If you want to journal every day, you’ve got to be intentional and not simply hope that it’s going to happen. You need to plan to journal and then commit to sticking with the plan.

You need a time, a place, and a plan.

Decide when you will journal. Pick a time that makes sense for your life. Maybe you’re a mom and you need to journal first thing in the morning before your kids wake up. Maybe you decide to journal during your lunch break or before bed. If your schedule changes week to week, you may not be able to journal at the same time each day but try to schedule your journal sessions for the week on Sunday.

Decide where you will journal. Will you journal in bed or sitting in your favorite chair? Maybe your home is so chaotic that you need to journal while sitting in your car in the driveway before you go inside. It’s also okay to take your journal on a date sometimes and journal at your favorite coffee shop or park.

Decide what you will journal about. Once it’s time to journal you don’t want to waste that precious time staring at a blank page. So you need to go into each journaling session with a plan.

How to Start Journaling Daily

My top tip for starting a journaling routine is to start simple and small. Don’t set out to journal an hour a day with candles and incense burning and Sade playing in the background. Try journaling for just 3 minutes a day and slowly add to that as journaling becomes more of a habit.

How do I make a daily journaling routine?

As I stated before, if you’re serious about journaling daily, you must be intentional. You need to schedule when you will journal. That said, you also need to have a by-any-means-necessary attitude toward your journaling practice. That means if you plan to journal first thing in the morning and you wake up to find that your kid is sick, you will be dedicated enough to journal later in the day. This will be a lot easier to do if you’re only journaling for 3 minutes as opposed to one hour.

What should I write in my daily journal?

How you spend your journaling time is totally up to you. There are no rules! But you should consider why you want to journal when determining what you’re going to journal.

3 Ideas for How to Spend Your Journaling Time

Freewriting. If you need to journal just to clear your head, I highly recommend freewriting. Freewriting is what it sounds like — you’re free to write whatever comes to mind. If this is difficult for you, try responding to this prompt: “How do you feel right now and why, and what are you going to do about it?”

Prompts. Responding to prompts is another great way to spend your journaling time. You can Google around to find prompts or check out the prompts in these posts.

Lists. Journaling doesn’t have to be lengthy paragraphs of poetic prose. You can just make lists. Here are some ideas of lists you can write in your journal:

  • Goals & Intentions
  • Gratitude Lists
  • Books to Read
  • Concerts you want to attend
  • Your favorite things about yourself
  • Seasonal Bucket Lists
  • Ideas for solo dates

A Final Note

I’m confident these tips will help you start a daily journaling practice. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to journal every day for journaling to be effective. So if you’re new to journaling, consider starting with just 3 days a week and slowly add more days — if you want. Make your journaling practice work for you!

In honor of the launch of Season 2 of The Writeous Babe Podcast, I’m doing a 4-part series on journaling. If you want more journaling gems, tune in to the podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Need even more help with journaling? Join me on Tuesday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. CT for “Journaling 101.” This free online workshop will help you jumpstart your journaling practice or take it to the next level. We’ll also cover practical ways writers can use journaling to aid their works in progress. Register here.