Inside: Use these tips for journaling for beginners to help you start to build a journaling habit.
Have you wanted to give journaling a try – but just don’t know where to begin?
The idea of sitting down and pouring your thoughts out into a notebook can be a little intimidating at first. How do you know where to start? What are you even supposed to write?
As difficult as it might be to take that first step and start a journaling practice, I’ve got some good news for you.
There’s no wrong way to journal.
You can’t mess anything up.
But there are steps you can take to ease yourself into the habit of journaling and ways to make the habit stick.
Today, I’m excited to share some of my best tips for journaling for beginners. Keep reading to see how you can begin your journaling practice and make journaling a part of your routine.
Why should I start journaling?
There are lots of different reasons people decide to journal. Some people like to capture memories to look back on in future years.
Some people journal as a form of therapy – a way to revisit uncomfortable or challenging moments and find meaning in them. Others journal as a creative outlet, a way to escape and play with words on the page. And that’s just the beginning.
Whatever is inspiring you to pick up a pen and put your thoughts down on paper, there are a number of benefits you’ll gain from the simple practice of journaling.
First, journaling can improve your well-being by lowering your stress levels and combating anxiety. By getting those thoughts out of your head and onto paper, you can often gain more clarity. Putting a little distance between yourself and the things causing you stress can help you come up with a plan of action to address them.
It’s a great way to gain perspective and, most of the time, realize our problems are temporary.
Journaling can also be a great tool to help you strengthen your memory. You can revisit moments from your past and capture details about new ones you don’t want to forget.
The act of physically writing those things down can actually help solidify them in your mind, making them harder to forget.
And that’s just the start. Journaling has also been shown to help people achieve their goals, boost their self-awareness, inspire creativity, and so much more.
As for the downsides of journaling?
There aren’t any, really.
So what are you waiting for?
Journaling for Beginners: Tips to Get Started Today
Ready to start journaling but aren’t quite sure where you should start? There are a few easy things you can do to take that first step and build momentum around a journaling habit.
Keep these tips in mind, and you might be surprised to see just how quickly you fall in love with the practice of journaling:
1. Pick a good pen and notebook.
Sure, you can use any old pen and paper you can find at home – but for many, the right writing utensil and the perfect notebook can go a long way in helping to build a journaling habit.
And while you can use an app or a word processor on your laptop to journal, there’s something about using an old-fashioned pen and paper that forces you to slow down, process your thoughts, and be intentional about the act of journaling.
With that in mind, making your journaling experience a pleasant one is a great way to build a positive connection in your mind so that you want to keep journaling. And picking a pen and journal you love, as simple as that sounds, can be a great way to give yourself a little encouragement as you embark on this journey of self-discovery.
So head to your local bookstore or browse online and get yourself a pen and notebook that bring you joy. Believe me, you’ll benefit from it.
2. Use journaling prompts to get you started.
One of the biggest challenges new journalers face is coming up with what to write about.
There’s no wrong way to approach it, but to make things easy, I recommend working from a list of journaling prompts.
A quick search on Google or Pinterest will reveal list after list of journaling topics and prompts. You can find ones centered around a specific theme, like self-discovery, exploring old memories, or setting goals – or you can find generic lists of ideas that you can pull from at random.
Check out these posts with various types of journaling prompts to help you get started:
- Mindful journaling prompts to clarify your thoughts
- Gratitude prompts to help you feel more thankful
- Self-love prompts to help increase self-acceptance
Alternatively, you’re welcome to come up with your own list of prompts. Include topics you want to explore, memories you’re ready to unpack, or things you’d like to reflect on.
By starting with prompts that really call to you and giving yourself topics to write about that resonate, you’ll have an easier time easing into the habit – and find more motivation to keep it up.
3. Keep it short and sweet.
When it comes to journaling for beginners, one common question is, “How long should I write for?”
Many people start with a specific amount of time in mind, or a certain number of pages they think they should write to do it “right.”
But setting those kinds of goals for yourself right at the start can be a quick way to set yourself up to fail.
Instead of putting additional pressure on yourself to write a certain number of words or for a certain amount of time, keep it brief. Start with a single page, or a five-minute session.
That way, you’re more likely to feel like the task is manageable and build up some momentum and confidence for future sessions.
4. Incorporate journaling into your daily routine.
If you’re hoping to journal consistently, the best thing you can do is make it one of your daily habits. Just like making your morning coffee, going for an afternoon jog, brushing your teeth before you go to bed, journaling can become part of your everyday routine.
To make journaling a habit, figure out the best time to incorporate journaling into your day. For some, it’s an activity best enjoyed over a cup of tea in the morning as you start your day.
Others enjoy it as part of their evening routine. It can be a peaceful way to reflect on the day and wind down before bed.
By connecting the task of journaling to something that’s already well-established as a habit in your life – a practice known as “habit stacking” – you can make it easier to embrace journaling as a habit of its own.
What’s your best tip for journaling for beginners? Share it in the comments section.
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You got me started journaling when I first joined Simplicity habit. I have a folder in my computer and make entries, sometimes as little as a couple of sentences. It allows me to see my progress which motivates me to finish a project and start on the next room. Since following you and your excellent tips, my home is becoming so orderly and calm. I look forward to these weekly newsletters.
Your comments always make me smile, Jan! Have a great day 🙂
Journaling is therapy for me. I remember late last year. I had an issue bothering me and thought why not pen it down. And it actually worked.
I like to write in the evening about what I did that day. It’s nice to look back years later and recall events, people, etc. through my journaling.