How To Start A Journal, The Ultimate Beginner Guide

2020/05/31 • BY JADE

I’ve never been one for keeping a daily journal.

I’ve loved the idea of it, but I would never actually take the time to sit down and write down my thoughts.

I’ve always loved writing, but for some reason, I just never got around to journaling. I honestly have no clue how many empty journals I have lying around my house.

That is before I discovered the wonderful world of journaling. Lately, I have been starting and ending my days by writing in my journal. It can honestly help you in so many areas of your life (we’ll get into the perks later)

If this is a new concept to you, this article will show you exactly how journaling works.

Maybe you’re a bit like me. You love the idea of journaling, but you’re struggling to make it a daily habit. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you a few secrets.

How to start a journal and keep up with the routine of writing in it, So that you can finally start filling some of those notebooks you bought in hopes of one day starting a journal.

Find Your Why

The first step is pretty simple. All you need is a notebook and your favourite pen. That’s it.

I highly recommend that you take a deeper look into why you are looking to start a journal. There are three questions you should ask yourself (make sure to write down the answers):

  • • “Why am I starting this journal?”
  • • “What do I hope to get out of it?”
  • • “What do I hope to accomplish?”

It’s much easier to stay consistent with journaling when you’re are constantly being reminded of why you started.

A few reasons why you may want to start journaling can be:

  • • To get a peaceful start to the day
  • • To focus on better mental health
  • • To spark creativity
  • • To be more productive
  • • To focus on achieving goals etc.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, be sure to know your why.

Got it? Great, let’s continue.

Why You Should Start a Journal

In today’s day and age, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed.

There’s always a lot going on. Journaling can give you a sense of peace and can keep you from feeling so overwhelmed.

Here are some of my favourite benefits of journaling that are sure to leave you inspired and ready to get started today:

  • • Increased self-awareness
  • • Increased productivity
  • • Increased mindfulness
  • • Better mental health
  • • More appreciation for the little things
  • • More chances of setting, chasing and achieving your goals
  • • Better clarity and focus
  • • Boosts confidence
  • • Better willpower
  • • Improves your mood
  • • Decreases stress and overwhelm
  • • Leads to more creativity and sparking of new ideas (my favourite perk)

Rules When It Comes To Journaling

I have fantastic news!

There are no rules where journaling is concerned.

There’s room for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and not so pretty fonts.

Let your creativity flow

It’s okay not to have the prettiest handwriting or the most Pinterest-worthy journal.

This is not the time for perfectionism.

The whole point of journaling is to let your guard down and be your unfiltered, true self.

Other people should not affect the way you choose to journal.

After all, it’s intended to be private – a safe space for your eyes only.

Different Types Of Journals

Finally, we’ve gotten to the fun part!

Which type of journal suits you best?

This is the time for you to get out your WHY again and lay it out on the table. The kind of journal that is best for you all depends on why you’re doing it and what you’d like to achieve.

Here are a few types of journals to choose from:

• The Bullet Journal – This method of journaling has recently become one of the most trendy ways to improve productivity and master goal setting. Ryder Carrol invented this form of journaling. It’s best described as a mindfulness practise disguised as a productivity system. Learn more about bullet journaling here.

• The Gratitude Journal – This is one of the most simple yet significant ways of journaling. Write down what you are grateful for at the start and end of each day.

• Morning Pages – Morning pages are mentioned in the book, “The Artists Way.” The idea of this is to let your creativity flow onto paper. Just write at least two pages of whatever comes to mind. This is usually practised in the morning when we are most creative.

• The Dream Journal – This Journal is focused on your dreams. Whether that’s the dreams you have when you sleep or the dreams for your future, it doesn’t matter which. Write a few sentences every morning and let your creative juices flow.

• The Mental Health Journal – This is one of the most effective ways to get clarity and peace of mind. It helps you get rid of all the overwhelming thoughts that are flying around in your head. The key is to think of it as a therapy session with yourself. This is a safe space where you can let out the good, bad and the ugly thoughts. This has helped me so much, and just writing it all down on paper can make it feel as if a weight has been lifted from your chest.

• The Food Journal – This is the perfect journal for anyone out there who’s goals are fitness and health-oriented. Log everything you eat and drink and at what times of the day.

• The Art Journal – If you’re feeling artistic or you love to draw, keeping an art journal is the way to go. Devote your journal to drawing and doodling.

• A Guided-Journal – If you have no idea where to start and absolutely no clue what to write about, this is the journal for you. One of the best guided-journals that I would suggest is The Five Minute Journal.

• Scrapbooks – Gather memories, capture moments and create vision boards. This is an easy way to express yourself and use your creativity if writing isn’t really your thing.

• The Dear Diary Journal – This is journaling in its classic form. This one doesn’t need much explanation. I’m getting nostalgic just typing this up.

When To Journal

I know how easy it is to get distracted.

When you’re new to journaling, it can be hard to implement it into your daily routine.

The only way to stick to a habit is to get started and keep going in small doses.

You don’t have to journal for hours or write a 10-page essay.

You can start with 5-10 minutes of just writing down whatever comes into your mind.

I would advise you to pick a specific time of day and to be consistent.

Use Journaling Prompts

This is a fun way that you can start your journaling journey and avoid any potential writer’s block.

Journaling prompts are questions you ask yourself.

When you are first starting out, this is a great way to figure out what you want to write about.

With the right prompts, you’ll never find yourself stuck again. You can head over to this post for 55 journal prompts for self-discovery.

Other Quick Tips For Journaling

• Avoid journaling on electronics.

• Time yourself.

• Ask questions and use journal prompts.

• Do it first thing in the morning.

• You don’t have to focus on only writing words. You can use art, stickers and drawings to make it more colourful.

• Keep your journal close throughout the day.

• Go back and take a look at what you’ve written to learn something about yourself.

• Don’t stress too much. It’s supposed to be fun. 🌞

Before You Go

I hope that this guide on how to start a journal was helpful and that you are on your way to starting your very own journaling journey.

Let me know in the comments down below what type of journal you’re starting.

Journaling has been amazing for me, and I know it will be for you too!

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