Journaling can do wonders for your health, goals, and mindset. The simple act of writing out what you’re feeling, what you’re working on, and what you want to achieve on a consistent basis can help bring clarity to your life. We already know that writing your goals makes them more achievable, but journaling on other things can also have a great impact. If you’ve tried journaling without success, or never started, I’m sharing 6 tips to help you start journaling today!
What is journaling?
Before I dive into the tips to help you start journaling, let’s talk about what journaling actually is. Journaling is not something complex. It is basically writing your thoughts, hopes, fears, or experiences on a daily basis. Journaling can help you work through a mental problem. Writing things down can result in increased creativity. You may find the answer you’ve been looking for, by simply writing on a daily basis.
Is there something you are working towards? Are you hoping to get clarity on a decision? Journaling about the things you want to do, things you need clarity on, and things you want most can keep those things top of mind. You’ll see things happening in your life that gives you the answers you need. You’ll make decisions to help get you closer to what you want. Now, let’s get into how to start journaling.
Tips to help you start journaling
Tip #1: Buy a cute journal
If you invest in a journal that you enjoy looking at, you’ll enjoy using it more! When you’re serious about journaling on a daily basis, you’ll want to do things to make it easier for you to stick with it, especially in the beginning. Investing in a cute journal can get you excited to start your journaling journey. Find one that fits your personality and resonates with what you want out of life. Here are a few options:
Tip #2: Put your “journal prompts” in ahead of time
When you’re starting a new routine, it can be hard to get creative – especially when it comes to journaling. What if you don’t have anything to write about? What if you don’t want to talk about your day? These thoughts can creep in and convince that there’s nothing to write about. Not true! Instead of experiencing writer’s block, add questions and prompts into your journal ahead of time.
For example, you can add the following questions and prompts to new pages of your journal. Each page could be used for that day’s journal entry:
- What are 10 things I’m grateful for and why?
- Where do I want to be in 5 or 10 years?
- If I could change 1 thing about my life right now, what would it be and why?
- Imagine it’s exactly 10 years into the future, what does my day look like?
- The most exciting thing that happened to me today was:
- What goal am I working on this month? What are 3 things I can do to help me get there?
- Brain dump: Get all of the thoughts in my head written down:
All of the questions and prompts listed above trigger you to think about what you want, why you want it, and how you may be able to get it. Make journaling easier to stick with by having these prompts ready ahead of time. You can also do research online to find other journal prompts and questions.
Tip #3: Set a reminder to journal daily
They say it can take up to 60 days for an action to become a habit. When you are just starting out with journaling, set a daily reminder on your phone to complete your journal entry for the day. Think about the best time of the day for you to get your journaling done. If you aren’t a morning person, and have to rush to work regularly, journal in the evening. If you like to spend your nights unwinding, wake up 15 minutes earlier to journal.
You have to find a time that will be convenient for you to complete your journaling, then you have to remember to journal during that time. Setting a daily phone reminder can take the pressure to remember off. The only action needed from you is to journal when the reminder alerts you to get to writing!
Tip #4: Take your journal with you
You never know what they day may bring. You may be stuck on the train. You may have an inspiring thought at work. You may think of a new goal or epiphany. Having your journal with you throughout the day allows for you to catch those thoughts that pop up. You can use those thoughts as journal prompts for the next session!
Tip #5: Don’t overthink it
Don’t think your journal entry needs to be a full-on story! Some days, you may not have much to write. Other days, you may blow your own mind with all of the thoughts that come out. The key to help you start journaling and stick with it is to avoid overthinking it. No journal entry is too small. No journal entry is too large. Write about what you’re feeling. Refer to your prompts, even if you’ve already written about them. You may be surprised at how much things change.
Tip #6: Journal whatever comes to mind
There’s no requirement when it comes to journaling. Everything is worth writing down. Don’t ever feel like a thought isn’t worthy of you to journal about. Whatever topic comes to mind, write it down. You’ll get better as you journal consistently. More and more thoughts will pop into your head to be written down. More and more goals and action items to help you reach those goals will make themselves known. Don’t limit what you journal on!
Why journaling is a good habit to pick up
There have been plenty of studies done on the benefits of journaling regularly. Some of the benefits that come with journaling on a daily basis include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety because you’re thinking through your worries as you write
- Less scatter in your life
- Holding thoughts still so you can change and improve them
- Re-experiencing past memories, whether good or bad, and working through fuzziness
- Increased gratitude and appreciation, especially when journaling on things you are grateful for
- Improves your self-awareness and sense of self
- Enhanced focus and drive
Those are some wonderful benefits! If any of those things could help you live a better life, why put off journaling? Who knows what other great things can come from you simply writing out your thoughts and feelings.
Related: How to Form Any Habit in 6 Steps
The tips above will help you start journaling as soon as you allow it! Journaling can do wonders for your mental state and you’ll be surprised with everything that manifests into your life as you journal consistently. You can do anything you put your mind to, so put those thoughts on paper! Do you journal on a regular basis? What are your experiences? Do you have any tips to share with myself and other CGS readers? Share by leaving a comment below!