When you begin to journal, looking for guidance for journaling success can be incredibly helpful. We have some ideas to help you make writing in your journal hassle-free.
Get into a Routine
The trick is to find a routine that works for you but also allows for spontaneity. You don’t want to end up writing every day because that means you’ll be missing out on whatever happens in your life. If you want to write every day, go ahead! However, if it doesn’t work out that way and your journaling becomes stale or repetitive, then try something different the following week.
Some people find it helpful to write at the same time each day; others prefer to set aside a specific hour or two per week when they can sit down and focus on self-reflection without distraction. But no matter how often or little you choose to journal—the key point is just being present with yourself and allowing those thoughts and feelings a safe place where they can be expressed rather than stifled by daily pressures and responsibilities (or worse yet—ignored entirely).
Write in Peace
Find a place where you can write in peace.
- Find somewhere quiet. It’s important to find a place that is quiet and free of distractions so that you can focus on what matters most: your writing.
- Find somewhere private. A place where no one will interrupt or disturb you while you are journaling is ideal; however, it doesn’t have to be an entire room all by itself if this isn’t possible for you right now (or ever), just make sure that the door is closed and locked when not in use! Even then, though…
- Find somewhere with a table. Having access to a table or desk will help immensely because it makes using pens/pencils easier than holding them yourself which helps prevent hand cramping later down the road! Plus who wants ink stains all over their expensive jeans? Not me!!
Make a Topic
It’s important to note the date you’re writing about so that you can find entries later. If you have a system for dating your entries, stick with it (I keep track of the year in my journal using two Roman numerals). Don’t worry about how long or short your dates are; just make sure they’re consistent and easy to understand when reading back on them.
Another good habit is including a topic in each entry. This way, when you’re looking through old journals, later on, you’ll be able to narrow down what kind of content they contain by skimming over topics first—something like “travel” or “relationships” might help jog your memory as well!
Focus on One Topic at a Time
Before you jump into your journal, start by writing down your feelings. If you are feeling sad or angry, write that down first. If there is something on your mind that needs to be addressed, write it down before going any further.
The next step is to write about what happened today and what you hope will happen tomorrow. You can also write some goals for yourself: maybe they are short-term (like getting a good night’s sleep), or long-term (such as becoming a millionaire). Finally, make sure to include anything positive in your life—the little things like sunshine and music count!
Write As Many Details as Possible
The first step to journaling is writing down your thoughts. It doesn’t matter what you think, it just matters that you’re thinking about it.
The next step is writing about the things that have happened during the day in as much detail as possible:
- What did you do?
- How did it make you feel?
- What did other people say or do?
- How does this relate to something else from earlier in your life?
- If a memory comes up, write about that too! You don’t need to worry about whether or not your entry makes sense because nobody but you will ever read it.
The point of journaling is for YOURSELF; not for anyone else! So don’t hold back or worry about how stupid/embarrassing/weird what comes out onto paper might sound—just let go and get everything out there so that when the next morning rolls around and it’s time again for another entry into our own personal storybook (ahem…journal), we can dive right back into where we left off without missing anything important along the way 🙂
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- Monthly Wellness Planners – daily / weekly / monthly calendar spreads, trackers for habits, moods, meals, and more, journaling prompts and evidence-based exercises.
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- Members-Only Community and App – personalized prompts, affirmations, and peer-to-peer support.
- Community Events – virtual classes and workshops to get the most out of your membership.
Doodle or Write Words When You Feel Stuck
All of that is fine. You don’t need to be an artist or a writer to journal. The most important thing is to get your ideas out, and doodling is one way to help you do that. It doesn’t matter if the drawings look like a 2-year-old drew them: what matters is that they’re there, and they represent something inside of you that needs to come out (or get written down).
Doodling can also be helpful because it helps you understand your own thoughts better than writing alone would—you’ll see things in your drawings that show you how certain ideas relate to each other, which can help clarify what exactly those ideas mean.
Don’t Worry About Edits
Often, when we start writing, we can feel the need to be perfect. We want to make sure that each sentence is perfectly constructed and grammatically correct. This kind of perfectionism can lead us to edit our work as we go along, which makes it hard for us to be creative and connect with ourselves in the process of writing.
So instead of worrying about grammar or spelling mistakes, try just letting your words flow naturally, without editing yourself or looking back on what you’ve written! You’ll find that this will allow you to write more freely and honestly—and once you get into a groove with journaling, you’ll find that your thoughts will become clearer and easier for other people (such as friends and family members) who read them later down the line too!
Journaling is Good for You
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, the benefits of journaling are numerous. Try some of these tips to get started:
- Journaling can be good for your mental health. Studies have shown that writing about your feelings can be helpful for reducing stress, improving self-esteem, and improving sleep.
- Journaling helps clear your head before bedtime. Writing down everything you’re thinking about in a stream-of-consciousness way is not only good practice for mindfulness but also helps clear away those thoughts so that they don’t keep you awake at night.
Give Yourself Flexibility
There are many ways to journal, not just writing! If writing isn’t something that comes naturally to you or if it’s too hard to start with pen and paper (or laptop), take advantage of other options like audio recording or even drawing pictures. These mediums may make things easier by allowing more flexibility with where and when we do our work—you could even set aside time every morning before work starts up again!