Simple Journaling Guide

Aloha friends! Today’s topic is going to be one of my favorite things to do, journaling.

I just want to start off and say that journaling is a HABIT, not a hobby. A habit, not a hobby. It’s something that you need to work towards to be consistent at. Usually it doesn’t come too easily, just like any new habit that you’re trying to create. So be compassionate on your journaling journey and with your relationship to journaling.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way… I never truly understood journaling until recently. There are so many different reasons that you can use journaling for: to better your mental health, to help your personal growth, and just contribute to your overall mindset/well-being. These tips are things that I think would be really beneficial for beginners or those looking to be more intentional with it. Again, just be compassionate on your journey and with your relationship to journaling.

1. Figure Out HOW You Like to Journal

Some people prefer to do it on a laptop because they can type a lot quicker than they can write. With a keyboard, they can just go into a stream of consciousness and just get everything out there. Some prefer to use their phone with certain apps that you can download.

My personal preference is to physically write with a pen and paper. I get too distracted on a laptop and it doesn’t feel as personal as writing. I connect to the paper when I’m physically writing things out. It feels more intentional and sacred to me. There’s something about the pen and paper that really makes me connect to what is actually coming out of my brain and onto the paper.

Tip: If you do prefer physical journaling like I do, what I recommend is to get a journal that you feel super inspired to write in. So, if you like cats get one with cats all over it or get one with pink sequins because you’re a rockstar. Whatever you feel connected to and something that you’ll be inspired to write in. Some people are really big with pens as well, so pick your favorite pen and just have those on the ready!

I have two journals that have different purposes. One journal I carry with me and write affirmations, life lessons, quotes, gratitude lists, positive memories, manifestations, etc. I carry this one with me EVERYWHERE! It is one of my most prized possessions that I have because of things that were written in there. My other journal is used just to brain dump and get thoughts/feelings out of my body.

2. Start Small, Have No Expectations, and Be Realistic

As journaling is a habit and not a hobby, it can feel forced to certain people just like the start of any new habit. You shouldn’t determine how you should or should not be journaling because you’re figuring out your own relationship with journaling. Especially when you’re first starting out, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and make it feel like a chore that you don’t look forward to doing. That completely defeats the purpose of all the positive things that you can get from journaling. Whether you write three sentences or 16 pages, that does not determine how successful or unsuccessful you were at journaling. Truthfully, there’s not really successful and unsuccessful way as long as you’re actually doing it. One day I may write for two minutes, another day when I’m stressed out, I may write for 10 minutes. Keep in mind that you’re going to have different flow states, so you’re not more productive on the days that you write more. Start small, be comfortable, and start to grow with journaling to create that relationship with it. You want a positive one and not a resentful one.

3. Determine WHEN and WHERE Works Best For You

A prime example would be, do you prefer to journal when you first wake up in the morning? Or after 3 cups of coffee? On your lunch break when you have a second to yourself? What about the evenings before bed?


Tip: I recommend trying to journal at two different times of the day. From there, figure out which time felt more productive and which one flowed better. Find the one that flows and let it flowwwww!


Try journaling in new environments. If you live somewhere where nature is accessible to you, go out into nature. Whether it’s a park, a beach, the lake, anywhere in nature can spark creativity and promote inspiration. It can also help keep you grounded.

4. Forget The Aesthetics, Write for You!
Don’t write for somebody else, write for you. If you have chicken scratch writing like me, don’t worry about how neat it looks or if you have complete sentences. Just write these moments as they come to you. Keep the flow of and don’t worry about aesthetics. When I do my brain dump journal sessions, I don’t even go back and re-read what I wrote. Journaling is for your mental health, your well-being, and your personal growth, no one else’s. Remember that.
5. Carry It With You

You never know when you’re going to need it. Make sure that you have a pen on hand because I’ve definitely been caught without one and it’s the worst. If you do forget your pen or journal, write your thoughts in your phone. Get those thoughts out because if you feel called to write them down in that moment, honor yourself and your intuition by doing just that.

6. Have Journal Prompts

Journal prompts are perfect for the days where you don’t feel inspired to write! Sometimes we get into a creative block or want to specifically work on a certain area of personal growth, journal prompts will be your best friend.

I’ve written a blog post (30 Days of Self-Love Journal Prompts) with journal prompts and there are so many on the internet/Pinterest. There are different themes of prompts (self-love, heart healing, etc.)

I hope these tips will help you find the best way to journal for YOU!

Health & Happiness,