How To Start A Journal: Step By Step Guide For Beginners
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How To Start A Journal: Step By Step Guide For Beginners

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Journaling is what I love most. It has become a part of me that I’m not ready to quit the game sooner or later. If you’re just about to begin journaling but don’t know where to start, here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a journal as a beginner.

What is journaling?

To journal simply means to write down your thoughts, ideas and inspiration in a book, diary or paper. It is all about taking records of your feelings, secrets, goals or plans, and your thoughts or ideas.

Importance of journaling

Journaling helps keep your thoughts and ideas organized and more understandable. It can boost your writing skills, increase your memory and productivity, relieve stress, help you to achieve your goals and even inspire creativity.

Below is step by step on how to start journaling for self-improvement, mental health, anxiety, manifestation, spirituality, or whatsoever your reasons for journaling are.

How to start a journal

1. Gather your writing materials

The first step to starting a journal is to gather the necessary materials you need to jot down your thoughts. But what type of materials do you need? A pen and a notebook are enough to start a journal. Avoid using a piece of paper as you can easily misplace it.

2. Have a purpose for journaling

If you don’t have a purpose for journaling you will soon lose interest and give up. Ask yourself “why am I starting a journal? Are there things I want to achieve at the end of my writing? Answering these questions will give you clarity of thoughts.

You might want to start a journal because you want to be more productive, relieve stress, enhance your writing skills, work on your goals, etc. Figure out your “why” for writing a journal.

3. Set time for each journal

Timing is important when starting a journal. You don’t need to spend the whole day writing a journal. You will feel exhausted and less motivated to continue the next day. You can give yourself 5-10 or 20 minutes if you’re just starting. And 30-1hr when you have successfully built the habit of journaling.

4. Make it a daily habit

If you want to form the habit of writing journals, make it a habit to write every day. Journalize early in the morning before work and in the evening after work or before bedtime. If the morning section is not convenient for you, adopt the night or after-work journal. Doing this every day will help you to stick to it, especially as a beginner.

How long should you journal each day?

10-20 minutes is okay if you are just starting. But as time goes on, consider extending it to 30-1hr per day. Ensure you write your journals when you will feel less distracted. Something like early in the morning, around 5 am or before bedtime.

What is the right type of journal for you?

There are different types of journals you can write. These include:

1. Bullet journal

If you have a lot of to-do-list, then go for the bullet journal. All you need is to have a table of content in your writing and structure your journal with numbers, symbols or bullet points. This will help you to quickly tick your to-do list of priorities as they are well structured in numbers or bullet points. Bullet journals are designed to be a visual, personalized way to keep track of information, explore creativity, brainstorm ideas, and keep track of your goals. Below is an image showing what a bullet journal should look like.

Example of a bullet journal

2. Mental health journal

Journaling for mental health can help improve your mood and relieve stress. Mental health journal is a great substitute for a therapy session. But what should you write in mental health journal? Write about your feelings, fears, activities that stress you, etc. Here is a list of 200 journaling prompts for mental health by Steph Social to check out.

3. Gratitude journal

This type of journaling entails writing down everything you are grateful for. Be it the gift of life, your health, the new car you bought, your achievements in life, etc. There are other types of journals. You can refer to this article for more.

What do you need to write in a journal?

There are lots of journaling prompts you can begin with. For instance:

  • How many people have helped you so far?
  • A list of things you’re grateful for
  • What are your plans for the day, month, or year?
  • What always makes you happy?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Your favourite places to go?
  • How you would like to spend the holiday?
  • What do you spend most of your earnings on?
  • 10 things you admire about yourself?
  • People, that inspire you most?
  • Your best inspirational quotes, etc.

You can get more inspiration by browsing the internet. These prompts will give you more inspiration on what to write and also help you get to know yourself better.

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How To Start A Journal: Step By Step Guide For Beginners
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