journaling techniques

How to Start Journaling (A Beginner’s Guide)

Journaling is one of the most powerful self-improvement activities right at your fingertips!

Journaling can be the ideal technique if you’re trying to express yourself, expand your creativity, and gain a better understanding of your emotions.

Writing in a journal is a useful method to keep track of your progress and record your life’s events, but it can also help you feel less stressed and anxious. Journals can be a wonderful and useful tool for awareness and for self-development.

What is the main benefit of journaling?

Practicing journaling can be a powerful tool to cultivate mindfulness and inspire self-reflection. By setting aside time for yourself, you’re able to take stock of your emotional landscape as it changes over the course of days or weeks – which in turn helps build confidence, regulate emotions and reinforce personal identity.

You don’t have to write in your journal every day unless you want to. Journaling should be pleasurable and beneficial. Don’t let the pressure of writing in your journal every day limit you; make sure it’s always a fun activity that elevates you!

While everyday writing may be a goal, don’t feel like you have to force yourself–journaling should never make you feel obligated or taken away from the joys of life!

Practicing journaling can be a powerful tool to cultivate mindfulness and inspire self-reflection. By setting aside time for yourself, you’re able to take stock of your emotional landscape as it changes over the course of days or weeks – which in turn helps build confidence, regulate emotions and reinforce personal identity.

It’s been practiced for thousands of years, but recently it’s become quite a popular topic, with everyone from self-help bloggers to well-known writers and authors like Joan Didion and Morgan Harper Nichols praising the transformative power of journaling.

Studies have shown that there are many benefits of journaling for your mental health and even your physical wellbeing and soon enough you’ll notice these beneficial changes in your emotions if you stick with it consistently.

Writing is an incredibly helpful way of offering perspective and calming the chaos of anxious thinking.

What do you write when you start journaling?

The best part about journaling is that what you write doesn’t even have to be that complex; it could be simply noting what your goals are that day, jotting down what you’re grateful for, or reflecting on what went well during your week.

Don’t get hung up on what to write in those journal entries or about how much you should write in a journal.

When you start journaling, you might try writing through a narrative and exploring emotions that were stirred up throughout the course of it! You may discover something new about yourself or gain valuable insight into different experiences.

Whatever topics arise as you write, allow yourself to explore them with compassion rather than criticism. As you continue this journey of learning what to write in your journal entries, who knows what insights and breakthroughs await?

Give your creativity and thoughts free rein, and soon enough each journal entry will become a mental treasure trove — and the best part is that you can access it now!

Here are some suggestions on how to make journaling a habit to get you started as well as some sample prompts to get you inspired.

Table of Contents

  • Start Small
  • Write Consistently
  • Find the Right Journal That Fits Your Needs
  • Write Freely
  • Have Fun With It

How to Begin Journaling – Tips for Beginners

If you’ve never kept a journal before, it can feel intimidating at first to know what to write in your journal. Here are some tips that can help beginners get over the initial hurdle of starting a journal:

How to Begin Journaling

1. Start Small

Don’t set high expectations or feel like you need to write long entries every day. Start small by writing one sentence each day then gradually increase the amount as you become more comfortable with the practice.

2. Write Consistently

It’s important to find time in your daily routine for writing in your journal so that it becomes a habit. Establish a set time in your day when you will write in your journal – this could be first thing in the morning or before bedtime – whatever works best for your schedule!

Set aside five minutes or so each day dedicated solely to writing in your journal. It will soon become second nature if you stick with it!

3. Find the Right Journal That Fits Your Needs

You don’t have to write in an actual notebook or diary; there are plenty of digital options available too! You can use apps such as GoodNotes or Penzu, or even start with something simple like Notes on your phone or laptop. Experiment until you find what works best for you!

4. Write Freely

Don’t worry about spelling and grammar – A journal is meant for self-expression and reflection, not to be graded by anyone else!

Let go of any worries about spelling mistakes or grammar errors; they don’t matter here! No one ever needs to see what you’ve written but yourself! Just focus on capturing your thoughts in whatever way feels most natural for YOU!

5. Have Fun With It

Writing doesn’t have to be boring and tedious; try adding some color by decorating pages with stickers, drawings and doodles! Display quotes that inspire you or create lists of things that make you happy! Making journaling fun will help motivate you to keep going!

Sample Prompts for Getting Started with Journaling


Not sure where to start?

Here are some prompts that could spark ideas for what to write about in your journals:

journaling prompts

1) What did I learn today?

2) Describe my favorite memory from childhood

3) What were this week’s top three highlights?

4) List 10 things I’m grateful for

5) What am I looking forward to this month?

6) How did I show kindness today?

7) Who has been a positive influence in my life lately?

8) What does self-care mean to me?

9) What would I tell my younger self if I could go back in time?

10) List 5 of my proudest accomplishments

11) What do I need more/less of in my life right now?

12) Make plans/goals for the month ahead

13) Reflect on an emotional experience from yesterday

14) Describe how you are feeling today

15) Write down 3 goals that you want to achieve this year

16) Capture moments of beauty throughout my day

17) Create a list of books/movies/TV shows that inspire me

18) Write down quotes that lift you up when you are feeling down

19) Brainstorm ideas for future projects

20) Describe the best dream I’ve ever had

21) Who is one of your role models and why?

22) What did you learn today that you didn’t know before?


Through regular practice, anyone can start reaping the benefits of journaling – whether you are a beginner or an experienced writer! Journaling gives us an opportunity each day (or week!) to take stock of our lives, express our feelings openly and honestly, reflect on our experiences and emotions, or to prepare in advance for prospective projects.

The opportunities are truly endless when we give ourselves permission just let go and write freely! So why wait any longer – grab a pen and paper (or open up an app) and start enjoying all these amazing benefits today.

Happy Journaling!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *