DIY Aspiration Journal

This week I made a bunch of mini aspiration journals. Ta-da!

aspiration journals

So, what’s an aspiration journal?

Most journals or diaries are places for you to list the mundane things that happened during your day. “Made a sandwich for lunch. It was good.”

Kind of boring, right?

As an alternative, try keeping an aspiration journal where you write AS IF your dreams have already come true.

Instead of writing, “I wish I could afford to go to Hawaii,” you should write, “I’m so happy on my Hawaiian vacation, and I love feeling the sand between my toes!” This writing exercise will help you shift your thinking and put into words how it feels to accomplish your goals.

I’ve kept aspiration journals for years, and it’s always fun to read old entries after what I was wishing for really happened!

Here’s how you can make your own aspiration journal.

Get a small notebook. This composition book is about 4.5 inches in length and cost less than $1.00. Gather several sheets of scrapbook paper in coordinating colors. If you don’t have scrapbook paper, you can use magazine pages, old greeting cards, wrapping paper, or comics from the newspaper.

Cover the front of the notebook with adhesive. I use scrapbook adhesive because it helps the paper lay flat, but you could also use a glue stick or double-sided tape.

Line up a sheet of paper with the spine of the notebook and press firmly.

Cut off the excess paper around the cover.

Adhere scrapbook paper to the back cover of the notebook. I used 2 different patterns.

Determine how many sections you want your journal to have. Count out the number of pages for each section, and use a sticky note to mark where the tab will go on the lined page.

I made 12 sections for my aspiration journal (one for each month), but feel free to add more or fewer depending on how you want to use your journal.

Cut out strips of scrapbook paper to make the tabs. My tabs are 0.5 inches by 7 inches. You can adjust the width depending on how thick you want your tabs to be and how far you want them to stick out.

Fold the strips of paper in half.

Put adhesive on the inside of the first strip.

Remove the first sticky note placeholder and adhere the first strip of paper where you want the first tab to be on the lined page.

Flip the lined page over and glue down the back of the strip of paper. You just made a tab for the first section in your aspiration journal.

Move on to the second sticky note placeholder and adhere the next strip of paper to make the tab for the second section of the journal.

Keep going!

Glue scrapbook paper to the inside covers just like you did for the front and back covers.

Have fun designing your aspiration journal! I used stickers to write 2013 on the cover.

Other Ideas for Your Journal

  • Organize your friends’ and family members’ birthdays by month.
  • Keep track of the books you read or movies you watch.
  • Write out your weekly grocery list.
  • Pick a new habit to work on every month and track your progress.
  • Keep a food diary and workout log.
  • List your favorite quotes and keep the journal in your purse for on-the-go inspiration.
  • Use it as a daily gratitude journal.
  • Jot down ideas for blog posts or that book you said you were going to write one of these days.
  • Make note of all the wacky things your kids say (it’s your choice whether you share it with them when they’re teenagers!).
  • Glue pictures in it and make it a portable vision board.

What are you aspiring to be, do, or have this year?

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  1. Sandee on February 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I love this, Sage! It’s super cute (I love a good craft!), and I spend a fortune on journals. Now, the next time I need one, I’ll just make my own!

  2. Sheila on December 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Those are so cute! I don’t know why it’s never occurred to me to pretty-up a journal like that, but it’s so much more fun than the regular notebooks I use.

    • Sage Grayson on December 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks, Sheila. I have a ton of scrapbook paper, so I’m always looking for other things that could use some color.

  3. Ralph Shybiker on December 21, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I like the apirational idea. It focuses us on our goals. And I’ve discovered that moving toward them, even in tiny ways like making a journal, builds momentum. You’re doing good work, my sage friend.

    • Sage Grayson on December 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Aw, thanks Ally! Baby steps are the only way I get things done. It’s all the little things that lead up to the big goals.

  4. charlotte on December 20, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Hi Sage,

    Thanx for sharing this great idea! I Have journals with already a design and button. I have 4 of the same for creative Ideas, titles for articles, gratitude and intentions. But I love the idea of making them myself and list my favorite quotes.


    • Sage Grayson on December 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

      Hi Charlotte! Thanks for commenting. I like the idea of having lots of notebooks for different purposes. I still prefer to write everything out by hand than on my computer.

  5. xvavaveganx on December 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Awww I love these! You did a great job, they look so cute!!

    • Sage Grayson on December 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Thanks, Sarah! I love little notebooks. I’m a big list-maker and I write everything out by hand even though I have a good smart phone and laptop.

  6. Megan Gann on December 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    So totally cute! I use similar sized notebooks for to-do lists and keeping track of homework. Ever since I started using one, I am much better organized.

    • Sage Grayson on December 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      I love writing things out by hand. I’m very old school. 🙂

      • Megan Gann on December 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        Me too. I keep at least 1-2 calendars because I just can’t get the hang of a digital one, even though I use one too.

      • Ralph Shybiker on December 21, 2012 at 6:20 am

        Me, three. I maintain three paper calendars (two for work, one for social stuff) and have never had the battery die on them. 🙂

        • Sage Grayson on December 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

          Hee hee! I love paper calendars too. I’m very low tech.

  7. Molly on December 19, 2012 at 3:23 am

    These are adorable, Sage! You’re so creative, and what fun patterns you used.

    I’ve kept a food & exercise journal off and on, but for 2013 I’d like to keep one every day of the year. 🙂

    • Sage Grayson on December 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Thanks, Molly! I love little notebooks and all kinds of office supplies. Good luck with your exercise and food journal. That’s a great goal for the new year.