By Trey Reed | asicentral.com
Starting the day with a meditation session on a yoga mat while facing a crisp 6 a.m. sunrise isn’t ideal for all, but it’s exactly what “That Girl” would do.
A TikTok trend that rose to popularity in early April before broadening to YouTube, “That Girl” influencers release how-to guides romanticizing a curated lifestyle for their viewers and directing them how to get their lives in order, according to Bustle.com.
Though there’s wiggle room for what exactly qualifies as “That Girl” approved, one frequent activity is journaling. Attentive promo distributors should grab Gen Z influencers’ attention by developing promos that include pens, notebooks and other writing accessories for this digital phenomenon.
“The trend is an idealized aesthetic lifestyle where you prioritize yourself and self-care first above anything else,” says Devon Spungin, a 21-year-old influencer from Los Angeles who posts on TikTok and Instagram under the name “StayingMindfull.” Spungin posts about eating avocado toast, drinking kale and matcha smoothies, going on long adventurous walks, her skincare routines and journaling.
Journaling, she says, has many benefits. “It’s the perfect way to show up for yourself every day,” Spungin explains. “You are your main priority and can impress yourself like you would impress anybody else.”
A key part of the “That Girl” lifestyle is “being able to break free from all the expectations that we put on ourselves,” she adds. Journaling is the perfect outlet to do so. Numerous studies have shown that journaling can reduce overall levels of depression and anxiety, boost immune function, help cultivate gratitude and improve memory function.
Social media influencers, like Spungin and others, are helping boost the prevalence of old-school journaling – with pen and paper – in the digital age, according to JournalBooks (asi/91340), the Charlotte, NC-based custom journal, planner and notebook supplier that’s part of Top 40 supplier Polyconcept North America (PCNA; asi/78897).
Because it takes more effort to write something down, as opposed to just seeing it on a screen, it almost burns itself into one’s muscle memory, says Reese Moore, content creator at JournalBooks. It’s the first step to creating something real and making lasting change.
“I’m an extremely busy person, and so it’s hard to keep everything in my head,” shares Moore, who’s been journaling daily for the past four years. “So, writing down a task list makes things a lot more manageable. To see it all written down with a checkbox next to it makes it seem like something that’s much more obtainable.”
JournalBooks and other suppliers offer goal trackers. They provide a designed way to map out and visualize one’s goal development through dashboards and progress bars, making them a strong tool to stay motivated.
Various common prompts are centered around what the writer is thankful for, intentions for the day, personal affirmations and more. Many people who journal share prompts and entries via social media and blogs.
“I just write down whatever comes to mind,” Spungin says of her journaling practice. “However, I usually include must-get-done tasks for the day, smaller tasks for the day, what podcast I want to listen to, what exercise I’m going to do, little things to be excited about, and how I’m feeling.”
Spungin’s latest journal, an academic year planner from Papier, features a drawing of a juice box and the words “Genius Juice” on the cover. Inside are structured weekly pages that include things like deadlines, finance and grade trackers. Devotees of the “That Girl” trend often look for fun, decorative and customizable journal products and accessories, according to JournalBooks. Leather, metal, glitter, graphic wraps, die-cut and other unique cover design materials and patterns have been particularly popular, the supplier notes.
Other products that pair nicely with a journal include sets of highlighters, pens that are personalized or match the color and aesthetic of the companion journal, and fun stickers to decorate the notebook.
Like so many trends, “That Girl” started and spread on social media, but the real-world impacts are tangible. For promotional products professionals trying to keep a finger on the pulse of Gen Z preferences and buying habits, it’s worth knowing what “That Girl” is doing with her days.