3 tips and tricks to start journaling this New Year

As 2023 ends and the new year begins, resolutions are made and goals are set. For those with the goal of bettering their mental health or having a new creative outlet this year, journaling may be a new habit for you. 

Journaling is quickly growing in popularity online, with hundreds of videos on Instagram and TikTok of people giving “Journal tours” and offering “Update my journal with me!” content. These journals vary from life organization and budgeting to mood tracking and emotional well-being.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, “[Journaling] is simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea.” 

There are many benefits associated with journaling. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, “Journaling can help you: manage anxiety, reduce stress and cope with depression.” 

Here are 3 tips and tricks to help you get started on your journaling journey: 

Find the template that is going to work best for you

There are many ways one can journal now between online and a physical journal. Plenty of templates exist online, including Google Sheets, Excel, Canva and dozens of other apps. These all provide the benefit of quick updating on the go. 

However, many may opt for the old-school paper journals you can pick up and just about any store. Both have their own pros and cons, but experts say it’s important you pick the one that is going to best fulfill your needs and match your lifestyle.

Know what it is you are journaling for

There are many different types of journaling. According to Rog Hiemstra, professor of adult education at Elmira College, types of journaling include learning journals, diaries, dream logs, spiritual journals, and reading logs — just to name a few. 

According to Hiemstra, all these journals can serve different types of purposes, including personal growth, self-expression, stress management and overcoming writing blocks. It’s up to the user to think about what it is they want to get out of journaling and how it can help them achieve their goals. 

Let go of your inner-critic
According toBetterUp, an organization for personal development resources, an important step in journaling is embracing vulnerability and understanding that this journal, if you want it to be, is for your eyes only. Don’t get caught up in the grammar or the aesthetic —when you feel like you are writing for someone else, your work is less authentic. This keeps it from being its most helpful.

 Contact Olivia Ground with comments at [email protected] or on Twitter @liv_ground_25.4