A daily journal routine allows you to pause in the chaos of everyday life. In this time, you can actually think about what is happening and how you feel about it.
Journaling is an act that reconnects you to yourself. The good news is that there is no one way to journal or a routine that works for everyone. You find what works for you, and you do it regularly.
The way to ensure that journaling works for you is to do it long term. Long-term journaling gives you more insight into your life because you’ll be able to look to the past, present, and even the future to get answers in your life.
How to Create a Journal Routine That Works
Choose a Time That Works
First, you need to decide what part of your time lends itself best to a regular writing habit. Like any habit, you need to find a space for it in your life if you want it to stick. What time in your day can you devote to 10-20 minutes of quiet reflection? During what part of your day is your mind most capable of this habit?
Some people do not like to write every day, but instead, commit to a practice of three or four times per week. Before you start the process, figure out what you can reasonably commit to and make a choice to write during these times.
Select a Format
Next, you should consider which format will work best for you. Is a paper journal best or will an app help you make this a habit? Would keeping it on your computer make more sense? Whatever you choose, get the notebook, download the app, or create the document, but get yourself ready to write.
Now, it is time to write. Just do it. Do not worry about what you write. Don’t filter or edit yourself. Just let your thoughts flow from your mind into your journal.
If you get stuck, look for prompts online to get you going, but don’t worry about following any type of formula or focus right away. Just start writing. The more you do it, the easier it will get.
Write, Write, Write
Writing in a journal every day can help you solve problems, gain greater awareness, calm your mind, and improve your overall health. When you practice this critical routine daily, it can improve your memory and focus, stabilize your emotional health, and even improve your immune system. Find a routine that works for you and get busy writing!
Look Back and Learn
Once you have been at it for a week or so, look for ways that your journal entries can inspire you to take action or make minor changes in your life. Have you noticed themes popping up more? Are there things you can do to address some of these areas? What will your journal teach you?
Reflection on your entries is perhaps the most powerful part of your journaling habit. Look back to see how far you have come, what you can learn, what you notice about your emotions or decisions. Learning from your entries gives you insight, helps you make better choices and promotes better understanding.
Once you have started, it is essential to keep it up. It can help to set a reminder on your phone, create an appointment on your calendar, or post notes around your home or workspace that help you remember to write every day.
Start small and work your way up toward longer stretches if writing is not already a part of your daily routine. Even if you just journal for five minutes a day for the first week, this is helping you build a habit.
Give yourself time and be patient. You may not notice that you think or feel differently for a few weeks. That’s okay. Like all good things, the results take time to develop. You will start to notice them soon, we promise.
Once you develop the habit, you can start trying different types of journals. there are many different types of journals that can be beneficial.
In fact, you can create a journal for just about any activity you do. Here are some of the most common ones…
Daily Life Journal
Some people like to record their daily life in a journal. This might include writing about current projects, a fight with your spouse, or a kind act a stranger did for you on the subway system.
You may also find yourself drawn to a daily life journal during an important season in your personal life like an engagement, a new baby, or the home-buying process. These events can bring up a lot of emotions and it can be helpful to process them in the privacy of your journal.
A travel journal is a perfect way to capture all of the adventures you are having. You can journal about which cities you’ve visited, the hotels you stayed at, people you met, and what you did on your trips.
Using a travel journal can help you remember important events that you don’t want to forget, like how amazing you felt when you learned to surf or how much fun you had when you finally mastered the art of skiing.
If you consider yourself religious or spiritual, you may like the idea of keeping a prayer journal. Many people who participate in this practice will record what they pray for as well as the date of their request.
Later on, they can go back and add how that request was answered. This can be a wonderful way to grow closer to God or the Universe, depending on your beliefs. It can also be a source of comfort when you look back later to see how many situations turned out for the good.
Another type of journal that you might enjoy keeping is a business journal. With your business journal, you can record your work projects, plan new products, or brainstorm new ways to market your services.
It can also be useful for generating ideas or coming up with solutions to problems you’re facing. You can also use it to consider what new goals you might want to pursue and how you could accomplish them.
Journaling can improve your life in so many ways. But one of the most important benefits is that it helps you discover yourself. You learn more about what you like and what you don’t. You begin to understand how you are wired and what you want to create more of in the world.
But that is not the only thing that journaling is good for. It can also help you set new and exciting goals. Maybe, you are stuck in a rut and wondering what the next step is. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and want to get clarity before you make your next move.
You may already be clear on what your goals are, or know what you want to create. But maybe you have encountered obstacles or setbacks when you tried to pursue them.
Journaling can be very helpful for you. Often, writing out what you are experiencing can lead to new breakthroughs that you had not considered before. This is because journaling encourages you to see your situation in a new light.
Use journaling to chart a different course, adjust your sails, or lean into a new adventure. You just might discover something new about yourself or the world around you!
A bullet or dot journal is a special type of journal that allows you to track many different areas of your in life in one convenient space. Inside of it, you can keep lists, make notes, and create plans. The idea is that you write down short phrases or “bullets” to help you remember important dates, manage your to-do list, and keep you on track with your goals.
The advantage of using a bullet journal is that it can be customized for your life. So if you want to keep a list of the books you are reading, how many steps you took today, and what knitting project you are working on, you can easily do that.
Bullet journals can take a few minutes to set up. But there is plenty of inspiring ideas on social media sites like Instagram. Just look up #bulletjournal or #bujo and you’ll discover all of the ways you can decorate a bullet journal.
The wonderful thing about journaling is that there are no rules. You can create the journal you want and customize it to fit your life.
While most people prefer handwritten journals, anyone could read your entries if they have access to your notebook. You may want to consider a digital journal. Digital journals are more secure, due to the use of device password protection.
When typing in a digital journal, you can erase and rephrase your sentence as many times as you want, but be aware that this can sometimes result in more sterile writing.
Another advantage is that you can tag and search for entries in a digital journal. This means if you have a journal entry from two years ago, it is much easier to locate it than to sift through years of paper notebooks.
Plus, a digital journal allows you to include other media. For example, if you write a post about an outing with your family, you can include videos of all the fun.
There are several options if you prefer to journal digitally. The Day One Journal is one of the most well-known and popular journal apps. It can be used on both Android and Apple products and it’s free.
If Day One isn’t what you’re looking for, the Journey app is a good alternative. It’s free and has a desktop version that works on both Windows and Mac. It syncs seamlessly between the different locations so you always have access to your latest entries.
Although EverNote is a productivity app, you can use it as a journal if you wish. Begin by starting a new notebook and name it “Journal” or “Thoughts”. Then create a note within the notebook. Each note can be treated like a journal entry. You can add tags, format text, and include images in your entries.
So, Which Should You Choose?
These are just 8 styles that can help you start a new daily journaling routine. Choose the one that can help you move towards your goals, connect with yourself and catalog your thoughts. Most importantly, inspire you to journal daily.