first pages: how to best start a fresh journal

New journal, unknown possibilities, fresh start. You ever flip through your blank journal, wondering what stories, lists, and scribbles will land there? Where will your life take you while you are filling these 120 pages?

Staring at the first empty page, I often feel a tinge of anxiety. How do I best start off this new phase? For some reason, the integrity of these bound pages depends entirely on how I choose to fill the first few pages.

Well, fear not. I have compiled a list of how to fill the first pages of your fresh journal. Pick and choose as you please.

Cover page

If you have a Moleskine journal, this page is already built in. If you don’t have a Moleskine, take the first page to write your name and contact information right in the beginning. This is the metaphorical flag being planted; claim it as yours.


Do you have an idea of what you’ll be doing during your time writing this journal? Fill a couple pages with places you’ll be traveling to, faces you’ll spend time with, events you’ll attend.

If you want tips for your travel journal, click here.

Use these pages as a record of goals you aim to achieve, so go beyond your day-to-day life. What is something notable you’ll experience and write about by the end of this journal?


Include a page of quotes that inspire you, make you think, give you a moment of happiness. These will be the ideas that will weave through your life while completing this journal.


Tape in a Polaroid of yourself on the first few pages. Write a blurb about where you are now in your life, and how you’re feeling.

Do this with the important people in your life as well!

Vision board

Be inspired by your foreshadowing page and take it a step further. This page is where you can let go of all the rules and doodle to your heart’s content. Use every inch of the page.

Write or draw what you hope to experience over the course of this journal; big goals, little goals, whatever makes you happy.

Letter to self

I recommend writing a one-page letter to yourself at the start of your journal, with the idea that you are writing it for the person who is finishing the final page.

What would you like them to know? Are there habits you want your future self to continue, a pep talk you think they might need?

Think about how this person has made you proud. What decisions do you predict happening between now and the end of the journal? What changes has this person made? Take a moment to think about where you are in your life in this moment. The world as you know it will be different by the time you complete this journal.

Entering a phase with a positive mindset and written down goals is the biggest favor you can do for yourself. Knowing this, walk confidently into this journal and next phase.

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