Give Yourself The Gift Of Journaling

Gram’s Wisdom 10 A Gift of Journaling

My Gram didn’t keep a journal as far as I knew, perhaps she did earlier in her life but that was not something she shared with me. None the less, the Christmas before I turned eleven, she gifted me with a diary. They were very popular in those years and every young girl looked forward to receiving one either for Christmas or her birthday.

I admit to making entries in a very spotty manner. Yet, I had several instances where I wrote faithfully for weeks at a time. And guess what? It wasn’t always about who had a crush on who at school this week or an outing canceled due to weather.

Some of those entries were about the very things that Gram had been teaching me. What I didn’t understand then, was the lesson I got in self-development. Luckily for me, my Mom must have felt I got enough use out of that first diary that, she gave me one the following Christmas.

To this day my stream of consciousness journal is a spotty affair. I only write when I feel I have something to say or remember. My gratitude journal, on the other hand, gets entries every single day. Both of these, I feel help me to continue to develop into the person I want to be.


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Nine styles of journals you can create


When you begin journaling it will occur to you that having more than one kind of journal could be best to keep everything organized. When you have more than one style of journal you can simply go to the specific journal to work on one issue at a time.


1. Bullet Journals – This type of journal is useful for anyone who has lots of to-do lists, loves using a pen and paper, and who enjoys goal tracking. Your journal should have a table of contents that you create as you add to the journal so you can find things. You’ll use symbols, colors, and lines to make your bullet journal. You should be able to understand at a glance what’s on the page.


2. Vision Journals – You may have heard of vision boards and this is essentially it, except it’s a journal that helps lead you to your vision. The way it works is that you set up the journal to have only one goal per page. Then you can write words, add pictures, or draw something that enables you to make plans to reach that goal. When you do reach the goal, be sure to go back and add the date of achievement.


3. Line a Day Journals – Basically this journal is what it’s called – you write down only one line a day. You will simply write in the journal a short line about what you did that day. It should be only a sentence or two at the most and should not take up that much space in your journal. Some people like using a calendar and a pen for this.


4. Classic/Stream of Consciousness Journal – This is simply a diary, and you can write whatever you want in it every day. It can be long, short, or you can skip days if you want to. The classic journal is just like the diary that you may have kept as a child. You write whatever you want, as much or as little as you want, as frequently as you want.  


5. Dream Journal – Some people really like tracking their dreams because they believe that dreams provide signs for life. If you want to track your dreams, you should train yourself to write in your dream journal every morning while you still remember the dream. Write about the dream and then research what it means and write about that too.


6. Food Journal – Write down everything you eat every day. Some people like to include the calorie contents and so forth. It can also help to write down why you eat it, how you felt about eating it, and things like that.


7. Travel Journal – A wonderful way to remember your travels is to keep a travel journal. Some people like making one for each trip so that it’s easier to remember. You can write your thoughts in your journal, but you can also attach tickets, photos, and memories.


8. Gratitude Journal – This is just what it sounds like. It’s a journal where you record each day what you’re thankful for and grateful for. Nothing can be negative in this journal because it’s designed to help you think more positively.


9. Project Journal – This is a handy journal to keep, especially for anyone who regularly works on projects. Keeping a journal of each project you work on that records actions taken, results, and data will help you improve every project but will also help you look back on this one with excitement.


Your journal helps you to work through a problem. It’s also a great way to store your thoughts and memories in an organized and useful manner.

A diary is useful during conscious, intentional, and painful, spiritual evolution.
— Andre Gide


Daily routine journaling tips


The best way to ensure that journaling is working for you is to do it long term. Long-term journaling gives you more insight into your life as you write in the present. In the future, when you read what you’ve written, you can see how your development is shaping up.  


* Make It Easy – Don’t make it a huge deal, and it’ll be simpler to get done. For example, it’s easier to use a notebook and paper than a computer for most people. You can have the book in your bag or on your bedside table or wherever you plan to write in it.


* Choose a Time That Works – The best times to do it are early morning, first thing, or the last thing before you go to bed. However, that might not work for some people. If you know a better time, do it. For example, some people like journaling while on lunch at work in the park. It’s up to you.


* Get a Drink and Eat a Snack – You don’t want to have any excuses or extraneous thoughts while you’re writing in your journal. Make sure you’re fed and hydrated.


* Create a Comfortable and Accessible Space – It’s easier to get into your thoughts if you’re comfortable and not thinking about how bad your tailbone hurts or your wrist hurts. Some people like using a desk, some a comfy easy chair, others their bed.


* Combine It with Something Else You Enjoy Doing – If you enjoy cleaning the house, then reading in your clean house with the windows open and the breeze flowing in, why not journal at that moment? If it’s a daily thing, add journaling to it, and it’ll create a habit fast.


* Add Some Relaxing Music to Set the Mood – Now it’s true that some people prefer silence, so that’s fine if you do. But consider trying some music that doesn’t have words and that is relaxing, to help you gather your thoughts and stay calm and focused. 


* Consider Using Journaling Prompts – You can also find journaling prompts online for any type of journal you want to use.


* Reward Yourself – When you have been diligent for a month writing in your journal, take some time to read what you wrote, then reward yourself for doing it. You might buy some colored pens or some fun stickers so you can add some definition and interest to your journal.


For more information on journaling:

Five Reasons You Need To Keep A Gratitude Journal


I hope you enjoyed this post. I would love it if you let me know what your favorite idea or part of it was.