Different Types Of Journals And How To Use Them.
Once you’ve decided to journal, you only need to find a blank book of some kind to jot things down in, right?
For most people, it’s not quite so easy. Nothing inspires writer’s block faster than a blank page. To combat this feeling of imminent failure, the simplest solution is the most obvious one: Decide what you want to write about before you even begin.
While this might work for a journal entry or two, the truth is most people do best by using a themed journal, especially when just starting.
By picking out only one kind of thing to write about, you put yourself into a particular mindset daily. You’ll even find yourself looking for things that match your theme as you go about your daily life.
For example, if you want to start a gratitude journal, you will find yourself developing a habit of looking for things you’re grateful throughout the day so that you can include them in your daily journal.
This brings us to the added benefit of themed journals: They do make an impact into your day to day living.
What are some examples of themed journals?
The Gratitude Journal is just what you think it would be. You only write about the things you’re grateful for every day.
While this seems straightforward, especially for those who like making bullet lists, it’s not always.
The idea is to build a positive mindset and in order to be reach this goal most effectively, you need to avoid repetition.
The good news is, there’s plenty to be grateful about in your day to day life. It could be as simple as you are being grateful for getting a great parking spot or happy you get to enjoy a sunny day.
You don’t need to find great big things to fill the pages. Writing in a gratitude journal will help you start seeing all the simple things in life to be appreciated for too.
For maximum impact, write down three items you’re thankful for every day.
A Success Journal has a different tone altogether.
While there will be plenty of gratitude in its pages, for this journal you should focus on simply recording some of your wins and successes along the way.
This might not even be a journal you keep every single day. This is the type of journal you break out when needed. The whole idea here is to compile a list of encouraging moments and motivating wins.
Any time you have a “win” in life, jot it down in your journal. You can spend some time explaining why it was important to you as well.
This way, the next time you are feeling down, or ready to give up – you can read the journal. You will have a list of “receipts” right in front of you that proves you have succeeded in the past – so you can do it again!
A friend of mine is an entrepreneur. She keeps a journal of all the nice comments she gets from her clients. This way, when she gets some bad feedback, or is feeling like a failure, she can read her journal. This reminds her of all of the people she has helped and made happy.
What is more motivating than that??
The focus here is on creating a very specific goal and following this goal to completion. This journal keeps track of the steps along the way.
Your goal journal is a recording of your failures as well as your successes. More importantly it includes what you learn from both.
Some people think of their Goal Journal as a business document, as though it’s an accountability log for your business or job.
We encourage you to take it far beyond a mere recitation of facts. Use your Goal Journal to note how you feel about the goal, or to explore the fears or difficulties that might be holding you back from realizing your goal.
You can make the Goal Journal as personal as you want.
To begin, define the goal you want to attain, making it as concrete as possible. Lay out your roadmap for how you intend to get there. Add deadlines for accountability.
Most importantly though – start taking action!
A Habit Journal does just what it sounds like – it helps you to form new habits.
Considering how long it takes to build a habit, the point here is to keep track of your progress in developing new behaviors into your life.
More than a calendar where you might mark down whether you performed that habit on this particular day, a Habit Journal expects you to be accountable at the end of the day. You begin by listing the habits you wish to form, following up by scheduling those habits (here’s where you might want to use a calendar or an app on your phone to give you periodic reminders of the pattern).
At the end of each day, you want to spend a few minutes journaling about your habit experience.
Remember, this is a journal, so you’re not just writing down whether or not you performed the habit, but what happened when you did.
- How did it feel?
- Were there roadblocks along the way?
- Was there something unexpected that cropped up, such as a trigger you maybe need to work through?
Sometimes what blocks us from accomplishing a goal, such as a new habit, is something from the past. Your Habit Journal is the perfect place to work through those thoughts and emotions.
Begin by making a list of new habits you’d like to add to your daily routine. Choose only one or two to work on at a time, so you don’t burn yourself out.
A Food Journal is pretty straightforward.
In it, you track what you eat, with an eye toward healthy nutrition and ultimately improved health.
Generally, this is used for weight management, but you can use a Food Journal to track foods for other reasons, such as keeping track of the sugars in the foods you eat if you have diabetes.
This kind of journal is more important than you probably think. It’s been proven in countless studies that people who kept a food journal met their weight loss goals, or other health-related goals, more frequently than those who did not.
Don’t get too caught up in just listing foods though. Your Food Journal should also be a place to explore your feelings toward food, especially if you find you’re an emotional eater.
Begin by stating your goals for your journal and by expressing your feelings about food in general. After that, dive right into recording the foods you eat, not forgetting to chart your progress as you go.
The Health Journal goes beyond the Food Journal as it chronicles more than just what you eat.
In a Health Journal, you might monitor things like pain levels, attacks on your health such as seizures or flare-ups, or things like diet, exercise, and sleep.
You use a Health Journal to look for patterns, to ascertain triggers and food allergies, or to measure your efforts to improve your health overall.
Like the Habit Journal or the Goal Journal, you might want to pursue new behaviors and practices, but in a Health Journal, you also include the details about how you feel and what your body is doing.
The best way to start this journal is with an assessment of your current health, and some concrete goals on how you would like to improve it.
A Bullet Journal is not so much a theme as a style, but it works particularly well if you’re one of those people who enjoy making lists.
It’s exactly what it sounds like—a place to write things down in a list format rather than in long rambling posts.
A Bullet Journal can be used in any context, such as gratitude, tracking goals and monitoring your progress in life.
For those of an artistic bent, there’s a surprising amount of room for creativity with a Bullet Journal. People often create beautiful looking bullet journals that help appease both their logical and creative mindsets
The nice thing? You can track your whole life in bullet points over a set series of lists, divided into daily goals, monthly goals, and future goals.
Bullet Journaling doesn’t take much time out of your day, and because you can keep track of your life at a glance, it’s ideal for just about anybody.
Not Every Journal Needs a Theme
Not every type of journal is listed here.
You might decide you want to create a dream journal or a way to track story ideas if you’re a writer. Maybe your journal is heavier on artwork than words.
You might just want a simple, non-themed journal. Sometimes this is the most powerful type. You just want to jot down random thoughts each day.
The point is, any kind of journal is fine, so long as it serves your purpose.
Create the journal that you need the most and organize it in the way most logical to you for optimal success.
Keep reading to find some tips on the journaling process. It is easier than you think.
Jot This Down!
Going back to the benefit that you chose in the last chapter, think about the kind of journal you would need to gain this benefit. Write about why you chose this kind of journal. Express how you would like to use this book in the weeks and months to come.