When I was about 10 years old I read the book The Diary of Anne Frank, afterwards I was determined to keep a diary like Anne. I had a grand plan: I was going to have a special nickname for my diary and I was going to write my inner most thoughts and feelings. I think I filled about two pages until I thought, “Umm what the hell do I write about?” I had no clue how to start journaling and my journaling days quickly came to an end.
As I grew older the thought of keeping a journal stuck in the back of my mind, but I never acted on it. The blank pages I was confronted with were daunting. I became overwhelmed and felt lost on where to start. It wasn’t until about a year ago when I was taking a creative iphone photography class that I bought a journal to document my lessons. This class showed me that a journal doesn’t fit in just one box, it can take on many forms.
How to start journaling? Think in new ways:
- A gratitude journal
- A stress journal
- An ideas journal
- An every day journal
- A to-do journal
- An art journal
- A dream journal
- A list journal
You get the idea…
There’s a type of journaling that will compliment and inspire each of us. I use a few different types of journals: one to take notes in, one for creative inspiration, and one for travel documenting. Do I write in each one every day? No. To be honest I haven’t really even started the travel journal, but it’s there and I have plans for it.
My original thinking that a journal can only document your every day life has shifted. A journal is a safe place, its purpose being to provide on outlet. Taking time to reflect is a caring gesture to yourself.
Journaling allows you to:
- Release deep thoughts
- Work out life’s hard moments
- Explore feelings that cloud the brain
- Remember times with family and friends that brought you joy
- Document your journey and growth
- Observe the world
- Explore ideas and concepts
- Get to know yourself
- Provide cathartic introspection
- Self express
Go Beyond Pen & Paper
Journaling can be – just a word, a drawing or painting, doodles, poems, or a short story. Some days you may choose to write in length, other days you may sketch a drawing. Try a few different methods out to see which fits you best, it may be a combination of a few or it may be just one, and that’s ok. Do what feels best for you.
There is no specific commitment to journaling, write (or draw) when you truly want to, ultimately it’s your choice and only you know what is best for you. If you want to make journaling a routine think about when it would best fit in to your daily routine. First thing in the morning? [This is the ideal time for dream journaling] At lunchtime? Right before bed? If you make it apart of your routine you are more likely to remember to write and self reflect. Don’t have long lengths of time to write entries? Try a pre-designed entry journal like The Five Minute Journal. Just a few minutes a day can provide health benefits.
Need a little push?
Don’t worry I’ve put together ten journaling prompts to get you started.
You can also check out the blog Hello Neverland. Kenzie has a wonderful writers guide that beautifully guides you through journaling and she even provides monthly prompts! I’m looking forward to exploring the Seasons of Life prompt.
Ready to start journaling? Great!
Wednesday I’ll show you where you can get some pretty little journals. Happy journaling friends.
Do you keep a journal?
What do you put in it?
How has it helped you reflect on yourself and life?