Diaries are a fantastic tool for discussing your feelings, writing down your dreams and ideas, and reflecting on your daily life in a safe and private space. While there isn't one way to keep a journal, there are a few tips you should know that will help you get the most out of this activity. If you are unsure of what topics to cover, you can use templates such as quotes to help you write.
Part 1 of 3: Thinking about topics
Step 1. Write about the day's events
Think about everything that has happened to you during the day and write down in your journal the moments that are most important to you. Even if you've had a fairly normal day, you might be surprised at the deeper thoughts and feelings that may come to you as you write down the details of your day.
- Feel free to cover whatever topics you want as you describe the events of the day.
- For example, you could write about your English test. Do you have a good impression after passing it? Do you think you should have studied better? Are you nervous about your grade?
Step 2. Think about your future goals
Make a list of all of your short-term and long-term goals. Then go through each item again and describe in detail how you want to accomplish them. These goals might seem less difficult to you if you break them down into tasks that are easier to accomplish.
- For example, in your short-term goals, you might include checking math or going to the gym for cardio exercises.
- For long-term goals, you could choose a university and send in your application, or save some money to buy a car.
Step 3. Describe your feelings and mood
Don't worry about describing the context of your emotions, just focus on describing them exactly. You can use your feelings and thoughts as models for writing in your journal. Work on one thought or emotion at a time and explore it in depth.
For example, if you are feeling sad, you could write in your journal why you are feeling sad and what events contributed to it
Step 4. Write down quotes that inspire you
You can use whatever sources you want, whether it's famous people, your favorite book or movie, or even a friend or family member. Any quote that inspires you will do. Write it down in your journal and note where it came from. Then, explain what it means to you in your own words.
For example, you could write the following quote: "The secret to moving forward is to start" from Mark Twain. Then write down in your journal what it means to you and what you need to do to get started and achieve your personal goals
Step 5. Explore topics or hobbies in depth
Make a list of topics you like or your favorite hobbies. You might like movies, sports, cooking, travel, art or fashion. You can choose whatever topic you want, as long as it interests and inspires you. Then choose another item from the list and write in your journal about it.
- For example, if you love sports, you could write about your reasons for loving a certain sport, your favorite team, or personal goals if you play a sport.
- If you love painting, you could write about your favorite painters, the styles that inspire you the most, recent paintings you've done, or ideas for your next paintings.
Part 2 of 3: Create personal entries
Step 1. Write the date in the corner or on the first line
You might not write in your journal every day, which is why it can be helpful to write down the date to remember when the events occurred. Since you will be writing in your journal over a long period of time, the date can also help you organize yourself and give your writing context when you reread yourself in the future.
If you want, you can also write down the time, time of day or where you are in addition to the date
Step 2. Start with a topic in mind
Most people grab their journals when they want to write something down or think about it. It can be anything: a situation you experienced during the day, a dream you had, plans for the future, an event, an idea or a strong emotion that came to you.
Once you start writing, you have the right to deviate to whatever topic you want! However, you might find it easier to get started if you have an idea in mind when you first start writing
Step 3. Start with “dear diary” if you like
It’s a completely personal choice, which is why you can choose what you want and what feels right to you. At first, starting with "dear diary," you might feel like you're talking to a friend instead of writing or talking to yourself. This can be a useful technique if you are just starting out.
Step 4. Write in the first person
Journals are very intimate objects and it is best if you write them in the first person. This is your journal, you have the right to be the center of the world in your journal! Many people find this very relieving, especially when they allow themselves to explore personal thoughts, emotions or reactions.
For example, you could write, “I'm worried about the volleyball trials this week. I have worked out a lot and feel ready, but I'm so nervous I can't eat! "
Step 5. Be honest
Many people find that their journals help them ease their emotions because it allows them to let go of their inhibitions and to be themselves as the pages turn. Don't hesitate to write down what you feel, the good and the bad, without putting up a barrier. Remember that no one is ever going to read what you write, which is why you can be honest. It’s only for you.
- For example, you could write, “I'm jealous of John's new car. I'm happy for him, but it's still unfair that his parents bought him a brand new car. I work after school every day to save money and buy a used car. "
- If you are worried that someone will find your journal and read it, there are things you can do to avoid it. Diaries with a lock and digital password logs are two of the most popular ways to control your privacy.
- Many people find out about themselves and their relationships by keeping a journal. Be prepared to learn more about yourself as you write.
Step 6. Don't worry too much about grammar and spelling
Your journal is a safe space where you can express yourself and share without feeling the pressure of external judgment. Write freely and without inhibition. Grammar, spelling, and perfect writing aren't as important as putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper. Write down the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about your day, your current mood, or the feelings you are struggling with.
For some people, it may be helpful to take a few minutes before starting to write
Step 7. Use lots of detail to keep the moments
Journals help you hold onto your thoughts and feelings as they occur. You can also write down the events immediately after they happen, when the details are still fresh in your head. Since memories cannot be trusted, especially when time goes by, you will be able to accurately capture those moments by describing them in as much detail as possible.
Not everyone likes to write in lots of detail, which is why you shouldn't feel like you have to write long sentences with lots of words. If you find it easier to express yourself in short sentences or lists, you can too
Part 3 of 3: Make a habit of journaling
Step 1. Pick a specific time to write
Many people find it difficult to find the time to write their journals. Others forget to do it completely. It can be helpful to choose a specific time so that it can become a habit. Eventually this will become second nature, but for now you should set an alarm on your phone to remember it.
- For example, you might choose to write in your journal every night before you go to bed.
- Don't set yourself an unrealistic schedule. If you don't have time to write every day, make a goal of writing three times a week instead.
Step 2. Don't spend too much time writing at the start
You don't have to spend a long time writing in your journal every day! Ten to fifteen minutes per session will be enough when you start. Write down your most pressing thoughts and feelings. You can always write more later when you have time!
- For example, you might jot down a list of important things if you don't have time to write sentences.
- You could shoot yourself in the foot by setting overly complicated writing goals for yourself. You want your journal to be an outlet, not a chore, which is why you shouldn't put the pressure on yourself.
- Pick a time to write when you have no other things to do.
Step 3. Use drawings if you prefer to draw
For some people, it is easier to describe their thoughts and feelings by drawing rather than writing. If you feel that you are going to spend more time in your journal if you are sketching or sketching your day, feel free to use this approach.
A quick drawing might also help you jot down something you want to remember but don't have time to write
- Writing your journal should be a relieving experience, not a chore. Give yourself the right to enjoy this moment!
- To hide your journal, you can write “math notes” or “French notebook” on it.