How To Journal?

Journaling is the activity of keeping a written record of your thoughts, ideas, events, feelings, goals, etc. 

There are no rules on how to journal and it can simply be described as putting onto paper any thoughts that come into your mind or anything you feel like writing about.

Nevertheless, you can enhance or start your Journaling practice with a default template Journal with a series of bullet points that can guide you through this practice. These are especially good if you are looking for a specific type of journal, as a performance or gratitude journal, or simply if you are new to the practice.

Journaling Prompts & Ideas

Below we have listed some of the many topics you can use to either initiate or step up your journaling practice.

1. Self-reflection

Increase your self-awareness by asking yourself the following questions:


  • What things do I love about myself?
  • What do I want to improve about myself?
  • What is keeping me from getting where I want? What can I do about it?
  • Am I enjoying the process of achieving my goals? How can I make it
  • enjoyable?
  • What do I need to eliminate from my life?
  • What do I need more of in my life?
  • What are the things that bring me joy?
  • What am I most proud of?
  • How do you feel in each different area of life: relationships, health, nutrition, contribution, professionally…? What can I do to improve each of them?

2. Goals & Vision

This is probably one of the most empowering exercises when it comes to reaching your goals.

As per one study done by Professor Dr. Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California, people who write their goals are 43% more likely to achieve them. Convinced now?

Don’t wait any further. Grab pen and paper, and seriously think about what you want to achieve. Create a vision for your future that inspires you in the present moment, gives you a higher purpose, and therefore, makes you enjoy the whole process.

Check some of the areas below for goal setting:

  • Career
  • Personal: health, fitness, relationships…
  • Finances
  • Fun and leisure
  • Social
  • Skills to learn
  • Vision for your life: how does your life look like in 5-10 years?

3. Monthly / Weekly / Daily Planner

Planning your days, weeks, or even months in advance narrows down your focus towards the things you should be doing, avoiding distractions and increasing productivity.

Create a to-do list that aligns with your goals and vision. Make sure you keep this list at hand so you can regularly keep track of it.

4. Gratitude

This is a great exercise to do first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening before going to bed. Do it also any time you feel down as gratitude is a great way to shift your focus and make you appreciate all the good things around you, often forgotten.

Write down the things you feel grateful for and truly embody this feeling.

5. Things You Look Forward To

Write about all the things you feel excited about. Ask yourself daily: “What do I look forward to today?“. It can be as simple as “start reading a new book” or “meeting a friend”.

6. Affirmations / Autosuggestion

Writing affirmations can develop your confidence, build momentum, and keep you on the right track.

Autosuggestion is a self-induced affirmation or a pep talk you give to yourself, reminding you of your purpose and vision. This technique programs your brain to spot any opportunities that will be in alignment with your goals.

7. Bucket List

Creating a bucket list it’s just not a fun thing to do, but will also inspire you to start living up to your dreams, take action, and start ticking some off the list.

Come up with a list of all the things you want to do/experience in your life.

Don’t be shy!

8. Track Progress

  • Keep track of your tasks and to-do lists on a regular basis.
  • Write down the things you have recently done that brought you closer to your goals.
  • Check all your goals at least every week as a reminder that you are on the right track.

9. Daily Mood Log

How did I feel today?” This question should be answered at the end of every day.

This is extremely valuable as it allows you to understand, based on your answers, if your life needs a turn, and what you can do about it.

10. Contribution

How did I feel today?” This question should be answered at the end of every day.

This is extremely valuable as it allows you to understand, based on your answers, if your life needs a turn, and what you can do about it.

11. Daily learnings

Stimulate your brain by learning something new every day. Learning not only creates new neuro-connections but also creates a feeling of happiness by releasing dopamine. Learning about new topics also increases your creativity.

Journaling on your daily learnings will help you keep a daily record of it, where you can always come back to.

12. Highlights of the day

Look back on your day and think for a moment about all the good things that happened.

Even on the most challenging days, look for positive things. What have you learned from those challenges? This is a great way to shift your focus from a negative to a constructive mindset.

13. Creativity

Try to draw or paint something, write a poem, brainstorm ideas for a certain topic, write a quote, or even come up with a new recipe.

14. Life lessons

Writing about your challenges can easily change your perspective on these events. Ask yourself:

What were the biggest challenges in my life?

What have a learned from them?

These simple questions will shift the way you look at your problems and the limiting self-talk.

15. Achievements

What were my biggest achievements in life?

Give yourself credit for all you have achieved so far. Build up your self-confidence by looking back and using these achievements as fuel for your future endeavors.

16. 80/20 or 90/10 Analysis

Also known as Pareto Principle, this is a great exercise to help you increase effectiveness and efficiency.

The principle is simple: find the 10-20% of the action that leads to 80-90% of results.

That said, look at all the activities in a certain area of your life and find out which ones produce most of the outcomes, and pivot the other ones (if/when applicable).

The great thing about this principle is that you can apply it at work, diets, workouts, relationships, or in any other domain of your life.

When To Journal?

Integrating journaling as part of your daily routine can prove to be very beneficial.

Journaling first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day with fresh new ideas, goals, inspiration, and gratitude. Planning your day in advance is also a great way to become more productive and focused.

Keeping an evening journal is as beneficial. Write about your main achievements, highlights of the day, things you could have done better, new learnings, and even log your mood. Also, keep track of the daily tasks as a way to increase your productivity.

Although keeping a morning and evening practice can be extremely beneficial, you should journal at any moment you feel like doing it. If an idea, thought or inspiration comes to your mind, write it down immediately, so you can explore that concept later on.

Make Journaling part of your daily routine as a way to increase your self-awareness, productivity, and creativity. We hope the topics above help you enhance or get started with this practice and reap the benefits of it.

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