Invest in Yourself -- How to Start Journaling

Journaling is an investment. Not a financial one, per se, but an investment in yourself. Taking the time to write down dreams and goals helps make them a reality. Writing in times of illness and stress helps to heal and calm. Writing through grief gives an outlet for your feelings. Organizing feelings and emotions on the page detangles them.

Journaling is a valuable tool for personal growth. When you write things down, there is space between yourself and your feelings. Space for perspective. Space for realization. Space for awareness of not only what you think and how you feel, but what the next step should be.

Are you journaling yet? Have you purchased a journal and it's still sitting empty? Pick it up and start today. Baby steps, Baby!

Write your name on the first page and the date you are beginning your journal. Add a sketch, some stickers, or some form of decoration if you like. This will be your title page.

Turn the page and start. Like this, for example:

Write the date, day & time. ("Wednesday, 3.03.10, 12 noon") Write where you are ("I'm sitting in my brown chair by the window..."), what the weather's like or something about the season ("The rain has stopped, but it's still grey..."), write how you're feeling physically ("I'm tired today and my back is aching..."), and finally, start writing about your thoughts, feeling, emotions, or what's on your mind. Sometimes I like to write about the day's events and then segue into how I feel about them. ("Yesterday I did more work on the girls' playroom. I bought a rug and some new toy bins. I'm excited that they'll have a comfy place to sit and play, a play where they can dress up and read stories and build towers and dream. I want them always to dream.")

Now it's your turn. Go get a pen and your journal (new and still empty, or worn and almost full), and write. If you're afraid to start, or overwhelmed, set a timer for 10 minutes, and commit to writing for that long. You may find that once you start, you don't want to stop after 10 minutes. In that case, keep going!

Happy journaling!


  1. I think this post is exciting! Even though I consider myself fairly experienced, I feel encouraged to write. Write now! ;-) I like the step-wise description of WHAT to do. Great post!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. I have been thinking about returning to journaling or blogging again. Typing out my thoughts seems to work better for me than writing them out.
    Something that resonates with what you said above...I was just reading an article in Joyce Meyer's Enjoying Everyday Life Magazine, by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a scientist who has researched the science of thought since 1985. In the article, she said "Amazing things happen in the brain when you write down your personal reflections. Your brain starts sorting and prioritizing and puts you in a position to move forward." She has authored a book, called "Who Switched Off My Brain?"

  3. Chanel, I completely agree with Leaf's quote. I have found that to be true for me.


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