If you haven’t kept a dear diary for a decade or more you may be a little reluctant about returning to pen and paper. Journaling isn’t a new craze, but it’s been sweeping across the world once more. From gratitude journals to morning pages, there’s so much healing that can happen when we capture our thoughts, energies, joys and sorrows between the pages of a book. But if you need a little gentle nudging to get you going, these five journaling ideas can be a great way to kickstart that writing heart…
Get Going with Your Goals
Now, at first glance, this may sound like setting yourself up for trying to maintain impossible standards and bowing down to the ‘have it all mentality’. But look a little closer. Waking up and writing down your goals each day can be an amazingly low maintenance way of checking in on yourself. Whether you keep repeating the same goals or if your goalposts change, this practice will give you clarity when it comes to what you want, where you are going, and what has changed. Penning down your goals as a daily practice can be a great reminder as to what matters to you most right now, keeping you present, and inviting you to accept that dreams, hopes and desires change and you should accept that without shame.
Pen Your Morning Pages
Morning pages don’t actually have to be done in the morning, but there’s a belief that you can bypass your heavy inner critic if you get scribing as soon as you wake up. The idea behind the morning pages is to clear your head of junk so that you can carry on with your day in clear-minded way. By committing to writing three pages (or whatever you set yourself), this practice invites you to scrawl all your inner unedited thoughts, to repeat yourself, to complain, to heckle, to have a good moan, and to physically get it all out of your system. Artists and writer types have great things to say about the morning pages, citing that this practice paves for the way for better creative practice.
Keep a Log
You may groan at the idea of keeping a daily log, but its actually an amazing historical record of the life you have lived. Photographs don’t capture emotions in the same way that penning your interpretation of the day can. You start by keeping a log of the things you have done, and before you know it – the pages have blossomed into a journey of self-discovery. By writing things down, you get to process them and make sense of them and this can all be amazingly valuable stuff when it comes to self-actualization and growth. Keep the parameters loose, just try and jot down in your journal log every day. You can doodle, short-hand, paste in pictures, whatever you want – just try and get in a habit of marking out your day.
Bite the Bullet
Bullet journals have become a major trend over the last couple of years as they fit our fast-paced and techno-centric society. For those who are time-poor but idea-rich, the bullet journal will be nothing short of a dazzling slice of joy. This analogue system captures your past doings, present thoughts, and future plans and keeps them all uncluttered and clear in a bullet system. There’s daily logs, future logs, task calendars, and collections that can cover everything from creative ideas to shopping lists. There are gratitude lists and mind maps and work plans and just about everything you could possibly need to keep your life and your mind on track.
The Letter Journal
If you struggle to get your personal journal writing off the ground then a letter style of journaling can be an amazing way to mentally distance yourself from the dear diary style of writing. You don’t have to send any of these letters but penning letter style pieces is a highly creative and thoughtful way of getting into a daily writing habit. Pen letters to former and current friends, lovers, parents, grandparents, that old person you sat next to on the bus. Write letters to your former self, your current self, your future self. Letter writing can be so healing, especially when working through trauma or trying to make sense of a situation. It can also help you to practice stronger communication skills, work with empathy and generally express your feelings.
Which journaling ideas are you connecting with? Share your thoughts in the comments.