If you’re new to journaling, it can be intimidating and overwhelming to know where to start. There is no one “right” way to journal, the best approach is whatever works for you! Everyone will have a different writing style, journaling techniques, and different areas of focus, so take some time to explore what works best for you. Where should I start with journaling? In this blog post, I will share with you tips on where you should start with your journaling practice and provide you with common journal prompts to help your creative juices flow.
Where should I start with journaling?
Here is where you should start with journaling:
Take some time to think about what topics you’d like to focus on in your journaling. Consider things that you want to explore, reflect on, and process in writing.
Choose a Journal Format
Determine if you want to keep your journal writing electronically or use a paper format such as a notebook or diary.
Choose a day and time of the week of writing routine to write in your daily journal so that it becomes a regular practice for you.
Find Your Voice
Ask Yourself Questions
Before you start writing, ask yourself questions about what it is that you want to explore in your journaling.
Don’t worry too much about grammar and spelling, just focus on getting your thoughts down on paper (or in a document).
Break the Rules
There are no rules when it comes to journaling, feel free to write in whatever style or format feels most natural for you.
Give Yourself Grace
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a bullet journal entry or don’t get everything down that you wanted to write about.
If you’re feeling stuck, try reading books, articles, or blogs for inspiration and ideas.
Make It a Habit
Once a journaling habit becomes a regular practice for you, it’ll be easier to make it part of your daily routine.
What should I do before starting a journal?
Set a Purpose
Before you start journaling, determine why it is that you want to do it and what it is that you hope to gain from the experience.
Make a Plan
Have all the necessary supplies ready to go before you begin writing so that nothing interrupts your flow of thoughts. This could include pens, pencils, paper, a laptop, etc.
Find a Comfortable Spot
Find a quiet spot where you can focus and be uninterrupted while journaling. It could be a desk, a comfy chair, or even outside in nature.
Turn off notifications and put away phones and other distractions so that you can give your full attention to your writing session.
Set boundaries for yourself and your journaling practice, this includes setting limits on the amount of time you spend writing, as well as not judging or criticizing yourself for what ends up on the blank page.
Listen to Music
Listen to calming music or create a playlist of favorite songs to help set the mood and establish an atmosphere conducive to journaling.
Start with an Exercise
If you’re feeling stuck, begin your journal entry with a quick writing exercise such as a free write or a list of ideas. This can help to get the creative juices flowing.
What should I write about in my journal?
Your journal is an outlet for expressing yourself however you want, so the topics that you can explore are endless. Here are some ideas of topics that you can write about in your journal:
- Your thoughts and feelings about current events or topics that interest you.
- Goals, dreams, and aspirations that you want to work towards achieving.
- Write pages on reflections on your day-to-day experiences.
- Recurring patterns or themes in your life that you observe over time.
- Intimate conversations and relationships you have with people in your life.
- Personal values, beliefs, and ideas that guide your decisions and actions.
- Reflections on books or movies that inspire you or leave an impact on you.
- Gratitude journaling for the good things in life no matter how small they may be!
- Lessons learned and mistakes made, reflecting on them can help you grow and learn.
- Creative thoughts, ideas, or works that come from your imagination.
- Expressions of emotions, it can be helpful to write down how you’re feeling in a safe space.
- Exploring the ethical implications of decisions that you make or observe in the world around you.
- Memories and stories from your past that have shaped who you are today.
- Ideas for future projects, plans, or goals that you’d like to pursue someday.
- Dreams that you remember each morning when you wake up it can be interesting to explore what they mean!
- Self-care practices and activities that bring you joy, help you de-stress and improve your mental health.
- Personal reflections on life events such as weddings, holidays, or graduations.
- Dreams of a better future for yourself, your family, or the world around you.
- Vivid descriptions of places that you’ve visited or people that you’ve met.
- Reflections on the beauty of nature, such as a sunset or a walk in the woods.
- Goals for personal growth and development that you’d like to work towards.
- Activities or hobbies that bring you joy, such as gardening or playing an instrument.
- Expressions of faith or spirituality that give meaning to your life in some way.
- Your favorite quotes and how they make you feel when you read them.
- Thoughts about the world around you and how it’s changing over time.
- Journaling prompts or doodles that help you to explore different aspects of yourself.
- Your favorite songs, their lyrics, and the impact they have on you emotionally.
- Creative solutions to problems that come up in your life or the lives of those around you.
- Reflections on your core values and how they shape the decisions that you make in life.
- Descriptions of the moments throughout the day that bring joy into your life, no matter how small they may seem
The journaling process can be a powerful tool for self-expression and personal growth. With a little bit of planning and preparation, anyone can set aside time to write down their thoughts in a meaningful way.
There are no rules when it comes to journaling, make it your own by exploring topics and journal prompts that interest you and bring joy into your life.
Remember, the journey is what matters, not the destination. The most important thing is to keep showing up and writing down your thoughts, no matter what.