I’ve talked countless times about how much I love to journal and write down my thoughts. In fact, my Gratitude and Lessons blogs are created from my daily journal entries. As much as I’ve talked about journaling, I’ve never talked about how to start a journal. So here you go!
Starting Your Journaling Journey
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Related: Got notebooks but don’t know how to fill them up? Click here for over 25 ideas!
Buying a Journal
The first step is starting a journal is to buy or find one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decluttered my house and found numerous unused journals. Try looking around your house and see if you can find any. If not, it is totally fine to head out and find one.
If you’re like me, you want a journal that looks pretty. Many of my journals are my favorite color (pink) or have quotes on them. The beauty of journals is that they come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Below are a few that I like.
Decide What You Want to Journal About
So know you’ve bought your journal. Time to decide what you want to write about. Do you want to journal about your daily life or maybe your career aspirations? The only limit is your imagination, but here are a few ideas.
- A journal about your daily life (the old-school diary)
- A gratitude journal
- A dream journal (to record what you dream about)
- A journal to track habits
heartsongjournal (an encyclopedia of you– blog post coming soon!)
Decide on a Journaling Schedule or Routine
I write in my gratitude and lessons journals every night before I go to bed, but everyone is different. Think about when you have a break in the day and can fully concentrate on what you’re writing in your journal. For you that might be before you go to bed (like me), when you wake up in the morning, or during your lunch break.
Once you make your schedule or routine, try and stick with it. It’ll make journaling a habit for you.
Related: Interested in a guided journal? These are the best guided journals on Amazon!
Decorate Your Journal
Decorating your journal can be half the fun! You can use anything you want to decorate your journal including stickers, pictures that you’ve printed out or drawn yourself, or washi tape. Again, the only limit is your imagination. Below are some journaling accessories that can help get you started.
Journaling Prompts for Gratitude
- I smiled today because __________
- I am grateful that ____________
- I was able to take part in ________ today
- I love that __________
- My favorite way to ________ is to _____________
Journaling Prompts for Mental Health
- _______ triggers my depression/anxiety/etc
- I can turn to these people for help and support __________
- I can turn to these resources for help and support ______________
- These are my favorite coping skills _____________
- This what I’m worried about today______________
Journaling Prompts for Daily Life
- The best thing that happened to me today was ____________
- The worst thing that happened to me today was _____________
- When ______ happened it made me think of ________________
- This cool thing happened to me today ___________
- This is how my day started ___________
Journaling for Prompts Self-Discovery
- If I could do anything in the world it would be ____________
- If I could never do ________ again I would _____________
- When I need to feel inspired I ____________
- If I could change one thing about my life I would _________
- These are the things that I fear ___________
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.