10+ journaling ideas that will help you be your best you
You think journaling is for people who have always had a thing for diaries and JUST LOVE writing? You couldn’t be more wrong...Journaling is for the COOL KIDS these DAYS!!
Today I am going to present you 10+ journaling ideas to practice to become your best self! And trust me, half of them don’t need more than 2-word-sentences! For some of them, you don’t even necessarily require a pen.
Did I peak your interest? Then let’s go!
Before I get started, I want to clarify that for me journaling is ALL THINGS related to putting something down in a JOURNAL! But of course, it doesn’t have to be a journal. It can be a binder, a scrapbook or a loose piece of paper. NO LIMITS HERE.
WHY WE SHOULD PUT THINGS ON PAPER
Thoughts are so fleeting and chaotic. You have around 70.000 of them EACH DAY!! And the most amazing part, thoughts are repetitive. You think about 95% of them every.single.day!
Most of our thoughts come from our childhood. Whether you think mostly good or bad things, whether you’re overly critical or overly hopeful. The roots lie in all the things you have experienced during your life. So it’s hard to control the things going on up there.
That’s why writing things down makes everything more durable. Once on paper, it remains there. Even if you turn the pages and come back to it years later. Your words and the thoughts that generated those words will still be there.
It also makes it possible to organize your thoughts. You can just write down all of them and then come back and sort them out.
Writing down your words can also make your thoughts more intentional. Because when you read, you automatically think about what you just read. So the more positive things you read, the more you think about positive things.
There’s a lot of thoughts to sort out, a lot of things you want to remind yourself of. Here’s a list of 10 things to write down and journal about that are going to help you grow.
1. HEALTH TRACKERS
When it comes to our health, our memory usually is not THE best. Our minds tend to put everything in such a good light for us. Think about the last time you wanted to have a LITTLE snack and ended up swallowing a whole bag? Or when you try to think about the last time you slept through the night. You think it might have been like 3 or 4 days ago, but then your husband tells you it’s been like 3 weeks!! (OMG)
This is when health trackers come in SO handy! You can track everything from your hours of sleep to the times you’ve had a headache. Water intake is another popular thing to track, as well as the time you’ve moved your body.
Tracking your moods, times of cravings or your energy levels can be really important to track as well. This, to me, is a very important part of health tracking. Especially people with symptoms of depression or other mental health issues can watch out for special patterns and connections with this kind of tracking.
2. HABIT TRACKERS
I LOVE habit tracking whenever I’m trying to change behaviors and develop healthy routines in my life. You can track anything from writing habits to working schedules, and from not spending money to posting on social media.
Tracking certain habits to me is the most important step to achieving ANY goal you’ve set for yourself. If you want to read more about habits - I wrote an article about habits a few weeks ago which you definitely should check out:
I mean, who doesn’t love to make lists?? To me, it’s kind of fulfilling! No matter if it’s a brain dump, a want-to-travel-to list, a bucket list or a simple packing list. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and serenity. It’s like finishing a puzzle. You collect all the items of a certain topic that are strolling around in your head and you put them on 1 piece of paper. It’s mesmerizing.
The only thing you should be careful of is to not keep trapped in the making-lists-loop. Because no want-to-travel or bucket-list is healthy if you don’t get to actually check the items off at a certain point!
I am always much calmer when I know what will be going on in our lives this week or month. That’s why even writing down all of your appointments and important dates make me a better person. I am able to serve all of my commitments and the organized schedule helps me make more time for my goals.
I can see exactly where I am wasting time running around to do stuff I don’t need to do that day. I spot opportunities to batch things and I don’t spend as much time switching in between tasks.
That is precious time saved that I can then use to work on my life goals! BAM!
If I had to memorize every little to do on my list, I would definitely forget half of them. This kind of journaling helps me prioritize my tasks. It keeps my head free of unimportant things to remember and leaves space in there to let creativity flow.
This keeps frustrations and annoyances to a minimum level and can help keep failures at bay. If that’s not worth your time, I don’t know what is.
One thing that isn’t done very often is to keep a done-list. This is a great way to celebrate the little victories of our day-to-day. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the length of our to-do list. It’s great to have an overview of all the things we’ve already managed to get done in a short amount of time!
Now we’re getting to the deeper levels of journaling.
People started “journaling” their memories since the beginning of time. Because they knew how short-lived thoughts can be, they started recording them.
Today a lot of the examples of journaling your memories are around the art of scrapbooking.
You don't need to be that artsy and creative. Journaling your memories can be a great way to keep the positive things that happened to you more present and not only focus on the negative things.
Focusing on your positive memories and revisiting them whenever you feel like it can bring back all the good emotions. Which then can be your fuel to getting through rougher times.
Being creative is one of the most underrated personal growth exercises there are. There are quite a few benefits, but one of the most important is this: you practice the CREATION part.
So you learn how it feels to have a blank piece of paper, and then let your creative juices flowing. You then experience the feeling of bringing whatever ideas pop into your head down on the paper in front of you, creating a totally unique THING. Something that’s yours.
Even if you start your creative journey by copying the art of others, you’ll eventually start developing your own style. You’ll give your art your own flavor, your own colors and your own mood.
This kind of journaling can also be a great way to deal with your feelings without having to use words. That can be helpful if you’re trying to get over something painful that you don’t want to verbalize. Or maybe you experienced something that you can’t put into words right away. With art journaling, you don’t need to. You can express yourself through the craziest materials. You can draw, doodle, paint, stick, cut, form ANYTHING. You can mix and match, or you can keep it clean and simple.
The opportunities are ENDLESS.
8. WRITING PROMPTS
Now we’re getting even deeper into your mind. For those of you who would love to write your feelings down in a journal, but have NO idea how to get started: this is your lighter.
This kind of journaling can go from writing your future self a letter to writing your own eulogy. Or it can be simple exploratory questions that you write down the answers to.
For example: What does your perfect day look like?
Or: What would you need to improve in your life to call yourself happy?
The goal of this exercise is always GETTING TO KNOW YOURSELF better. Not only that. Sometimes what you THINK you would want to be happy might not quite be what you REALLY FEEL. As I said, sometimes your thoughts are too chaotic and fleeting to get one straight line. Re-reading some of your thoughts could reveal that some things you thought we right for you don’t actually feel like yourself when you see them on paper.
Now if you’re not really a fan of writing whole sentences, or maybe your hand gets all cramped up after a few sentences, try making bullet points. No need to write whole sentences...
These last two journaling types are my favorites. Because these are the ones I use most to grow.
There is the journaling of your goals. And it can have as many shapes as there are people on this planet. It can be life goals, monthly or daily goals. It can be overall goals or the recently famous 90-day goals.
But if there’s anything you’re taking away from this blog post, I want it to be THIS:
WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS.
I don’t care if short-term or long-term, but writing down your goals is the most certain way to actually grow as a person.
I always say that my goals are what makes me wake up excited about my own life. They are my rocket fuel.
And by the way, this is the only sheet of paper I would not hide in your journal. I want you to
TAKE THEM OUT, HANG THEM UP YOUR WALL AND LOOK AT THEM EACH AND EVERY DAY!
Also, your thoughts are usually a private thing, very individual for every person. And that’s why I love that journaling keeps you the opportunity to “tell” someone your darkest and most buried secrets. You feel the freedom to let it all out because you know no ones is going to read a single word unless you want them to.
With goals, I would make an exception.
I WANT YOU TO BLURT YOUR GOALS OUT LOUD.
Tell them to your milkman if you want to. It’s proven that saying your goals out loud proudly increases the chances of actually getting there.
10. VISION BOARDS
I saved the best for last you guys! This one is hands down THE most powerful way of putting things on paper that will help you achieve ANYTHING.
We are immensely impacted by the things we see on a regular basis. They become our life after a short amount of time. That is why I encourage my students to plaster their goals and wishes for their life ALL.OVER.THEIR.PLACE.
The fame started with vision boards in general. But there are so much more varieties to this. You can do a Vision Folder, a Vision Book, a Vision Station (focus points around your home), and many more.
Here’s my suggestion though: make yourself a VISION HOME. That means that you make your home match your vision of your future.
So you want to be healthier? You might put a cut out of a jogging person on your vision board as an example, but how about actually laying out workout clothes and shoes on a focal point in your home - so you’re constantly reminded of actually BEING your future self?
Or maybe you want to have a better relationship with your husband? Instead of pinning the photo of a couple holding hands on your board, maybe you convert your bedroom into a strictly loving environment.
Put a huge photo of your wedding day up the wall. Frame your wedding vows and read them to each other each night before going to bed or first thing in the morning. Leave all the distractions outside. Get super comfy bedding. And then commit to spending at least 1 hour in that room every day.
How about that for a vision?
That is it for today! Now I want to know from you: Which one of these journaling ideas will you be trying out next?
If you need inspiration, I have a board on Pinterest where you can find more inspiration than you'll need for this life AND the next!
I hope you guys have an incredibly good week!