Using Your Journal
Updated: May 10, 2021
Your journal is a powerful tool and when used at its full potential your journal will help you to envision your next chapter, and help you leave behind patterns that no longer serve you. Your journal can be used to plan, to set intentions, and to truly make magic happen in your own life. Your journal can help you unleash your creativity, giving you the opportunity to freely express yourself, no holds barred.
Your journal can be used for reflection or to create to do lists; your journal can be used for daily entries or to relive major life events and lessons. In addition, journaling is a great way to realize your own patterning, and can encourage you to evolve in ways that are productive for you and the people you share your life with.
It is important that you choose a journal you love. Head to your local book store and take some time looking at the pages. Do you want lines or blank pages; dot grid or regular grid; college or wide ruled pages? Do you prefer a bound notebook or a spiral notebook? There are different sizes, different colors and different prints. Choose a journal you feel inspired by. Having a journal that checks all of your esthetic boxes is your first step towards free expression.
It may be helpful to start your journal entry with some quiet time and few meaningful and deep breaths. Grab your favorite pen or pencil, open your notebook and just take note of how you feel at this very moment. Even if this becomes your daily practice it will surely have its benefits. This simple practice will help you stay tethered to the present moment and since the present moment is the only one you are guaranteed, there is no better time than now to feel your feelings; to express gratitude; and to find acceptance for who you are, where you are, and how you are.
Dating your entries allows you to take note of your own growth and transformation. There is something unfolding in your life right now, but signs and messages can become jumbled in the pages of your journal if you do not date your entries.
Remember, your journal should be private. You have the right to protect and keep your journal entries to yourself. The pages of your journal are a space where you can tell the truth.
Here is a list of topics you could consider writing about. Any or all of these can be helpful, so start with any one of them and if you decide it is not your favorite, change it up.
Stream of Consciousness. What is happening right now? How do you feel right now? What do you have gratitude for?
Goal setting. What would you like to have, do, and be in 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months? Follow this up with some action items. These action items will help you get out of analysis paralysis.
Draw a picture. It is okay to simply spend your time doodling. This can feel cathartic, and help you get out of your head and into your own creativity. Remember your best thoughts and ideas do not come to you when you are in a state of fight or flight.
Write down words of wisdom. Keep track of quotes, aphorisms, and other words that inspire and remind you of who you are and what you want.
Write down your ideas as soon as they pop into your mind. When you do not write your ideas down, it is easy to lose them. Do your best ideas come to you in the shower, or in your dreams? Keep a journal handy, you could even record a voice memo when your journal is not readily available. Even if nothing comes from your idea right away, when you write down your ideas you may be able to revisit them for inspiration in the future. Journaling can serve as a catalyst for change in your life, almost as if you are rewriting your narrative.
Write down affirmations. Using affirmations can help to inspire change in your life, and can serve as daily empowerment.
Keep a reading list. This list is to keep track of books you’d like to read.
Make a let go list. What do you want? What would you like to get rid of? Use the pages of your journal as a brain dump. Write with the intention of letting go, or at least acknowledge and write about mindsets and other things you would like to let go of.
Your journal can hold your most precious memories. You can relive special memories in the pages of a journal.
Write down your best case scenario. Write down what you would do if you couldn’t fail. You can also write down what circumstances excite you or make you feel like you’ve won. Celebrating and recording your small wins is important.
Here are some simple ways to start an entry--
At this moment…
It is important to remember the importance of having fun. Journaling should not feel like a chore, but instead a release. While it is healthy to journal about challenges, it is important to also write about your small wins and big successes.