Tuesday, 28 July 2020

How To Start Journaling And Make It A Habit

Journaling is an excellent way to learn about yourself, care for your mental health and work through your thoughts and feelings. A journal can even help you plan out your goals for the future.  If you have decided now is the time to start a new journaling habit, then I have a few tips on how to start journaling and make it a habit that sticks.

Photo of a lady journalling in a post about how to start journaling and make it a habit

“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” - Jen Williamson. 


Perhaps this isn't the first time you have started a journal, only to give up because you struggled to stick to it?

Me too. I've started journaling, then lapsed. As with any habit, you have to work on it regularly to see the rewards.

Over the last seven months, I have journaled every single day.

I have noticed in the past when I haven't journaled that I feel anxious and overwhelmed, but I don't know why. If I think about it, it is because I haven't been journaling.

Journaling really is an important part of my self-care and contributes to my overall wellbeing. That being said, let's explore:

How to start journaling and make it a habit.

1. Just get started

It doesn't matter if you decide to buy a dedicated journal or use technology.

It doesn't matter how much or how often you write. Just get started.

Just open a word document, grab a piece of paper or buy a dedicated notebook.

A journal in a post about how to start journaling and make it a habit

2. Work out what you want to journal 

There are so many different journaling methods you could adopt. A few examples include:
  • A diary-style journal where you track your thoughts and feelings that day. 
  • A bullet journal to track your tasks, habits and prioritise your work. 
  • A food journal to track everything that you eat. 
  • A workout journal to track your fitness progress. 
  • A dream journal to track the things that happen while you sleep.

You may want to start out with one idea and change your mind. It's totally fine. It's your journal. 

“Journal what you love, what you hate, what’s in your head, what’s important. Journaling organizes your thoughts; allows you to see things in a concrete way that otherwise you might not see. Focus on what you think you need to find in your art.” - Kay Walkingstick.

A lady with a cup of coffee and a journal in a post about how to start journaling and make it a habit

3. Use journal prompts 

If you want to start a journal but don’t know where to start, journal prompts are a great way to remove any pressure so you can just start writing.

I will link my 31 daily journaling prompts for wellbeing and self-reflection if you would like to have a go.

4. It doesn't matter if you decide something doesn't work for you

I first started journaling in a loose form when we had to keep a reflective journal for the PGCE at university.

At the time, I just started by writing notes on my phone. I then transferred it to a word document on my laptop and I would just update it when something had happened. More often than not, I would just journal if I felt something had gone wrong on one of my placements.

Once I graduated, I decided to buy a Leuchtturm 1917 bullet journal notebook. Since then I have realised that a page a day diary works better for me and I write in it every day.

A cup of coffee and a journal in a post about how to start journaling and make it a habit

5. Realise the benefits journaling brings 

An important way to make journaling a habit once you get started is to see the benefits journaling brings.

The benefits I have found include:
  • Delcutters your brain of all the nagging thoughts. 
  • Improves focus by clearing out unnecessary thoughts
  • Helps with decision making
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Allows you to spot negative emotion triggers Reduce stress
  • Helps you work through emotions
  • A place to express gratitude
  • Creates a record of your life events
  • A place to set your goals
  • A place to create positive habits
A lady writing in a journal in a post about how to start journaling and make it a habit

6. Be consistent 

The key to making journaling a habit is to make writing a part of your routine.

As I mentioned I write in mine every day.

Every day may seem too much if you're just starting off. Perhaps you could journal once per week on a Sunday so you can reflect on your week and see what you can change for the week ahead.


I hope you enjoy it!
Lots of love, 
Helen x

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2 comments

  1. These are some great tips to help you start journaling. I love journaling and I think it is so beneficial. I haven’t tried journaling prompts, but I want to try some for my journal. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren | www.bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. Thank you Lauren! It's amazing how beneficial journaling can be, isn't it!I hope you enjoy using journal prompts x

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