You keep collecting all your everyday thoughts in your head, with the result that you feel overwhelmed, tired and annoyed most of the time. Sometimes you talk with people about what goes on in your mind, but there’s no 24/7 source that will listen to you whenever you need it.
Welcome the power of the almighty journal into your life!
WHY A JOURNAL?
What I just described is basically a description of how I used to live. It would feel like my mind was going to explode, but I didn’t want to bother other people with my thoughts all the time so mostly I kept to myself. I had absolutely no control over my life and thoughts.
A little while later I saw a video on Youtube by Clark Danger (click here if you want to watch it), and he introduced me to the idea of journaling. No, not that ‘Dear Diary’ idea, in which you describe all your crushes and what you did that day. Something else. A place to find out more about yourself, your beliefs and what bothers you. A place to really get to know yourself. A way to improve yourself.
WHAT JOURNAL DO I NEED TO BUY?
You can basically use every notebook in the world. Some people prefer a really small notebook they can take with them wherever they go, while others prefer an A5 or even A4 notebook. With or without lines, soft cover or hard cover. They’re all choices you can make. I like my notebooks clean and black. These are a few I highly recommend:
- Hardcover Sketch Book A4
- Moleskine Large Ruled Hard Cover
- Monolith Premium Large-Format Hardcover Notebook
- Amazon Basics Classic Notebook – Plain
But once again, the notebook doesn’t really matter. In the end, it all comes down to what you write in that notebook. That is supposed to make a difference for you.
Yeah, you don’t need fancy pens at all. You can use everything. Although if you want to buy some new ones, these are perfect:
WHAT DO I WRITE IN MY JOURNAL?
Okay, so now you’re all set up and ready to go, here’s the important part.
You can write about EVERYTHING. I’m serious. You don’t need to think too hard about this in the beginning. Just write down whatever comes to mind, what’s bothering you or if you really don’t know what to write, start with a page about why you bought and started the journal.
Here are some other ideas for what you can write down:
- How you’re feeling at the moment
- Your long-term and short-term goals
- You can keep track of your dreams (I recommend making an apart section for it)
- Your expenses and income
- What inspires you
- Your ultimate life vision
- You could write a letter to yourself in the future
- You could write a forgiveness letter to someone you’re angry at
- Describe your perfect day
- Do some journal prompts
- Track what you eat for at least a week to see your pattern
- Track your exercise
Last year I had an A5 format journal, but this year I’m back at the A4 no lines club. I divide my journal up into different sections. I used to have tons and tons of notebooks for different things. One was for keeping track of my finances, one was for gratitude, one for story ideas, etc. But the internet introduced me to a new way of setting your journal up: using different sections.
This way, you have all your little journals in one place. It is a lot easier to use and you won’t have to worry about losing them. I usually look at how many pages my journal consists of, and divide that by the number of sections I want to use in my journal. Sometimes you know up front that a section is going to take up a lot more space than another, so you can keep that in mind when you’re doing this.
Here are some examples of sections you can use in your journal:
- Gratitude section
- Finance section
- Business section
- Goals section
- Thoughts or brain dump section
- Book / video / podcast notes section
- Health section
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO WRITE IN MY JOURNAL?
You don’t have to write in your journal every day. You don’t want it to be a dreaded obligation, but an inspiration outlet for your thoughts and feelings instead. Write whenever you feel like it, or when you experience you can’t stop thinking about something and want to get it off your chest.
It’s totally up to you. Maybe you start a journal and realize you’re not using it so much, but when your business starts growing and you have more to keep track of and process, your journal sees the light of day more often.
Whatever you prefer. In my opinion, journaling is one of the best ways to instantly improve your life. One of the best and most satisfying things about journaling is when you look back at what you wrote ten or twelve months ago, and notice that you’ve made a lot of progress. These are the small but meaningful moments where you can fully allow yourself to be proud and give yourself a pat on the back.
Better yourself. Learn. Grow. Teach. Give. Love.
Journal on, my friends!