dramatically from year to year. Capture the moments now.