Journaling, in essence, is a simple concept. You write your thoughts, feelings, goals, and anything else you want into a journal or notebook, and gain a lot of different emotional, mental, and physical benefits.
Everyone who participates in journaling does so for a different reason. Some people prefer to journal because it helps reduce their stress and anxiety, while others are interested in finding more clarity and self-awareness. Regardless of your reason, it might be time to look at the next steps of journaling.
How Journaling Can Change Your Life
The following sections are not only going to help you re-evaluate your current journaling goals but help you to move to the next level and become a journaling expert.
The Importance of Journaling in Your Everyday Life
One thing you will discover when you are busy trying to improve your life is that your mind often gets distracted. You might have a lack of focus, problems with motivation, or simply too many tasks to take on. Add in some emotional stress, anxiety, and depression, and it makes self-improvement quite tricky. This is where the benefit of journaling every day comes in. Here are some reasons to journal every single day.
You Get More Clarity
A major benefit of keeping a journal is that all those confusing thoughts and feelings come to the surface. They reveal themselves and become apparent, giving you a better idea of where you struggle and what you are bottling up inside. It can often be surprising when you start keeping a journal, and you start to reveal what you truly think and feel about specific people, things, and situations. This eye-opening experience helps you work on improving your life in many ways.
There Are Health Benefits
Journaling isn’t just good for the mind but the body as well. One physical benefit is the fact that it helps you look at some of your bad habits that might be keeping you from being the healthiest person you can be. You might discover that you tend to drink alcohol more than you would like, you tend to skip exercise, or that you eat poorly. When writing in the journal daily, keep track of everything you consume and all of your activities, so you can really look at what you are doing on a typical day.
It Helps Reduce Your Stress
If you have been struggling with stress, journaling can be a lifesaver! It is a beautiful feeling when you can let out all those negative emotions and feelings. When you vent your frustrations in a journal, there are no repercussions, so it helps prevent you from becoming angry with your loved ones. Some different ways journaling reduces your stress is by:
- Offering you better focus
- Letting you vent with no consequences
- Getting rid of negative thoughts you can’t discuss with anyone
- Having a better understanding of your wants and needs
- De-cluttering your mind
Buying a really nice journal and set of pens will motivate you to start journaling again. There are also accessories, such as stickers and other decorative elements that can make it a fun and creative activity.
1. Journaling Prep
While some of this information is for people who have been journaling for a while and are interested in getting to the next level, it is also great for beginners. Maybe you have only dabbled a little bit in journaling, but didn’t really start in the way you wanted, so you gave up pretty fast.
This could be for a few different reasons, but one of them is that you didn’t prepare enough. When you rush into doing something, it doesn’t always work out, especially when you aren’t in the habit of doing it, which is writing in this case.
Here are some journaling prep tips that are really going to help you to become a journaling expert.
Find Supplies You Fall in Love With
It will be hard to find a journaling tips blog post or another form of content without it telling you that you need first to buy your supplies. You already know this. However, let’s take it to the next level. Don’t just buy any notebook or journal or pen to start with. You need to LOVE it.
There is something about buying your favorite pen, or a brand new journal that is beautiful on the outside has the perfect types of pages and just makes you want to write. It is almost hard NOT to write in it.
When you find journaling supplies you love, you feel passionate and excited to get started, and often want to journal every time you find a few spare minutes. This is what you’re looking for.
Take your time as you go shopping for your new journal, pens, and other supplies if you intend to do coloring or planning with the journal. And keep picking up new items as you come across them. This might be what keeps you from journaling casually, to journaling passionately.
Get Into the Habit of Writing
Another prep step often missed is just getting back into the habit of writing. If you start using your journal for this purpose, it might keep you from being motivated to enjoy this practice daily.
Are you someone that doesn’t really enjoy writing or hasn’t written anything in a while? If so, take some time getting into the habit of writing things down. Not with your computer or phone – but actual pen on paper.
The writing itself might be what you don’t enjoy, not necessarily what to write about. Find an inexpensive notebook or just some printer paper, and start writing with a pen or your favorite writing utensil every day.
This can be anything from your daily task or to-do list, some goals you want to get accomplished soon, or a kind of pre-journaling where you think of what you will want to journal about. The amount of time you do this will depend on how long it takes you to get comfortable with writing. You will most likely have a moment where you feel ready to start with journaling.
Explore Different Types of Journaling
This is entirely optional, but something worth exploring. If you want to master journaling and become an expert who does it every day, that doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone. Some people want more conventional journaling methods, while others just want a gratitude journal or travel journal.
Here are some different types of journaling you might want to explore:
- Stream of Consciousness
- Daily Journaling
- Gratitude Journaling
- Travel Journaling
- Bullet Journaling
- Art Journaling
Stream of Consciousness Journal. If you’ve found yourself overwhelmed with how much you have on your mind, stream of consciousness journaling can be a great way to release your thoughts. This type of journaling involves writing whatever comes to mind, whenever it comes to mind. Instead of filtering your thoughts and worrying about spelling, grammar, or typos, you’ll completely let go of your inhibitions when doing stream of consciousness writing.
This is a great journaling technique for people who are frequently stressed, have a lot on their mind, or need a creative spark. However, it can be difficult to truly let go and let your stream of consciousness take over when you’re used to thinking about everything carefully. It may take some practice to get used to writing in this way, but it can be very beneficial.
2. Getting Started
Now that you understand the importance of the pre-journaling preparation steps, you can get started with journaling. Again, these tips help anyone who wants to master journaling, whether you are brand new to journaling, or you have been doing it for a while, but find you lack motivation or inspiration.
Here are some tips to follow to get started with journaling and become an expert in it:
Commit to Journaling Every Day
Do you want to know the secret of being a good writer? Here it is – you write! That’s it. You want to master journaling and become an expert in it? You just need to write every day. Try not to miss a day, even if all you have time for is writing down what you did today or just something you are grateful for.
Journaling doesn’t need to be complicated, and it doesn’t come with a set of rules. Becoming an expert in journaling to really benefit from it just comes down to doing it. Make a commitment to yourself that you will write in your journal every day. You will soon learn how beneficial just that simple act has been.
Ditch the Conventional Rules of Writing
When you are just starting with journaling, it is also important to remember that there are no writing rules. You don’t have to worry about how you write, how messy your writing is, how to spell a word, and the proper way to arrange a sentence. All spelling and grammar rules go out the window. A journal is not meant to be an essay for school or a book you send to an editor. It is personal and private and should be written however you want to write it.
For some people, this means shorter paragraphs and proper sentence structure. For others, it means random words on a page, individual lines, or one page with absolutely no breaks. Anything is acceptable when it comes to journaling as long as you are writing consistently with honesty and openness.
Find Your Why NOT
You have probably been given this advice before – if you need to be motivated to write in your journal, figure out your WHY. This is where you think about the benefits of journaling and the top reasons for starting this practice.
Instead of doing that, why not try a different approach? Thinking about the benefits of something is not always enough to encourage you to stick with it. This is when you need to think about the why not, or what will happen if you don’t commit to journaling each day.
Think about it like this: if you are starting a new diet to lose weight, it can be hard to motivate yourself after the first few days or weeks. You know you need to lose weight for health, but that isn’t always enough motivation.
However, if your doctor tells you that you are at high risk for a heart attack or stroke, you start thinking about your healthy diet from a different angle. Not for weight loss, but because you want to be around for your kids and grandkids. THIS is the motivation you need. Not the WHY, but the WHY NOT. The consequence of not doing it.
So, let’s go back to journaling. You want to improve your emotional and mental health, reduce stress, and find triggers for your anxiety. These are good benefits and reasons why you should journal. But if they aren’t enough, how about the why not.
What will happen if you don’t journal? Maybe your anxiety will get worse and keep you from being as social as you want, or your stress is causing physical effects like hair loss and severe headaches. Think of the consequences, and you might just find the right type of motivation.
3. Re-Igniting the Journaling Spark
This is for those of you who have started and stopped journaling a few times, but can’t seem to stick with it. This is likely going to keep you from feeling the full benefits of a journaling practice. You might see some short-term changes, but without journaling regularly, you might be missing out.
Do you need to re-ignite your journaling spark? Find your inspiration again? Here are some tips that may help.
Find New Reasons to Journal
Maybe the old benefits of journaling are still in the back of your mind, but they aren’t quite enough to keep you writing every day. That’s okay! All you need is to find some new reasons to journal, even aside from the consequences of not journaling discussed in the previous section.
These are going to be personal to you, and sometimes it does require thinking outside the box a little. A lot of people promote journaling for anxiety and stress, but if this isn’t your main reason, what is? What do you feel when you see journals? Are you looking for self-awareness? Do you feel confused and lack of focus in your daily life? Or are you just looking for a creative outlet?
There are so many reasons to write in a journal aside from the slightly generic reasons you might be reading about. Really focus on what the experience of journaling is to find your reasons for doing it.
Re-Read Your Old Entries
This is a little trick that can really put that writing spark back into you. If you are struggling with what to write or just finding that excitement you used to have with journaling, then go back to the beginning. Read your first few journal entries or find an old journal from months or years ago when you used to journal more regularly.
This is such a fun and often cathartic experience. It is like reading a story you wrote to yourself in the past. You are instantly brought back to that time in your life, remembering what was going on and why you were thinking these thoughts. It can also inspire you to keep writing, to reminisce and write about how far you have come since then.
Find a Journaling Community
Don’t forget there are journaling communities out there! Talking to other people who also have a passion for journaling can re-ignite that passion in yourself. Be inspired by others, whether they show that they write in their journal every day, have beautiful pages in their bullet journal, or just want to talk about journaling itself.
You can ask friends or family, find a local journaling meet-up, or join online communities through social media like Facebook and Instagram.
5. Mix it Up for a New Experience
The last bit of advice we want to offer you if you are interested in becoming more of an expert in journaling, regardless of what definition means to you, is that sometimes you need to mix it up.
Journaling in a different way or under different circumstances can offer more motivation, give you a little clarity about what you are writing, and can also help with writers’ block. Here are some ways to mix it up a little:
Write at a Different Time of Day – If you are used to writing in the morning, why not try writing before bed? You might have a completely different way of writing in your journal.
Write When You Are in a Different Mood – Another way to mix it up a little is to write when you are in a different type of mood. Perhaps you like to journal when you’re struggling, but you instead try journaling when you are extremely happy and having a fantastic day.
Try Adding Sketches – Why not draw in your journaling pages? This is another way to make it more enjoyable for you, and to have something to look back on later. Instead of just text, add some sketches on the pages to express how you are feeling or what you are talking about.
Now that you have some tips to get further into the journaling practice, it is time to write!
4 Suggestions For Utilizing a Journal to Lose Weight and Get Fit
Creating a fat burning journey can be challenging. You have to find out what approaches may work for you, give them a go, create a routine, and focus on ways to achieve your goals. Along with these necessary starter steps, you will additionally have some emotional concerns that occur as well. If you are anxious about how you are going to cope with the emotional fluctuations of weight reduction journeys, you may have checked out journaling. Here are some ideas for implementing a journal to get through your slimming journey, lose weight, and get fit.
- Stick to a Routine
The main element to making weight reduction journaling work for your overall health ambitions is to stick to a routine. Be sure that journaling belongs to your exercise routine, by writing after your workout. Your thoughts are fresh, your points of view of the workout are new, and what you did is fresh. You won’t run the risk of not remembering when you exercised or for how long. You also make sure that you are journaling regularly to be aware of your achievements as well as where changes should be made.
- Look for a Pattern
Search for a pattern in your journaling. Revisit through your posts about once weekly and check out patterns regarding overeating, going off your diet program, not working out, or depression and linked to stress posts. Check if you notice these things taking place on certain days or at specific times. These represent the things that may cause you to derail or to have a drop in meeting your slimming goals, dropping the pounds, and getting fit. As soon as you narrow it down, you can get rid of the negativity and form new and more positive patterns.
- Make Changes and Note Differences
Don’t be frightened to make modifications in your plan to drop some weight. Do not be afraid to test new things on your diet plan and fitness routine. When you do make these changes, mention them in your journal. Work with the journal to keep track with the reasons you made the change, what change you made, and how the change resolved. You may also use the journal to make a note of any variations in the original and change option. Journaling will help simply because sometimes you cannot keep in mind what you did, and you do not want to keep repeating mistakes.
- Create Rewards and Record Them
Be certain that you’re developing a reward process for certain goals or perhaps for making it through another week. The key to this is to journal the reward you wish, why you want it, and what it would mean to you. Operate toward those objectives and note when you attain them. Take a picture of the reward, you enjoying the reward, or the receipt from the reward. It will provide you with, on tough days, when you look back because you feel like you are failing at shedding weight that you did and can still do this.
How Journaling Can Help You Attain Your Objectives
Setting goals and planning is a thing you hear about every facet of your life. There are goal setting and planning for weight reduction, daily lifestyle aims, and even cleaning. The problem with these goals is how you can achieve them, even though you may be exhausted and feeling like you are derailing from your route. Journaling can help you achieve your goals.
Make them Real
Whenever you journal regarding your goals, you make them real. They might play in your head all day long. However, when you write them down it links them to reality. It shows them and means they are real in your mind. You progress from a section of thinking about an objective to a section of being present and stating you are doing this and making this happen. Journaling can help you concentrate and understand that your journey is beginning.
Journaling can help you stay responsible for your goals. It may help you express the goals right into a daily task. When you make a note of your targets, how you are doing with them, or what you did during the day to arrive at that goal, then you are being accountable to yourself for that goal. Journaling makes it possible to stay in charge, remain focused, and work with any challenges you are having with the goals to overcome them.
Track Developments and Stumbling Blocks
One of the main motives people use journaling to achieve their goals is because of the pattern that you can discover after not much time. You may know that you have obstacles, for example, but you may not know what they are or why you are getting them. You can return to previous posts and see patterns form that cause you failing or experiencing difficulty with achieving your goals. After that, you can deal with these patterns, change them, modify them, or remove them altogether.
Keeping a regular journaling habit, you can build a pattern that will reward your health and your goals. You will see what approaches to your objectives aren’t working and which of them need improving. You can also see what may be derailing you from your goals and your path.