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7 Tips for Staying Motivated With Journaling

a hand writing in a journal to stay motivated

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going - Jim Ryun


“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

Journaling is like having a deep conversation with yourself whenever you feel, either in the form of words or art.

The key to staying motivated with journaling is to entertain and accept the idea that reasoning with yourself does not make you crazy. It does, however, provide clarity.

Sometimes, it will be difficult to pick up your pen and journal to write what’s on your mind, so to make the process easier for you, here are a few tips to help you stay motivated to write.

1. Start Small

man holding a small growing plant

If journaling seems like too much for one day, jot down a list of three things that made your day great. You don’t need to elaborate on why they made your day great. Just list them, close your journal, and do something else.

Later, when you feel like writing more, you can choose a list and elaborate on why that list made your day so special. If you never find the motivation to elaborate, you’ll have a journal filled with things that made you feel great.

That’s valuable knowledge when it comes to your self-discovery journey.

Anything you write provides insight into the inner workings of your mind. You do not need to write three to ten pages every day unless you want to.

Remember, journaling should be fun, and it should never feel like a chore.

2.  Make a Journaling Schedule

note book. cell phone and a clock kept for journal scheduling.

This might sound contradictory to what was just said, but having a set time to journal does make it easier to write.

When you set a certain time aside, you’re telling your brain that now is the time to write.

If you don’t make a schedule, your brain can trick itself into thinking it doesn’t need to be concerned with writing in your journal because you’ve got all the time in the world.

You might also find yourself procrastinating on this task as well, and that will definitely kill any motivation

Pick a time of day when you will write in your journal. If mornings work best for you, then make it the first activity you do when you wake up.

Remember, what you write doesn’t have to be long and drawn-out. It can be as simple as writing one sentence or three bullet points about what’s on your mind.

3.  Find a Spot to Write

Where you journal does not need to be elaborate, it can be done literally anywhere. There’s no right or wrong place that’s suitable for writing in your journal. You can write anywhere.

It is best to find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed, so you can listen to your thoughts without distractions.

Finding a place that motivates you can be extremely helpful, as well. Because when you write in the same spot every day at the same time, motivation will come more naturally because you’re creating a habit.

The key is finding something that works for you and your life.

Choose wherever you want to write as long as you’re comfortable and won’t be disturbed. The location does not matter.

4. Use Your Journal to Track Your Goals

Journals provide a safe space to create a plan of action for any goal you want to accomplish.

A journal can help you sort through the confusion at the beginning of any goal.

It’s common not to know where or how to start, how to create a routine, or know what needs to be accomplished within a day, week, or month to achieve your specific goal.

Journals provide that clarity by giving you a space to plan out your schedule, list your milestones and track your progress.

It will keep you on track by giving you a platform to write down everything that needs to be done for you to meet each goal or milestone.

This is great motivation because when things get tough and they most likely will, it’s helpful to have an external source to help guide your next step.

Moving closer to your goal becomes effortless, and it can be done with more confidence because you know exactly what needs to be done.

5. Use Journal Prompts

Writing what you feel and what you’re thinking can be boring when you’ve never taken the time to do it before.

Jumping into writing in a journal every day can become very tedious really quickly and can cause you to lose motivation to continue.

However, utilizing journal prompts can get your creative writing juices flowing and help you dig deeper in life’s journey.

Journal prompts are a great way to help you become more in tune with your mind and how it operates each day, especially on days when you think you have nothing interesting to write.

Here is a list of journal prompts to choose from that will help you get started writing nonstop:

6.  Write What’s on Your Mind

writing a journal with mind

When you write your thoughts, it becomes easier to connect the dots and see how all these random ideas are connected. It also becomes easier to understand the way you think.

As you become more in tune with your thought process, motivation will come easier because it’s becoming easier to understand why you do the things you do.

Journaling can be a great way for people who suffer from anxiety and depression to learn how they feel on certain days and what triggers those feelings.

“Expressive writing moderated the impact of intrusive thoughts on depressive symptoms.”- National Library of Medicine.

Written thoughts can be a great way to express your feelings and emotions without having to say them out loud.

What you wrote in your journal can exist only in your journal if that’s what you choose. You will never have to say it out loud to anyone. What you write is personal and belongs entirely to you.

If you live with other people and you’re scared that someone will read your thoughts, get a safe and lock your journals in it to keep your mind at ease.

7. Approach Your Journal With a Positive Outlook

The way you approach anything in life affects how well you’ll execute that task.

If you approach something with constant complaints and reasons why you’d rather be doing something else, you’ll never give your full focus and dedication to what you’re complaining about.

The same concept applies to writing in your journal.

You have to approach journaling with a positive outlook, or else you’ll never want to write in it.

If the thought of writing about your life is so horrible that you avoid it at every chance you get, then maybe there’s something there that needs to be addressed.

You never know what hidden talents you have until you take the first step to start learning about yourself.

Avoid Overcomplicating Things

In the beginning, you’ll have no idea how to start, and that’s okay.

The more you practice, the better you will get over time.

It doesn’t matter if a sentence is bad, your grammar isn’t perfect, or your handwriting or creative skills suck. There are levels of improvement when learning something new.

If you’re thinking too hard about what must go on each page, you’re overcomplicating a simple process.

Simply start by writing anything that comes into your mind without censoring your thoughts.

Forget all the rules and just write.

Find a writing schedule that you love, a place that inspires creativity, and release your thoughts on paper. It’s only as hard as you make it.

Start today to improve your work life and your personal life.

Shop for your next journal here.

Questions You May Have

How to stay motivated in journaling?

If you are not motivated to write in your journal, consider using prompts or theme-based journals. For example, a gratitude journal, a dream journal, a goals journal, self-reflection prompts, or self-care prompts. Find a topic and prompts that intrigue you and start writing.

How to start a motivating journal?

A journal is already a motivating tool to help you learn about yourself. Start by choosing a journal that would fit your needs, desires, and life. For example, you could start with an abstract art journal with blank pages or a bullet journal. From there, choose some prompts or just start writing about the things that already motivate you.

What are journaling prompts?

When you’re staring at the blank pages of your journal and your mind goes blank, journaling prompts can help you get started. Prompts are simply sentences or questions that can help guide your writing and help you reflect on different topics.

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Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

9 thoughts on “7 Tips for Staying Motivated With Journaling”

  1. Really good tips here! Totally agree with not making it overly complicated. I feel like that’s where so many people fall off. Sometimes all you want to write is a sentence or a few words and that’s okay!

    1. Jody

      Thanks for reading Deanna and you’re correct sometimes a sentence a day is all we can get out and that too is okay.

  2. It’s so helpful to have a journal. One of my goals for this year is to keep a journal and journal daily or at least a few times a week. Thanks for the great tips.

    1. Jody

      You can do it Mariya! I’m happy my tips are helpful, thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. I have been struggling with journaling and this has been very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jody

      I’m always happy to help Komal, just take it one day at a time and before you know it, you won’t be struggling anymore.

  4. I love the do not overcomplicate section! Writing/drawing in a journal shouldn’t be anything other than writing/drawing. The whole point is letting go of stress and those rules can be stressful! Thank you for your tips!

    1. Jody

      When things are not insanely complicated we enjoy doing them! I’m happy to be helpful Nelly, thanks for reading!

  5. Julie Russell

    Love this post! Great tips on how to stay motivated with journaling. Great insight on making a schedule and having a place to journal. I look forward to reading more articles!

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