To some beginners, getting started with journaling is as easy as grabbing a notebook and a pen. Others need more guidance. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you get started, so that you can achieve the most success with your personal writing.
- Why am I writing? If you really want to something like writing in a daily journal, you must start with figuring out the reason why you want to write. This helps keep you motivated and on track. If you feel yourself starting to derail, go back to the reason why you started. You can take this a step further and instead of stating a one-word answer like “self-reflection,” think about what you want to achieve. For example, “By writing in a daily journal, I will better understand myself so that I can continue to grow and find a career that I love.”
- What format works for me? There are many options when it comes to writing in a journal. A notebook with inspirational quotes on every page might help you if your “why” is to be a more positive person. A digital journal would be perfect for someone who wants to write as fast as his/her thoughts flow since most people tend to type faster than they write. It also helps to have a digital journal that is compatible with a phone application if you want to jot down ideas or activities throughout the day. Maybe you fall into one category or the other, or perhaps you’d work best with a combination of a notebook and a digital journal. Think about your preference and what format works best for achieving your goal.
- When will I write? Committing to a time of day or a process for your journal writing isn’t meant to burden you – quite the opposite, actually. When you commit to writing every morning, the act becomes a part of your routine. A routine happens naturally. Your body knows, “this is my time to write.” It’s important to note that you don’t have to keep a daily journal to experience the benefits of journaling. However, it’s easier to develop a routine when it comes to a daily journal than it is for a weekly, monthly, or random entries. A routine will help you achieve your goals.
After you’ve answered these questions, you should see a journaling plan starting to develop. Some of you might have noticed that there’s no question regarding “what to write.” I’ve intentionally left that out because it’s not something you need to figure out before you get started. Identify your reason to write, the format that works for you, and the time of day that will help you develop the habit. Your first entry should be explaining these decisions.
Where do you go from there? If you’re not sure what to write, search for journal prompts based on your goal. We created a free journal-prompts generator to help.