A journal is a great object that gives you the space to explore your feelings, record dreams and ideas and reflect on daily life in a safe, private way. There are no rules for journaling, but there are some simple tricks that can help you get the most out of writing. If you don't know what to write about, for example, use inspirational quotes as a starting point for new journal entries.
Part 1 of 3: Brainstorming topics
Step 1. Write about the things you experienced during your day
Think about everything that happened to you during your day and capture all the highlights and feelings that come to your mind. Even if you've had a fairly ordinary day, you may be surprised by the deeper thoughts and feelings that arise as you review your day in detail.
- Feel free to write about any other topics that come to mind as you write about your day.
- For example, you could write about the English test you took. Do you have a good feeling about the test? Do you wish you were better prepared? Are you afraid of the grade?
Step 2. Think about your goals for the future and how you can achieve them
Make a list of your short-term and long-term goals. Then go through all the goals on your list and write down in detail how you think you can achieve them. Breaking all your goals down into smaller tasks that you can work on can make your goals seem more achievable.
- For example, you can write about short-term goals like studying for your math test or going to the gym to do cardio exercises.
- Long-term goals include things like choosing a university or college and applying for it, or saving money for a car.
Step 3. Write down how you feel or what mood you are in right now
You don't need to contextualize your emotions, just focus on accurately describing what you're feeling. You can then use those feelings and thoughts as a starting point to write detailed journal entries. Treat one thought or emotion at a time and explore it as thoroughly as possible.
For example, if you are sad, you can write in your journal why you feel this way and what events contributed to that feeling
Step 4. Write down inspirational quotes and what they mean to you
Inspirational quotes can come from anywhere -- from a famous person, from your favorite book or movie, or even from a friend or family member. Any quote that makes you think is a good starting point. Write the quote in your journal and indicate where you got it. Then write in your own words what the quote means to you.
For example, you could write a quote like "Friends are relatives without blood relationship," which is a quote from Ronald Giphart. Write a journal entry about what this means to you and why your friends are so important to you
Step 5. Write in detail about your favorite things or hobbies
Make a list of things you love or your favorite hobbies. Maybe you like movies, sports, food, travel, art or fashion. You can choose any topics, as long as they interest and inspire you. Then choose one thing from the list and write a diary entry about it.
- For example, if you like sports, write down why you like a certain sport, what your favorite teams are, and what your personal goals are if you participate in sports yourself.
- If you like painting, you could write about your favorite painters, the painting styles that most appeal to you, paintings you've made recently, and ideas for paintings you want to make.
Part 2 of 3: Writing personal diary entries
Step 1. Write the date in the corner or on the first line
You may not be writing in your journal every day, so writing down the date will help you keep track of when certain things happened. Since you keep a journal for long periods of time, dates also help you stay organized and provide context when rereading old journal entries.
You can also write the time, day and location next to the date if you want
Step 2. Begin each journal entry with a topic in mind
Most people pick up their journal whenever there is something they want to write or think about. This could be anything -- something that happened during your day, a dream you had, plans for the future, an event, or a strong emotion or mood that you are feeling or having.
Once you've started writing, feel free to wander off into any subject. However, having something in mind when you start writing can help get the writing process started
Step 3. Start with 'Dear Diary', if you wish
However, this is a completely personal choice, so choose what works and feels best for you. Addressing your journal can almost feel like you're talking to a friend instead of just talking to or writing to yourself. This may be helpful if you're new to journaling.
Step 4. Write in the first person using I phrases
A journal is very personal and usually works best when you write in the first person. It's your journal, so it's fine if it's all about you. Many people find this aspect very liberating, especially when it comes to examining personal thoughts, emotions and reactions.
For example, you could write something like “I'm nervous about this week's volleyball game. I've practiced a lot and I think I'm ready, but I'm so nervous I can hardly eat.'
Step 5. Be honest when writing
Many people find that writing in a journal is liberating because they can let go of all inhibitions and really be themselves. Feel free to write about all your emotions, whether they are positive or negative. Remember that no one will ever see what you have written, so you can write honestly about everything. This is for your eyes only.
- For example, you could write something like "I'm jealous of Rob's new scooter. I'm happy for him, but it's so unfair that his parents bought him a new scooter. I work every day after school to save for a used scooter.'
- If you are concerned that someone will find and read your journal, there are things you can do to prevent this. A physical journal with a lock and a digital journal that is password protected are two of the most popular ways to keep what you write private.
- Many people get impressions about themselves and their relationships by honestly writing in their journals. Be open to learning new things about yourself as you write.
Step 6. Don't worry too much about spelling and grammar
Your journal is a safe place to let off steam and be open without being accountable to anyone. Write freely and without inhibitions. Correct grammar, correct spelling and perfect sentences are not nearly as important as writing down your feelings and thoughts. Write down the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your day, your mood, and the feelings you're struggling with.
For some people it helps to write a few minutes at the beginning of a diary entry
Step 7. Use lots of details to capture memories
A journal also helps you record thoughts and feelings as they occur to you. You can also write down events immediately afterwards if you can still remember all the details. Over time, your memories can become more unreliable, so capturing the precise details while everything is still fresh in your mind can help you capture events exactly.
Not everyone is good at detailed writing, so don't feel like using long, wordy sentences. If it's easier for you to express your emotions in short sentences or even lists, feel free to do so
Part 3 of 3: Building a routine
Step 1. Pick a specific time to write in your journal every day
Many people find it difficult to find time to write in their journal, while others simply forget to write. It helps to pick a specific time to write in your journal each day so that you can make it a habit. It will eventually become a completely natural part of your day, but it can help to set a reminder on your phone every day until then.
- For example, you can choose to write in your journal every day before going to bed.
- Don't have unrealistic expectations of yourself. If you don't think you can write every day, schedule three writing sessions a week.
Step 2. Keep your writing sessions short when you're just starting out
You really don't need to schedule hours a day to write in your journal. 10-15 minutes per writing session is fine if you're just starting out with your journal. Write down the feelings and thoughts that are most urgent and urgent. You can always write more later in the week when you have time.
- For example, you can make a list of some items in your journal if you are short on time.
- Coming up with a strict schedule for yourself can actually have the opposite effect. Writing in your journal should be an outlet for you and not a chore, so don't be too hard on yourself.
- Choose a time for writing when you have no other obligations and you are not under time pressure.
Step 3. Sign in your journal if you'd rather do that than write
For some people it is easier to capture their thoughts and emotions by drawing rather than writing. If you think keeping a journal is easier for you if you can draw and sketch, feel free to do so.
Quick drawings can also help you capture something you want to remember when you don't have the time to write
- Keeping a diary should be liberating and not a chore. Allow yourself to enjoy the writing process.
- To camouflage your journal, write something like "math notes" or "homework" on the front cover.