12 Journaling Tips For Beginners
Journaling works best when you have a plan and stick to it. Here are 12 tips to help you become a journaling pro.
- Unless you can journal at the same time every day, you will need a reminder to get it done. While a family member could prompt you to get started, it is better to use something like an alert on your phone. When you set the alert, it isn't written in stone. If you cannot do it at the alert time, take a moment to think and select a new time later in the day.
- It is best to have a place set aside for journaling. You need to avoid distractions, so journaling on the bus to work wouldn't be ideal. Your situation will determine where you can journal in peace. If you live alone, the process will be simple. If you have a partner and perhaps children, you will need to think about where you can go to be undisturbed for a few minutes. You may not think about this, but even having pets can be distracting, so you may need to have them in a separate room for a short time.
- Journaling is a habit you build. This tip involves keeping a notebook and tracking the days you journal and the days you don't. Make a note as to why you weren't able to journal and see if it is something you can fix. You should also note the time you are journaling and for how long. At the end of the month, review your tracker. You can also use a tracker app and find one that will create a report for you at the end of a specified time.
- Don’t be shy about asking for help or getting a journaling partner. Sometimes life is so hectic that you just feel like there are only 20 hours in a day. Journaling with a partner will motivate you. There is no need to share what you are writing; just use each other to get a boost of creativity and accountability.
- There are many types of journals, and depending on what you hope to achieve, you can choose to do a different type of journaling than your friends or family. However, everyone should do gratitude journaling. You could do your main journal for ten minutes and then switch over to the gratitude journal for five minutes. Just writing down one sentence about what you are grateful for will make a major difference in your mindset. This is helpful if you tend to have a series of negative thoughts throughout the day.
- Have a list of journaling prompts on standby for the days when your mind is blank. You can google journaling prompts for any type of journal you are keeping. For example, if you plan to do the type called morning journaling, simply google “prompts for morning journaling.” Here is a prompt you can start with: “What are your intentions for the day?" This would give you the motivation to detail the wonderful and productive day you are going to have and how you will make it happen.
- A great tip is to set yourself free. This means that instead of being really structured, like you may be at work, you journal with an open mind. Some days, you may have specific things to write in your journal, but leave your mind open to letting it download feelings that have been hanging around and not yet expressed.
- When you begin your journaling adventure, keep your goal small and achievable. For example, instead of saying I will journal 7 days a week in the morning for an hour, state that you will journal 2 to 3 times a week for at least five minutes. Journaling is a habit, as we mentioned. You need to practice and build consistency, or you may give up. Overwhelming yourself with the idea of massive journaling is not a good idea.
- Remember to place your journal where it is easily accessible. Many people leave the journal by their bedside. Choose the best spot for you, and remember, pick a journal with a cover that inspires you. When you see your journal, you should have a good feeling and want to put your thoughts down on paper.
- In addition to having a journal with a great cover, make sure to get one that is pleasing to the eye. The interior layout should inspire you, whether it is the lines or a motivational saying on each page.
- Do a journal in your own style. Avoid copying how other people journal. Just because your friend writes long paragraphs, that may not be your nature. Your journal is personal, and it is up to you how you use it.
- The final tip is to remember why every day. Why are you journaling? What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to be more organized, creative, or resolve some internal feelings that have bothered you? It is a good idea to write out your reason and keep it where you can see it.