How to Start Journaling Back in the day, we’d all spend time writing things by hand. Many people as young kids or even adults would keep a journal, but as the digital age has stretched on, we’re taking pen to paper less and less. While in many ways this change is certainly convenient, there are things we’re missing by not taking the time to record our thoughts, goals, gratitude and aspirations by hand. We’ll help you get started, but first, let’s go through some of the benefits!

Benefits of Journaling

Let's start with defining “journaling.” This doesn’t have to be a “Dear Diary, today I learned that…” type thing. Keep it open-ended! Your journal can be anything you want it to be—random thoughts, a description of an experience you’d like to remember, goals you’re setting for the future (in italics because we love goal-setting), a poem, a frustration, a success, a mantra…anything!

Journaling can have many benefits…here are just a few to get you started:

  • Up your IQ: Writing is positively correlated with intelligence
  • Reach your goals: You’re far more likely to reach a goal once you’ve written it down
  • Become more mindful: Journaling can bring you to the present and let go of frustrations
  • Boost your memory: Experts agree that by writing something down, you’re more likely to remember it
  • Reduce stress: Many people feel calmer or less angry or sad after “getting their feelings out” on paper
  • Clear your mind: Writing down your thoughts helps to untangle them, giving you clarity
How to Start Journaling

Get a New Notebook and Pen

To start your journey to journaling, get a new notebook or small book to write in and a nice pen (or pencil if that’s more your style!). It feels great to start fresh with something new and unused.

Loosen up the Rules and Get Creative

When you’re first getting started—or even when you’re a seasoned pro—it can be tough to get the juices flowing sometimes. There are all sorts of prompts for that! Google “journaling prompts” and you’ll pull up a heap of ideas. And don’t think your journal has to be full sentences in perfect grammar! Some people love to journal just using bulleted thoughts. As we said earlier—it’s all up to you.

Start a Few Evenings (or Mornings) a Week

Many people think of journaling at the end of the day, however, you could jump-start your day with some writing if you prefer! Whatever works best for you. To start, just take 5-10 minutes a few times a week (or even once a week if you prefer) and start jotting things down.