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Journaling: 5 top tips on how to get started

Have you been hearing lots about journaling but you’re not sure how to get started?


As someone who has used journaling first-hand for over 15 years, I’m here to help with my five top tips to help you get started...


1. Get yourself a notebook


Whether you choose to invest in a snazzy leather bound handmade journal or you add a basic notebook to your trolley when you’re next at the supermarket, what matters most is that you have your own place to write down your thoughts and feelings. Plain pages, lined, squared, dotted, there’s a heap of different notebooks out there so take time to choose what’s right for you. A smaller, A5 size will be easier to take with you, or you might prefer a bigger version...it’s totally up to you!


2. Make writing a part of your routine


Journaling doesn’t have to become another thing on your to-do list that you feel like you have to have thirty minutes out of your day to do. The key is to slot journaling into your daily routine, so start by having a think about what time of day most suits you. If you’re a journaling newbie, experiment with different times of the day to see what suits you best, knowing that you might prefer to mix it up each day. Here’s some ideas of when you can add journaling to your daily routine:


Writing first thing in the morning as you sip your herbal tea gives you a chance to get any early morning thoughts out of your head onto paper. It’s also a great opportunity to write about your day ahead, giving you the space and clarity to feel more organised and prepared.


If you’re someone who struggles to separate your working day from your own free time, journaling when you get home from your working day will help you move from working mode to relaxation mode.


An evening journaling session can help you reflect on your day as you take a few moments to write down what you’re grateful for that day, but it can also help to get down onto paper any thoughts before you go to sleep. One study has found that participants who journaled before sleep had less “bedtime worrying” and slept longer than participants who didn’t journal before bed.


3. Let go of perfectionism


So you’ve got your new journal and pen, you’ve decided to write in your journal each morning but then you feel paralysed by making a ‘mistake’ in your journal, worrying about it not being perfect, having to scribble out any mistakes.


But you know what?

Your journal is for your eyes only.


So put worrying about spelling mistakes to one side and allow yourself to doodle away, perhaps even some days allowing your creativity to take over the pages with poetry, sayings and affirmations instead of paragraphs full of words.


Your journal is your creative outlet so it can be whatever you need it to be!


4. Nurture your self-compassion


If you’re expecting to fill three pages on your first journaling session, but get stuck after the first few sentences, don’t panic!


There’s no rules when it comes to journaling and nobody is asking for your word count each day.


So let go of any expectations and allow whatever wants to come up to flow onto the pages.


From a few sentences to multiple paragraphs, each day will probably look different in your journal. By taking baby steps each day with your journaling, you’ll soon find the words flowing more easily from your pen to paper.


5. Don’t be scared of the blank page


If you’re not sure how to get started, then use a journal prompt. Here’s five to get you started:

· What are you grateful for today?

· What made you smile recently?

· Write about the last time you laughed so hard your belly hurt

· How are you really feeling right now?

· What goal are you working on and how is your progress going?



Journaling is a common technique which is often integrated into my holistic life coaching clients’ daily routines, to help them reflect on their progress and get their ideas out from their head and onto paper. If you’re interested in finding out more email me abi@thewell-beinggarden.co.uk



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