Learning how to journal is one of the most worthwhile things you can do for self- improvement.
Firstly, what is journaling?
It is the act of writing down your internal thoughts and feelings as you navigate your life. It is a personal experience that can come in many different forms; diary entries, goal setting, gratitude expression, free writing / stream of consciousness, visual journaling, reflections, list making, affirmations…the list goes on.
Journaling can be a great way to organise your thoughts, reflect on your experiences, and track your personal growth. Here are some steps to get started with journaling:
Choose your journaling style
Try the below out and see how you find them. Note; you can have more than one journaling style, each can have its own place in your life.
Style 1: Free writing.
For this you will need a blank notebook – physical or digital. Free writing, is also referred to as stream of consciousness journaling, you write down your thoughts as they flow into your mind. It is a mindful practice, where you are listening to your thoughts. You may discover deep ideas, perspectives and inner wisdom. Start without judgment or pressure and see what comes out.
Ideas of what you might write:
Positive things in your life
Lessons you have learned
Quotes that inspire you
Reflections and revelations
Questions for yourself
Things you want to change
A vision for your life
Things you have experienced that you want to remember
Frustrations or confusions
How you are feeling today
Style 2: Guided journaling.
This can be useful for someone who likes more structure or doesn’t know where to start. The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal is guided throughout with daily prompts and structure for setting your goals. We also have Prompted Cards that are life-coaching questions to get your writing juices flowing and assist you in discovering more about yourself.
Style 3: Gratitude Journaling.
Starting a gratitude journal can be extremely beneficial to all areas in your life. There is so much power in seeing and recoding the good things. This can be in a gratitude specific journal like The Head Plan Gratitude where there are sections for your morning and evening practice or it can be in a blank notebook where you freely write down what you are grateful for. Gratitude expression can be big or small, long or short, it is the act of saying thank you for anything good in your day.
How to start journaling and make it a habit
Get into the zone: You might want to play music, put away your phone or light a candle for it to be more intimate and like a ritual.
Privacy: Do not worry about spelling, grammar and do not judge what you write. This is for your eyes only. If you write as if someone else is going to read it will be less honest and authentic. We added a tie feature to our lined, blank journals for this very reason. Keep it in a safe place like in your underwear drawer or under your mattress!
Keep your expectations realistic: Some days you will be flowing through your journal and others you might have writer's block. Don’t expect pages of insightful thoughts every day or instant transformation. It takes time and practice.
Decide on a frequency: Decide how often you want to journal. Some people like to write every day, while others prefer to write weekly or monthly. Find a frequency that works for you.
Set time aside: Schedule time in your day for journaling. Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth or exercising. It doesn't have to be a lot of time - even 10-15 minutes a day can be enough. Set a timer if you think it will help.
Be honest: Journaling is a way to express yourself without judgment. Be honest with yourself about your thoughts and feelings. Don't be afraid to explore difficult emotions or experiences.
Reflect: Take some time to reflect on what you've written. Think about what you've learned, what insights you've gained, and how you can apply those insights to your life.
Remember, journaling is a personal practice, so there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just find a method that works for you and stick with it. The benefits will come.
Want to start exploring some of the different journaling styles? We offer FREE PDF previews of all our journals, you can download, print and get started discovering yourself on a deeper level today.
Are you ready to write it down and make it happen?