Journaling is the best way to celebrate the beautiful life you live and the bright future ahead of you. It is a tool that allows you to document your journey to create the best life you’ve ever imagined. It is also a great way to train your brain to focus on progress and gratitude and to cultivate a positive mindset. When you start writing about everything you are grateful for, you will be amazed not only by the wonderful things in your life but by the beauty and brilliance of life in general.
For me, journaling is more of a mindfulness exercise. I like to go back at the end of each day and remember and relive the best moments of my day: small accomplishments, funny jokes I heard, or things that made me smile. Moreover, knowing that I have to write down in my journal the most important moments of my day makes me pay more attention to everything around me during the day. So I’ve become more mindful and more aware of everything I do, I learn, I hear, I win, and everything that makes me happy. It’s a great way to focus on progress and on the positive.
If you want to turn your writing into a habit you should set up a schedule of when you want to write in your journal. Start with 2 or 3 days a week, reserve those evenings especially for journaling, and set a timer. Find a place you feel comfortable, where you can focus and concentrate. Choose a nice notebook that you like or find a virtual space on your computer. Start with 5 or 10 minutes – setting a timer will help you stay focused and it will prevent you from getting carried away. Date your entries and write quickly and naturally.
Here are some mindful and creative ways to use your journal:
Daily planner – daily log
- Plan your day – daily tasks, to-do lists, etc
- Due dates
- Intention of the month – patience, clarity, growth, mindfulness, softness, compassion, peace
- Memories of the day – keep memories alive, keep track of the time and the way you spend it.
Daily gratitude – a positive way to end your day
- People – someone dear to you or someone who helped you
- Things and places you love
- Something nice that happened that day that made you smile
- Water intake
- Self-care of the day
- Habit tracker
- Positive affirmations
- Changes in seasons
- Nature diary
- Books to read
- Bucket list
- Movies to watch
- Places to visit
- New things to try
- Birthdays and anniversaries
- Songs you like
- Useful apps
- Short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve
- Things you are good at
- Not-to-do list
- Memories – dear moments you want to remember. Ruminate on personal thoughts and on things that deeply impacted you – ideas, movies, articles
- Inspiring, positive quotes
- Things that make you happy
- Nice things you did for other people
- Short summaries or impressions on books or movies
- Brainstorm – new ideas, dreams, inspiration, new projects
- Big ideas
- Ways you can improve
- Your feelings and dreams
- Mistakes you never want to make (again).
- Things you love about your spouse or partner
- Things that make you laugh – a cure for stress and boredom.
There are no rules for journaling. Just figure out what works best for you and do whatever feels right. Hold yourself accountable for living mindfully and intentionally, keep journaling, and your life will change for the better.
How do you use your journal? What do you use it for? Share some ideas in the comments below! I’d love to know!
Effective Ways to Organize and Use Your Own Productivity Journal
For more tools and resources on happiness check out my Resources page.
Eliza Waters says
Detailed and thorough list, Ana! I read a post where the author moved through grief and loss by journaling at the end of the day 3 things that gave her joy and 3 things she felt she did well. Healing and journaling can go hand-in-hand.
I totally agree with you, Eliza! Positive journaling trains the brain to focus on good and progress. It just works. 🙂
I must admit Ana, I tried keeping a journal when I was still at school but I just couldn’t get into it. I always thoughts it was about writing down thoughts, kinda like a diary. I was wrong, I might just give it a go again after reading this.
There are no rules in journaling, Michelle. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try.:-)
Journaling has changed at least in my mind. Love your ideas and love the pin and paper journal.
Thank you for visiting! Happy journaling! 🙂
Nostalgia Diaries says
My journal is a hodgepodge of things but I’d go crazy without it!
Lauren C. Moye says
Great list! I need to work on my bullet journaling abilities because these are all things I would like to add in.
megan smidt says
So many great ideas!!! Thank you for this list!
Sweetsnsnarks by LeAnn says
Such a complete list to help those who like to write to journal and be more mindful. I know it helps me when it comes to blogging, but also to connect with memories, mindfulness, and now as I learn to negotiate health matters. Thank you!
Thanks for stopping by, LeAnn! I’m glad you find my post useful.
Tayrina Gonzalez says
Great ideas I’ve never thought of before. I have so many journals and many times I do not know why to use them. Thank you for sharing these ideas. Very good!
Connie @essentiallybroken says
These are such great tips. I love journaling. My daughter and I give each other prompts to write about. Thank you so much for giving me lots of ideas for our journals
Ana, I love the “gratefulness” idea. When I’m having a hard time, or writer’s block, it really helps me to start listing things I am grateful for. As I write I think of more things, and more. My mindset changes and the bad things fall to the side, there isn’t any room for them when I am stacking up all the good stuff!
I love to actually put pen to paper. There is something that is therapeutic about it but I only do it when I need the work through something. This is a great resource Ana!
So true, Julie! I love notebooks and I find it so calming to put pen on paper – it gives me time to sort my thoughts.