If journaling is something you want to make a habit of, you may be wondering exactly how to get started. Luckily, there are tons of great journal ideas for beginners, from the prompts you use to the actual journal you utilize, so you won’t be left hanging.
As you start your first journal entry, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Remember, there’s no "wrong" or "right" way to do it. Whether the idea of art journaling excites or you’d rather try your hand at dream journaling or bullet journaling (the style that Silk + Sonder is most closely aligned with!), there are tons of options out there — and in our opinion, there’s something for everyone.
If you want to dive headfirst into more traditional journaling, journaling prompts can be your best friend. So as you settle into your journaling practice, let these prompts guide you. Here are 40 journal prompt ideas for beginners.
- My favorite thing about Monday is…
- What do I need most today?
- Write about how you’re going to move your body today
- What’s a lesson you’ve learned in the past 24 hours?
- What’s your favorite season? Why?
- Write about your absolute favorite self-care activity
- How do you feel when you’re alone?
- What’s one thing you can do today that will improve your mental health?
- When do you feel most at peace or relaxed?
- What’s something you want to feel, but don’t?
- My core values are…
- Where do you want to be one year from now?
- Write about a dream you had last night (or recently) and what you think it might mean.
- Who is your best friend? What makes your connection to this person so special?
- Make a bucket list of things you want to do or accomplish over the next year.
- What do you feel sad or upset about?
- What are you dreading?
- Think of a happy memory, and write about it from start to finish
- How do you feel after you exercise?
- What area of your life do you need better boundaries in?
- What’s one thing you can do to reduce stress in your life?
- What are you looking forward to?
- What’s something that comes very naturally to you?
- What is your favorite color? What about the color resonates with you?
- What does your ideal day look like?
- What’s something you need to be honest with yourself about?
- Make a list of things you're worried about — then close your journal and move on.
- Name three things you’re grateful for
- What’s one habit you want to make (or break) and what do you think is stopping you?
- Where do you have too much excess in your life? How can you get rid of it?
- My favorite family tradition is…
- Listen to the sounds around you, and describe what you hear
- What would you do today if you knew you could not fail?
- What helps you stay organized?
- How do you think your friends and family would describe you?
- When you can’t sleep, what’s keeping you up?
- What’s one thing that causes you to self-sabotage?
- Who are you with when you feel truly happy?
- What’s your favorite meal to cook? Why?
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever given to yourself?
- What are three things that made you happy today, and why did they make you feel that way?
- What are your goals for the next month, and what steps can you take to achieve them?
- Write about a challenge you faced recently and how you overcame it.
- What are some of your favorite memories from childhood, and why do they stand out to you?
- Describe a place that makes you feel calm and peaceful, and explain why it has that effect on you.
- Write about a time when you felt proud of yourself, and what you did to achieve that feeling.
- What are some things you're grateful for in your life right now, and why do they matter to you?
- Write a letter to your younger self, giving advice that you wish you had known at that age.
- Describe a person who has had a positive influence on your life, and how they have impacted you.
- What are some things you would like to learn or try in the near future, and why are they important to you?
A peaceful moment spent journaling with tea and cookies.
How to get started with these prompts
Now that you have these prompts at the ready, find a beautiful notebook that really speaks to you. Feel free to accessorize, too, whether that’s with washi tape or pens you love. Then, find a time of day or night when journaling works best for you.
It could be during the day, in the morning (you’ve probably heard of morning pages), or in the evenings — all that matters is that it’s a time you can stick to. By writing at the same time every day, it will be easier to make into a habit. Before you know it, you'll do it automatically.
While prompts are a useful tool as you get started on your journaling journey, they may not be the only tool you'll want to use as you get started on your journaling journey. Here are some other ideas:
1. Start a travel journal
You can use this when you're traveling somewhere far away, but it can also be used when you're staying local and simply want to record day-to-day experiences.
2. Write a letter to your younger self
This is a fun, effective journaling exercise that can help you reflect on how far you've come and the lessons you've learned over time.
3. Start a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is a great way to reflect on what's going well in your life and increase your happiness overall. You can start with a daily gratitude list by writing down five to ten things you're thankful for every day, and if that sounds too intimidating, try to just do one.
4. Try a self-care journal
A journal that helps you track your self-care routine can be an excellent way for you to start holding yourself accountable. Plus, if you're ever out of ideas for how to take care of yourself, you can always look back at your journal.
5. Set goals
A journal can be a great place to set goals, because it gives you space to do a bit of a brain dump so you can organize your thoughts and better understand what you want for future you.
6. Write out positive affirmations
Here's how affirmations work: The more you say them and write them down, the more quickly they become real to you. Think about a time in your life when you got hung up on a negative thought: It probably started to feel very real to you, right? The same goes for positive affirmations, but it works in the reverse. So your journal can be an excellent space to write out daily positive affirmations.
7. Simply write out a single sentence
If you've ever heard of "one line a day" journals, you know what we're talking about: Just write out one single sentence every day. Talk about a non-intimidating approach to journaling!
Now that you’re officially ready to put pen to paper, we have one more piece of advice for you: Enjoy it. Journaling is an incredibly beneficial practice from both a physical and mental health perspective, and the fact that you’re committing to this is amazing. Happy writing!
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