Get Started on Your Own “Living Inspired” Journal

(and feel free to name it whatever you want!)

I heard a quote the other day that really resonated, especially since I just started my brand new “Living Inspired” journal.

“Rather than searching for life’s meaning, remember that you always have the power to create it.” 

Viktor Frankl

Pretty cool, eh?  I am not at all attempting to be Deepak Chopra here, but being able to create our own life’s meaning in a chaotic world that doesn’t always make a lot of sense is pretty powerful. And that is why I’m excited about the Living Inspired Journal.

What is a Living Inspired Journal you might ask?

It’s a scrapbook- a physical form of Pinterest, or dare I say “visionboard”  that you fill up with anything that inspires you. AND I MEAN ANYTHING.  Could be anything from personal growth to fashion, it doesn’t matter. It’s merely an exercise to focus your attention on inspiration = happiness.

My Living Inspired Journal is an 8.5” x 11” hardcover sketchbook, I rummage through all my old magazines and catalogs and cut out what speaks to me- Headlines that I group together to make my own statements, quotes that inspire me (some of these hand written), etc.  (I will go into greater detail below). 

I kept my first “inspiration” journal in 2007, when I was in a funk and didn’t have a lot of inspiration in my life (my cubicle days).  I was looking for a creative side project to focus my energy. I got really into my journal and I would walk around on my lunch hour looking for materials to fill it with. I think in today’s times, when we can’t turn the TV on without hearing WAY TOO MUCH depressing news, it’s good to have a creative/inspirational outlet. 

You don't have to be in a funk to keep a Living Inspired Journal, It's just a fun thing to do!  Especially this time of year when our new year’s resolutions are “still” in full effect (AKA bypassing happy hour and hitting the gym instead).  This is a great activity to do post gym / dinner when the average person turns on the TV, or in the AM before work to kick start your day off on a positive note.

I encourage you to start one! It’s easy, there is no right or wrong.

Go through catalogs & magazines, tear or cut out anything that catches your eye. Cut out the headlines you think are inspiring, a photo of a place you have traveled, or want to travel to, a postcard, a great article, a great quote, colors you love. You can make up your own words cutting up individual letters and pasting each letter down to make up the word.  Glue down ticket stubs from museums, concerts, travel memorabilia.  Doodle or draw if you desire with pen or pencil. We are not looking for a masterpiece here and you don’t have to show anyone if you don’t want to. Remember, perfection is a creativity killer. The goal is to just get started.

You can also dedicate a full page to a specific headline (examples below), and fill it with writing or magazine cut outs (or a combo of both).

  • 5 future vacation destinations?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What do you want to achieve this year?
  • What are you ready to let go of?
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What qualities or habits would you like to improve?
  • What are some of your favorite memories?

Give it 10-20 min a day or longer if you can.  If you stick with it, you be surprised how much it strengthens your creative muscle and connects to your inspiration = happy place.  

I store all my cut outs that I will glue down at a later time in a large envelope and store all the mags for the project in a shoe box. It cleans up pretty fast, especially if you’re cutting on a table surface over hardwood floors.

Materials list:

  • Any journal. I use a hardcover sketch pad that I picked up at my local art store.  The size 8.5” x 11”, but any size will do. I bought something similar to the link below.

  • A glue stick. Any size is fine.
  • Any pens of your choice if you want to write inside. I like Gel Pens
  • Magazines of your choice- I would start with min. 3.

Stay tuned for my next post February 1.  I will reveal the first country in my new travel series, Bon Voyage.  And be sure to follow me on Instagram (JENNIFER_CLIFFORD_ART) for art updates and behind the scenes – Link at the bottom of the page.