Journaling,  Self Help

How to Keep a Journal (complete step by step guide)

I got a message yesterday from a dear friend; he has been following the series and just got himself a beautiful journal.


The Beautiful Journal


Just in case you are wondering, what is in a journaler’s tool kit?

  1. A notebook
    Any book will do. To spice it up however, you can get a fancy looking book (preferably a hard cover notebook) dedicated to this cause (Journaling). Fancy colours and designs especially are attractive; they tend to draw you close to the book (Lol, I guess that is just me.)
  2. You’d agree with me that a pen will be nice
  3. Small pieces of paper or sticky note (Optional but as time goes on you’d see the need)
  4. Solitude (A quiet place and specific time)

That settled, let’s get started…

You fixed the time and are at the venue… All is set for you to start writing. Don’t get overwhelmed at the looming task of pouring your mind. The truth is it can actually be fun and not a bore, if you put your heart to it. Journaling doesn’t necessarily mean writing out a minute by minute breakdown of your day (like we discussed in Myths). These tips should help you get started,

  1. Your journal is about you, your life, progress, and so on. So focus on things that really get your attention such as a can be a quote, a phrase… Pen it down; also add your own thoughts in words about the quote etc.
  2. You can write about be the highlight of your day e.g. a place you visited, book you read or a gift received from a friend (or foe, lol)
  3. Try writing about a situation you faced. How did you feel about the matter, did you over react? Were you proactive or did you compromise your standards? Can be on how you felt over a matter. An action you took or should have taken (may be about a character flaw to be corrected or resolution made).
  4. Take it a step further by writing about your expectations, aspirations, things you perceive about your future. Goals you must set to reach such a future and break the goals down to action points.
  5. There are times you might be on the move and feel like writing something down. It’s alright to write into your journal. If you are not with your journal, you could draft it on your Phone notebook app or into the sticky notes or pieces of paper mentioned earlier. It doesn’t have to be long, just jot down what comes to mind or the topic. This is because, you’d probably forget if you don’t jot it down. And attempting to write in a moving vehicle may not be neat and legible.
  6. Don’t wait to be perfect at journaling before your start. You keep getting better by practice. Just be spontaneous; go with the flow… There are really no rules!

Are you new to the habit?
Don’t be too conscious about sounding intelligent in your logs. After all, it is for you and you alone. Plus no one is marking. It is obvious that you will ramble on a lot at the early stages of journaling and that is fine.

For my other articles in this series check out My greatest discovery about journaling

In the next piece, I will share some of the joys of journaling, the benefits of cultivating the habit of journaling. Is there something you’d like me to write about? Kindly let me know in the comment box below.
Don’t forget to read, share your views and give this post to someone.

Happy Journaling,

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