Keeping a daily journal is a great way to process what you are feeling and thinking each day. It helps you organize your thoughts and pull out new ideas while focusing on living in the moment. As you scour the internet searching "what to write in journal," we wanted to give you a comprehensive guide to come back to great ideas.
Once you have been doing it long enough, its easier to come up with topics on the spot. But when getting started, you can end up just staring at a blank page for a while. We wanted to leave you with a few ideas and make sure that we go over the basics of maintaining a journal.

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“A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to become. It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream.” - Brad Wilcox

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Why Should You Journal Daily? 

Keeping a daily journal is one of the most powerful habits that you can develop. You don't realize how much you have going on in your head until you begin to journal. Every day you have a tone of thoughts, ideas, and emotions that go unaddressed. They come and never have a place to be seen and to be expanded on.

The second reason that you should journal daily is that writing and communication is an essential skill. You may or may not be a good writer, but no person does not need any practice writing. As you write in your journal, you will notice improvements in your creative writing skills.

The last reason you want to journal daily is to get used to expressing yourself without constraints. Think about children when they talk, they have no constraints. But as we grow older, we understand rules, and social laws better. We get laughed at or hear a harsh word, and all of these things make us think harder about what we say. When you write in a journal, there are no constraints. When it comes to your mind, you can write it down with no judgment.

  • Explore thoughts and ideas that are often left behind
  • Improve creative writing skills 
  • Express yourself without constraint 

Journaling Best Practices 

Now that you know why keeping a daily journal is a good idea, its vital that you understand a few best practices. The first thing you want to know is that there are no rules. These are best practices, but you can do whatever you think is best.

The second best practice is there should be no thinking hard about what do write. You don't need to spend too much time thinking of what to say or trying to make it sound good. The journal's point is to get anything off your chest, not try and write a masterpiece.
When you're searching "what to write in journal" the final best practice is that you should not edit as you write. If you want to go back and edit in the end, you can do that, but as you are writing, you should just let the ideas flow.

  • There are no rules 
  • No thinking about what to write
  • No editing as you go
Let That Sh*t Go: A Journal for Leaving Your Bullsh*t Behind and Creating a Happy Life (Zen as F*ck Journals)
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Journaling Ideas: What to Write About in Journal

1. Inspirational Quotes  

Their times where you run into a quote, and it just impacts you on a deep level. Don't let that feeling escape you. The best thing you can do is is marinate in the words of the quote, and the feelings that they produce in you. Make sure you write down where you saw it and how you want it to change you.

2. Answer Hard Questions 

Life is about asking the right questions. Sometimes you avoid hard questions because they change your perspective. Hard questions also force you to think and be honest with yourself. On the other end of hard questions is a lot of growth and clarity of thought. This is why in the Habit Stacker App we have daily check-in questions. 

3. Celebrate Victories 

When you 're driven for success, you can often lose sight of the small victories. The problem with this is that it can feel like you are not succeeding because you are only focused on the finish line. Take time to write about the small victories you are having so you are more aware of them. It's also a journal entry that is meant to bring you more joy and motivate you to keep going.

4. Get Some Guidance from These Books 

Use some of these books if you want your journal entries to be guided. Having a journal with a creative cover can also help to spark your creativity as you go to write. 

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
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5. Memorable Moments

Some days you have things happen that you will remember for the rest of your life. You should down as many details about it as you can. You want to be able to come back to your journal and relive the experience. The more details you write down about the environment and how you were feeling moment to moment, the better it will be when you reread it later.

6. Pick Apart Challenges

When you have a challenge or an obstacle in your life, your journal can unpack the issue. Write down some of the problems you are facing and try and see it from every angle that you possibly can. This time is not about analyzing or coming up with a solution yet. The goal here is to understand everything you can about the problem.

7. Talk With God 

If you are a spiritual person and believe in God, you can use your journal almost to write our prayers. It can help you see your prayers written out; it may help you realize that you have missed praying for someone or about something. The goal of writing these out is the same as prayer, and that is to be in a relationship with God.

8. Be Thankful 

One of the best uses for a journal is to be thankful and express gratitude. It's so crucial that you do this that it's worth making this a segment of your journal that you come back to every day. When you are thankful for what you have, it creates room for more because you live in a positive state of appreciation instead of always being in need.

9. Call Out Fears 

Your fears are similar to your challenges. It seems daunting until you call them out and stare at them face to face—no more hiding or running away. The goal is to call your fears out so you can see them for what they are. When you write about your worries, you often end up seeing that they are not real.

10. Thoughts on a Current Event 

When big things happen that you will always remember, like Covid-19 or 9/11, you want to write down how you felt. If you write it out at the moment, it will help you revise the raw feelings you had. It's hard to look back and remember what you felt like as it was happening. These journal entries also allow you to address how you think about things. 

11. Food Tracker

Using your journal to track what you eat is a great way to count calories and eat your health goals. If you need to eat certain macronutrients, the only way to do this well is to track your food. It has been proven that you will eat better then you know you have to write down everything you out in your mouth. Doing this also helps you to be able to look at what you eat and make better adjustments.

12. Workout Tracker

The workout tracker is the same s the food tracker, but it can be even more critical. When you write your workouts down, it forces you to evaluate what you could be doing better. It can also help you keep track of injuries, and know exactly how much volume you're doing. The key here is to write out your entire workout, rest times, how you felt, and anything that could be hurting you. After some time of doing this, you will begin to notice patterns.

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More Ideas: What to Write About in Journal 

13. Vent It Out 

Everyone needs a good vent session. The problem with venting with other people is that it can make them resent you for bringing your negativity to them or adding fuel to your fire. Venting in your journal is a great way to get your frustration off your chest and keep the negative energy contained. You don't want your journal every day to be a vent, but this can be helpful when used sparingly.

14. Let Your Creativity Shine

There are no rules for your journal. This post serves as a guide for everything you could do. A journal also provides the opportunity to be creative. Try some different things out. Please do everything you can to make the most of your journal by making it your own. Anything goes!

15. Write Down All of Your Ideas

Sometimes you have tonnes of fresh ideas coming to mind. Ideas for social media, new businesses, date ideas, clothing styles, etc. It does not matter what category the idea fits in, but you should always write them down. Your brain is much better used for thinking; then, it is for storing useless information. You want to get your ideas all down so you can look back and pick and choose the best.

16. Become a Poet 

If you are into poetry or want to push your writing boundaries, you can use your journal for poetry. Everyone should take a stab at this at least one time. Most people have no idea that they can even write poetry because they never try. Your journal provides the perfect safe place to try it out.

17. Get a Destroy able Journal 

You can buy a journal that is made to be destroyed. This is great for people who feel that journals are only for people with perfect handwriting, who are the most organized. This journal is made to be messy and all over the place.

Wreck This Journal: Now in Color
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18. Write What You're Looking Forward to 

This is a great litmus test for where you are in life. If you cant think of something you're looking forward to in the next week, that is a huge problem. You should always have something to be excited about, and if you don't, you use this question to add something to your schedule. The more items you can attach to this list, the more zest you will go into your days.

19. Lessons From Mistakes 

It's always helpful to reflect on past mistakes and draw lessons from them. You know something is wrong if you're continually making the same mistakes. It's ok to make mistakes, but it's unacceptable to keep making the same mistakes repeatedly. Lay your mistakes out in front of you and make sure that you get the most from each lesson.

20. Mastermind With the Thoughts of Greats 

Take advice from the people you look up to the most. Act as if you are sitting at a round table, and they are all giving you advice. Doing this will help you to get outside of your perspective. Instead of seeing things how you always do, you need to see things the way others. This work means you have to study and learn how these people think and the habits they have. Only then can you sit with them and have an idea of the advice they would give.

21. Be Pessimistic- Optimistic and Realistic

Take any situation in your life that you choose and look at it from all three perspectives. Being pessimistic helps you to prepare for the worst-case scenario. On the other hand, being optimistic helps you to dream about the best-case scenario. Being realistic helps you to think through what you expect to happen. You need to prepare for anything, dream and manage your expectations to be successful.

22. Create Stand Up Jokes 

Stand up comedy is hard. Great stand up comedians is known for making a joke every day to get into the habit of creating content. Doing this daily may or may not be for you, but trying this is like poetry, the purpose is to stretch your mind and thinking. By working on making jokes a lot, made a benefit is that you're writing getting funnier.

23. Write About Your Upbringing

Not enough people look back on their childhood and take the time to understand things. What things went well, what traumas did you a face, and who was there for you? The more you can understand how you were raised, the better you will grasp who you are today. To be the most effective version of yourself, you need to know who you are.

24. Write About What You Are Learning and Need to Learn  

The power to make a journal entry about what you are learning and wanting to learn is that it can give you direction in moving forward while showing that you're making progress. What you are learning will remind you that you're getting better. Thinking about what you need to learn will ensure that you keep improving if you follow through.

Conclusion - What to Write About in Journal 

Successful people journal because it helps them organize their thoughts and express themselves without holding back. There are no rules for attacking your journal each day. Whatever you think you need on that day will work. Switching up your ideas just helps to keep your journal fresh well, finding different ways to challenge.

Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal
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Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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