This article helps you understand how to journal. A journal can be different things to different people. Some people use a journal as a log of what they do everyday.  Others  use journals to vent their frustrations.  Others use journals to collect things like quotes and recipes. Here are the steps to get you started.

Determine how you will use your journal. Here are some ideas.

  • You can use it as a diary to record your feelings. Journaling can be very theraputic in that you can transfer thoughts you are holding inside of you onto paper.  If you can't talk to anyone, you can talk to your journal.
  •  Record goals and achievments.  A journal can be used to plan what you want to do and become in life.  For example, you could write, "I want to be debt free in 3 years."  Then you write what actions you are going to take to achieve that goal. You can write or clip inspiring quotes that motivate you to action.
  •  Record memorable moments from your day. Having lunch with a close friend, your child's first words or an achievment at work are some examples.

 Choose what medium to use for a journal.

  • Use a simple notebook and pencil.  Or you can use colored pencils, markers and crayons to add pizazz. 
  • Go to the bookstore and purchase a decorated journal.  Barnes and Nobles has these.
  • Get a plain journal at the bookstore and make your own cover with clippings, fabric swatches,buttons and glitter.  Go to your local crafts store to find cool things to cover your journal.
  • Use an online journaling application.  Do a Google search for 'online journals' to find these.

Start writing.

This is the hardest step to start, but once you get going, you will find the words flowing out of you. If you need some help figuring out what to write, Google "journal prompts" or try one of the following:

  • Today I learned that...
  • My happiest childhood memory was when ....
  • I get frustrated when...
  • One of the goals I want to achieve in the next year is....
  • In order to be fit this time next year I need to...

Following these simple guidelines will put you on the path to a rewarding journaling experience. Determining the purpose of your journal and the medium you want to use are key.  And if you get stuck on what to right, remember to use the journal prompts as a topic.