How to get started Journaling

JournalateHQ   •   February 09, 2017   •   0 Comment

The social media revolution over the last decade has allowed us to communicate more easily with people across the world than we have ever been able to before. But, we have also discovered that these same tools can seriously erode our privacy and cause just one mistake to be indefinitely recorded on the internet. Perhaps more seriously, as our days are filled with distractions and interactions, it is easy to forget the need we have for solitude and being alone with our thoughts.

French writer Anais Nin said, “Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.” We may have drifted from reflection as a society, but consistent reflection and meditation can help us make better decisions, understand ourselves better, and draw powerful connections between ideas. Simply put, regular reflection makes us a better version of ourselves.

Journaling is one of the best ways to be alone with our thoughts and engage in self-discovery on a regular basis. Many, though, never give serious thought to starting a journal because they associate journal writing with adolescence and keeping a diary. That is a shortsighted view. Anyone can keep a variety of journals that can immediately improve their success and happiness in life.

One example of journaling is a “dream journal.” Here, you journal as soon as you wake up in the morning and record your dreams while they are fresh in your mind. After time passes, this kind of inner dialogue can dramatically increase your self-awareness. Another popular type of journal is a “gratitude journal.” Far too often, we descend into self-pity or wallow in envy for others. A gratitude journal allows us to reflect and write upon one thing we are grateful for each day.

Here are some additional ideas for journaling that have benefited others:

  • A “family journal” can be valuable particularly if you have young kids and wish to record special family moments for future reminiscence.
  • A “relationship journal” allows us to record our thoughts about our important romantic and platonic relationships to become better aware of the root causes of why some relationships are successful and others are not.
  • If you’re religious, you can consider keeping a journal about your relationship to God and important moments throughout your day in which you had pride in your staying true to your beliefs.
  • People who are at a specific phase in their life or are trying to get healthier find great value in a “health journal” that allows them to record their exercise activities as well as what they ate.

Often times the hardest hurdle to leap over is just getting started. If you find yourself challenged in this regard, the most important thing you can do is stay disciplined and try and write at a consistent time each day so that you can establish a routine. It is also helpful to plan your journaling to coincide with another event to help you stay on track, for example soon after waking up, just before going to bed or your lunch hour at work.

It can also be very helpful to include goals in your journaling. What is it that you want to accomplish? Find ways you can relate your journaling to your daily life and observe and feel the experience of becoming better through your journaling goals.

Finally, nobody’s perfect. If you set the goal of journaling every day, understand that no matter who you are there is going to be a day that you miss for one reason or another. That’s OK! Just pick back up the next day and get back into your routine.

Journalate is here to help you achieve a rich inner life and to look forward to your journaling each and every day. Send us a note at if we can help you personally in any way and check out the blog regularly where we’ll being posting tips and exercises to help you in your journey of journaling.

The Journalate family wishes you all the best and we express to you our deep gratitude for entrusting us with some of your deepest thoughts.