If you want to start a journal but have no idea where to begin, this is the right place for you. Keeping a daily journal is a hobby many people enjoy and it also has a lot of benefits.
However, it can be a little bit confusing in the beginning. There are many questions about journaling that beginners would want to know like :-
- What is journaling?
- What should I write in my journal?
- What are the benefits of journaling?
- Is it better to journal by hand or type?
- How to start a journal for beginners?
In this post, I am going to answer all these questions and guide you through the entire process of journaling. By the end of this post, I would be including my top 10 journaling tips and techniques as well so keep reading. So let’s get started :-
1. What is journaling?
Journaling is keeping a record of your daily activities, thoughts and emotions by writing them down in a notebook or a dairy. It is different for everyone as some people prefer to keep a journal solely for writing while some prefer to sketch and decorate the journal with art as well.
There are different types of journals like gratitude journals, bullet journals, journals for mental health, etc. It totally depends on you whether you want to keep a journal solely for achieving your goals or you want to keep a journal to vent your emotions at the end of the day.
Here I am going to focus on the kind of journal I keep, which is a combination of all the mentioned journals above. If you are a beginner don’t worry about the kind of journal you want to keep and just start off by testing what makes you feel good.
2. What should I write in my journal?
The fun part about having a journal is that you can write about whatever you want in it. You don’t have to stick to only writing about your day as it can get a little mechanical.
If you want to switch up your journaling content and rant about something that is bothering you instead of writing about your daily activities, then you can.
There are so many things that you can write about in your journal and you won’t run out of things to talk about and reflect upon. A few ideas would be :-
- Write down three things you are grateful for.
- What is something you know now that you didn’t know a year back?
- What are your hopes and dreams in life?
- Write down your short term and long term goals.
- What are some quotes you live by?
These are just a few ideas. There are many more journaling prompts that you can find easily on google with a 2 second search.
3. What are the benefits of journaling?
Journaling has a lot of benefits that may surprise you. The simple act of sitting down everyday and writing on a piece of paper can help you immensely while being enjoyable.
- Journaling can reduce signs of depression and anxiety.
- Journaling can strengthen your memory.
- You will feel more inspired to achieve your goals.
- Keeping a journal hones your writing skills and improve the way you communicate.
- Your problem solving abilities will improve with daily writing.
To reap all these benefits, you just have to start small and keep going till you get better at journaling and use it for self improvement.
3. Is it better to journal by hand or type?
It is important to choose a medium when you start journaling.
Some people prefer a handwritten journal while some prefer to type in their notepad or laptops.
I would personally recommend that you keep a physical journal if you want to journal for self improvement as it helps you really feel and reflect upon what you have written down.
Keeping a digital journal can also have benefits as it can be faster and more convenient to write in.
You can also keep a combination of a digital and a physical journal and write down in whichever one you want depending on your mood and convenience.
Related posts:- Is it Better to Write or Type a Journal? Wanderings.
4. How to start journaling for beginners?
If you are just starting out, all you will need to begin is a notebook and a pen. You don’t have to buy a fancy notebook but if you want, you can get something that is pretty to look at.
Make your first entry and don’t worry about writing in neat and perfect handwriting. Write whatever is in your mind and start with the topics you really want to write about. Note down your feelings and thoughts freely without any restrictions.
Do this everyday or every other day (whichever you are comfortable with) and stay consistent. Make sure you self reflect and are aware of what you are writing. If you write down your positive thoughts, then you will start believing in them even more.
You can also use your journal to dump all of frustrations and negative thoughts upon but make sure you are not constantly writing negative things about yourself as you don’t want those beliefs to become stronger.
The most important thing is to have fun while you are writing and enjoy the process. This is what will make you more motivated in writing consistently.
Now that you know how to start journaling, here are my 10 journaling tips and techniques that would help you with your writing journey.
Related posts :- 20 Journal Prompts For Beginners .
1. Make Your Journal Messy
You can’t expect your every entry and sketch while journaling to look like a beautiful Pinterest post. It is okay to write in messy handwriting and doodle in it when you are bored.
Making your journal less than perfect will only make it more unique and personal. Doing this will also take the pressure off of you to write perfectly and you won’t keep obsessing over small things.
Even when you choose a journal to write in, make sure to buy the journal that you feel like writing in. It is okay if you are writing in an old notebook. What you write like and how journaling helps you is more important than it being beautiful.
2. Don’t Keep Editing Your Journal Entry
If you find yourself constantly checking your grammar and writing, you will never find the process of journaling enjoyable.
Let your words flow and empty out all your thought on the paper in your own unique way. No one is going to be reading your journal anyway.
In short, stop re editing your words and focus on what you are getting out of journaling or if you are enjoying writing in your journal.
3. You Don’t Have To Write Every Single Day
Like I mentioned before, your journaling process should be something you look forward to doing everyday but it is impossible to journal daily. There are going to be some days that you just don’t feel like journaling on and it’s easy to feel like you have failed but you have not.
Sometimes when I am journaling, I can write page after page while on some days, I can’t even manage to write a paragraph of text. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy writing when I want to.
Journaling for me is a hobby and a tool to manage my mental health. As long as it helps me develop myself and is something I like doing, I will keep doing it and so should you!
4. Keep Your Journal Private
This usually goes without saying but if you want to journal everyday without any pressure, you need to keep it for your eyes only. If you show it to your friends and family, you won’t be able to note down your real thoughts and feelings in it.
I usually keep my journal in my handbag where no one else is going to look so that it’s safe and only I have access to it. This helps me write without any fear of judgement from other people.
Another way of keeping your journal private would be to get rid of the pages every year or even every month if you feel comfortable doing so. I find this very convenient as I am not anxious of people reading my old journal anymore.
Destroying your journals may also get rid of the good times you have had and prevent you from reading about those days again so that is a con of doing this.
5. Date Your Entry
When you make an entry in your journal, write down the date and time you made the entry.
This will make it easier for you to remember when a certain incident you wrote about happened.
Writing date and time of your entry will also help you look back and see what progress you have made since you wrote down your goals in your journal.
This will inspire you and help you achieve your next goal faster.
6. Reflect On What You Write
When you write about your experiences in your journal, you can re read it and reflect on what you wrote. This is why journaling is a great tool for learning from your past and improving your future.
Journaling prompts for self reflection would be :-
- What makes you feel your most productive?
- What is something that helps you feel powerful?
- How do you relax and calm yourself down after a long day?
- What are your goals in life?
- Are you good at setting personal boundaries and how can you be better at it?
- What are some interesting dreams you have had? What do those dreams mean?
If you write about these questions in your journal, you can watch yourself improve and keep track of what makes you feel your most authentic self.
7. You Don’t Have To Write In Words
Sometimes it is difficult to write down an entire page of your journal when you feel burnt out. You don’t always have to express yourself in words. There are other ways to do that.
When you are feeling too tired or bored to write, you can put effort into journaling by sketching and doodling. If that is what you want to do at the moment, that’s okay. It’s your journal after all.
Related posts :- 19 Bullet Journal Ideas – BuJo Ideas for Everyone
8. Know That There Are No Rules
As mentioned before, journaling is a hobby which you should find enjoyable. Everyone has their own unique way of expressing themselves.
Make sure you are keeping a journal that you like writing in. You can write about your emotions, goals, dreams or sketch if that feels right to you at the moments.
Your journal might be messy but it is YOUR mess so be proud of it!
9. Make A List
When you don’t feel like doing a mind dump, make a list. You can create lists of things that you love, your goals, favourite books or movies.
Here are some ideas for making a list in your journal :-
- Books you have read and loved
- Places you want to travel in your lifetime
- Your favourite quotes
- Skills you want to learn in life
- Your year’s bucket list
- Experience you want to have with your friends
- Songs you love and why you love them
Making lists is fun and you get to know yourself better when you are making them.
10. Use Code Words
If you are talking about a specific person and are too scared that someone will read your journal, use code words and fake names when you write.
Living in an overcrowded house means that you have no privacy so it is understandable to hide your dairy and use a secret word or code for what you are writing.
Do what you have to in order to keep your journal safe so that you can write without censorship and feel free to do so.
Now that I have elaborated on how to journal for beginners and share my journaling tips and techniques, you can start keeping your very own journal.
If you have any questions, comment down below and share your journaling experiences. I would love to read them!
Related posts :- 10 Things To Write In Your Journal Right Now – Career Girl Daily
Preview Image by Sixteen Miles Out On Unsplash.