5 Steps to Start a Journal and Make it a Habit

 followed a lot of Instagram/youtube accounts for Journal inspiration and most of them have beautiful and artistic journal pages. I sometimes find it inspirational but most of the time I find it very intimidating. So if you’re in the same boat, know this: You don’t have to be perfect or even be artistic to start a journal! As far as journaling is concerned, you can just come as you are!

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Depending on what you want your journal to be, your journal is a personal possession that only you can write and read (unless you want to share it with the world, there’s no problem with that, too!). If you want to journal but don’t know where to start, you can follow the steps below to guide you on your journaling habit! 

 

 

STEP 1: GET THE RIGHT MINDSET 

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Before you start your journal, ask yourself why you want to start a journal and what you want to benefit from your journal. 

 

Our goal is to have a habit of journaling, and in order to make it a consistent habit, it is important to identify why you want to start journaling and you must have the willingness to start writing. 

 

If you are unsure of what could be the reason why you want to journal, you can read 7 REASONS why you should start a Journaling Habit  

 

Now that you have identified your WHY, you may write it in front of your journal or jot it down on a memo sheet and stick it on your journal to remind yourself why you wanted to make journaling a habit. 

 

STEP 2: GET YOUR TOOLS 

 

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 A notebook and a pen are enough to start a journal. You can also have a highlighter, correction tape, eraser, ruler, washi tape, etc. as additional tools. 

 

There are a lot of notebooks out in the market for journaling. There are lined, dotted, blank, and grid notebooks.  There are also spiral-bound, hardbound, or paperbound notebooks. 

 

I personally like the dotted notebook so I can have guided lines. That way if I forget to bring my ruler, I can easily make lines and shapes freehand style. I also prefer a hardbound journal because it doesn’t get easily damaged when I put it in my bag when I travel. 

 

There are also guided journals that you can buy so that if you don’t know what to write, you can just follow the journal prompts and start to write your reflections on those 

 

You can check my store to see something you might like to use for your journaling. I also have  FREE PRINTABLES that you can download so feel free to browse my shop. 

 

STEP 3: START WRITING 

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 There’s a lot of journaling styles you can apply depending on WHY you identified from Step 1. 

 

If you want to get to know yourself more, maybe you can try Freewriting first. Freewriting means you just write whatever comes to your mind. 

 

If you want to practice gratitude and be more content in life, maybe try a daily gratitude page. Just list whatever you are grateful for on that day. 

 

If you want to improve your mental health, you can try to write your negative thoughts and dig deeper into yourself and try to see where your negative thoughts are coming from. 

 

I know it’s hard to do that, but if you would like to try, you can check my article about 4 ways to use journal to cope with Anxiety and Depression to have an idea of what I am talking about. 

 

STEP 4: SCHEDULE A TIME TO JOURNAL AND MAKE IT A HABIT 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a morning person or an evening person. Ask yourself, when do you think you can write without distraction? 

 

For me, I am definitely not a morning person so I write at night before bed. Writing before bedtime calms my mind and helps me to sleep easier (because I usually have insomnia and my anxiety is at its peak at night 🙁 ). 

 

For some, writing the first thing in the morning helps them to be productive and helps them to gear up for the day. 

 

It totally depends on what is easier for you. 

 

AND most importantly: YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND A LONG TIME WRITING IN YOUR JOURNAL IF YOU DON’T WANT TO. 

 

5 minutes a day would do, you can just write what you’re grateful for or maybe your to-do list. But sometimes, you’ll be amazed when you plan to just spend 5 minutes writing on your journal but getting lost track of time and realizing you already spent 30 minutes because you enjoyed it so much! (That happened to me a lot of times ^^) 

 

STEP 5: PLACE YOUR JOURNAL TO WHERE IT IS ACCESSIBLE 

Either you put it on your bedside table, your study table, or inside your bag, the idea is to make your journal as easily accessible as possible. So whenever you feel you want to journal, you can just grab your notebook and pen and just write. 

 

I know it will be very exciting in the first few weeks of writing a journal. You’ll be full of motivation, inspiration, and excitement but there will also be days where you just don’t feel to write. That’s normal! I’ve been there! And on those days, just remind yourself about your “WHY”, WHY you even started journaling in the first place and what do you want to benefit from it. 

 

If your why is not strong enough to get you back into writing, maybe you can check 7 reasons why you should start a Journaling Habit. Let me know if that helps or if you want someone to be accountable with your writing! Happy Journaling! 🙂

 

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