How to keep a journal

You may have read this title and wondered why on earth would I even want to have a journal, leave alone want to learn how to keep one. That’s because you’ve not checked out my previous post; Why have a journal? Go on now, check that out and we’ll be here waiting for you.

Now that we are all together, we could start on how to keep a journal. In this article I shall guide you through the process of starting your journaling journey and how to continue it. Honestly it is usually quite exciting to get started on something new, especially when you feel like you need it. With time though, you may need more motivation to keep up the routine than just the fact that “you need it” or “that it is a fun thing to do.” A big part of it will require your genuine and constant dedication to the whole idea. It also requires an understanding of the benefits and purpose of the whole exercise because once you have your why defined clearly, it’s always easier to hold yourself accountable.

That said, I feel like it’s time for us to dive right into the different aspects we can tackle, focus on and ultimately improve with journaling. My favourite reason to journal is for self reflection. This usually requires that you pour out your thoughts and step back and analyze the things that you have written down trying to figure out what prompted the thoughts and how exactly they make you feel then resolving any negative energy that comes with it and appreciating all the positivity around you. Focusing on the positive things could go a long way in improving your mood and mental wellness. Having a gratitude journal helps you dedicate time to this aspect fully. You could also journal to help yourself get more organized and a planner kind of journal would work very well in this case. It could be a project or dream you are working on and the journal can help you break the project into bite sized steps that you can keep yourself accountable for. You could also journal your interests, this helps a lot with finding our passions and purpose. It helps you tune into your creativity and the things that make you come alive.

There are many different styles to journaling and each one of them produces a beautiful effect on you. Your journaling style could be more visual, more written or a synergy of both, visuals usually include pictures or drawings. I’ll start off with bullet journaling; here you just jot down points without much explanation of what happened, you just give a statement mostly saying how something made you feel. An example could be; the pandemic got me feeling frustrated. or Today I really liked how it felt to run the meeting. You could have as many points per entry as you like. This is quite similar to another style; the one line a day. Here you will need a more inclusive statement that describes the whole day. An example would be, Although there is a lot more I could improve on, I feel satisfied with how far I have come with my blog. For these short entries, it is advisable that after you are done writing, you take some time to internalize the statement and shading more light to it. List making is also a very helpful journaling style and helps a lot when it comes to getting organized. There is also the classic kind of journal where you recount you day on paper expressing your feelings and emotions through the day. This is usually really nice especially if you are trying to work through your emotions or deal with trauma & tragedy. For visual journaling, you could have a scrap book full of memories and statements that remind you of the days. This is honestly the most fun way to journal but it requires a lot of dedication so make sure your why is strong enough.

Now that we know different styles and aspects of journaling, it is time to get some tips & tricks on how to keep the consistency and make it fun. The best way is to begin is to get a beautiful book that will encourage you to do it. Supermarkets nowadays have wonderful notebooks that are affordable. If you would like to take the high road and buy a custom book, there is a lot available online. Personalize the book as much as you like, it always encourages you to keep the habit. Now create a relaxing routine around the whole exercise, it could involve some meditation or good music. Anything that makes you comfortable and at ease. It is necessary to note that you do not have to journal everyday but do it as often as seems good for you. This is especially true for scrap booking and the classic style journals. Writing everyday may take away the whole experience. You could pick two days a week that work well for you and work with that. Always remember that this is work in progress and it doesn’t have to be perfect, you keep evolving till you find works for you. Keep your entries simple and short to avoid monotony and ambiguity. Sometimes, an empty page can seem intimidating making it hard for you to get started. In this case, you can use some prompt questions to help tackle the stale mate. The image attached to this post has a few prompts you can use and the internet has a whole lot of them.

With all this said, I hope you feel confident now that you know how to get around keeping a journal. I hope this is the beginning of a new interesting journey for you. I’m always here to help through your journey so feel free to shoot your questions at me on the comments or my DMs ♥️

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