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This blog post is all about 19 creative things you can write in a journal.
Sometimes, I’ll receive messages on Instagram asking me what exactly I write about in my journal.
I’ve been journaling since I was in high school (for almost 15 years now). I probably have about 10 journals at this point.
Journaling is hands-down one of my favorite things to do. It’s how I center myself. It’s how I relax and it’s a creative way to express myself. It keeps me organized and it’s one of my favorite ways to process my thoughts and emotions.
I can’t imagine not writing in a journal!
So what have I written about in 15 years’ worth of journals? And what can YOU write about in your journal?
The short answer is “anything you want!”, but I’ll give you a few ideas in this blog post so that you can find the journal idea or practice that is the best for you : )
19 Creative Things To Write In A Journal For 2023
1. Write about your day
What’d you eat for breakfast? What is your typical daily routine? How’d that meeting go? Did you see or talk to anyone interesting? Did you call your best friend?
These things may seem trivial, but it’s really nice to look back on your journal entries from the past and simply see how you used to live.
You can see what has changed and what hasn’t, and it’s a great way to simply remember what your life was like at that particular point in time.
And sometimes, writing things down that happened during your day can help you remember your day better. Memories are better forged in your mind when they are written down.
Plus, writing down the events of your daily life is a great way to remember them with accuracy.
Our minds have a way of forgetting the details of memories over time, but if you write the details of a memory down, you can preserve it in its most detailed form.
So, if something special happens to you and you forever want to remember the finer details of it, write it down so the details will be stored more permanently.
Looking back on journal entries where we detailed our lives is also a great way to relive the magic of special moments.
If you ever want to relive a moment that you journaled about, all you have to do is pick up your journal and flip to the right page to be reminded of that special time.
2. Write about what you’re grateful for
Practicing gratitude has become very popular in recent years, but there’s a good reason why – practicing gratitude is very beneficial for your mental health.
When you are down and you practice gratitude, you immediately remind yourself of the blessings that you have.
When you do this, it’s hard not to get a boost of happiness, because you likely are thinking of the things that you have that matter to you most.
Practicing gratitude can also help you be a more positive person by encouraging you to focus on the abundance in your life instead of what you believe you lack.
It might take a little extra energy to think of what you’re grateful for at first (sometimes it can really feel like a hassle), but once you allow yourself to sit in gratitude and let it wash over you, it will help put things in perspective and can help your mood.
3. Write about what you’re scared of / worried about
This might seem a little scary, but writing down the things that you are scared of or worried about is a great way to better process them and potentially move past them.
When you write things down, you can consciously “dive-in” and dissect them.
If you are feeling brave enough, you can answer questions in your journal like: Why does this thing scare or worry you? Can you think about it in a more positive light?
For how long has this thing been bothering you? Is this something that you can bring up to your therapist to work through?
Getting a negative thought or memory out of your head and onto paper can take a lot of its power away.
Sometimes when thoughts are in our head, they can seem very big and abstract, but when we reduce them to a handful of words on paper, and truly identify what they are, they can seem much more manageable.
I like to write about my fears and worries to see if they are still something that I worry about later on when I’m looking back in my journal. And because it helps put them in perspective, and usually seem a little bit less scary.
I typically find that my fears and worries don’t last too long and that I move on to new things to be worried or scared about 😀
4. Write about your goals and/or dreams
According to an article by Forbes, “a Harvard Business Study found that the 3% of graduates from their MBA who had their goals written down, ended up earning ten times as much as the other 97% put together, just ten years after graduation.”
The power of writing down your goals is evident.
Writing down your goals or dreams is a great way to begin turning those goals and dreams into reality.
Constantly reminding yourself of what you are trying to achieve is a great way to stay on track.
Writing down your goals is also great because months or years later you might look back in your journal and realize that not only did you accomplish those goals/dreams that you once had, but that you have come SO much farther than you ever thought possible.
Of course, the opposite can also be true. For instance, you may look back months or years later and see that a goal or dream of yours has yet to be realized.
But this can be positive because this will serve as a reminder that your goal/dream was once (or still is) important to you, and it can act as a boost of motivation to keep pushing on if you let it.
5. Accomplishments and/or failures
If you accomplish a goal you set out for yourself, you should absolutely document that.
Especially if you’re the kind of person who blows through your goals and isn’t very good about celebrating when you accomplish one.
Writing down your accomplishments in your journal is a great way to give yourself that extra pat on the back for a job well done.
It can also be beneficial to write about the work it took to get that victory, or the steps you took to get there.
Not only will this be great for your confidence because you are reminding yourself of what you are capable of, but it’s a great way to document the things that worked in helping you achieve your goal.
Maybe in the future these same steps can help you achieve another similar goal, or help someone else accomplish what you did.
On the contrary, it can also be great to document your failures.
I think a lot of us are afraid of failing, but I like to think of each failure as getting me one step closer to the goal that I am trying to achieve.
I had trouble finding the author of this original quote but I think it’s message rings loud and clear: “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying”.
Anything worth pursuing will include, at least to some degree, failure. But that just means you’re on the right track.
Write down your accomplishments, failures, and what you’ve learned from them. There is always something to be learned from them.
6. How your loved ones are doing
Your journal can be just about you, but it doesn’t have to be. I like to write about where a family member is in their lives, like what they’re working on or what’s important to them.
Even the difficult times that they may be having.
I often find that the things that I am struggling with, or the things that my family and friends are struggling with, are temporary.
When I look back in my journals, I’m reminded of what my family and friends went through at specific times in their lives, but it’s even more refreshing when I realize a particularly hard chapter for someone is now over and they are now experiencing something totally different in their lives.
I also like to document certain aspects of the lives of people closest to me because who they are when I write a particular journal entry is also part of my life.
I believe we all change over time, but by writing about someone else, you can document who they were in that moment, much like a photograph documents a specific moment in time – essentially preserving some details of their life at that time, too.
7. Facts about yourself (ex. things you like and dislike, what makeup products you’re currently using)
Now this one might seem kind of funny, but I love to write facts about myself in my journal. I don’t always do this, but especially on my birthdays, I tend to write a few things about myself.
Things like what my favorite foods are, who my friends are, what workout I’m doing, my favorite coffee, favorite book, makeup I love, etc. I could go on.
The reason I do this is because I think it helps paint a picture of the person I am at the time of writing the journal entry.
It’s funny to see how these things change, or don’t, over time. And you’d be surprised how much you change as a person over the years.
There may be certain things you totally forget about, or certain things that you have used or loved year after year.
I don’t want to dwell too much on the past, but I find it really comforting to know that my life was well-lived and full, and writing all sorts of things down in my journal reminds me of that when I’m looking back.
8. Places you’ve been and where you want to go
Why not write out all of the places that you’ve been? It’s always fun to recount the places that you have been, and while you’re at it, you can mention one main memory from each place, or which place you liked the best.
This way, you relive those amazing times. Afterward, you can write all the places that you are interested in traveling to and why. Oftentimes, the places we want to go change over time as we change and grow as people.
It will be really great to look back on your journal entries years from now to see if you were able to get to the places that you wanted to travel to, or if the places you desire to travel to change at all.
Better yet, you can even purchase a travel journal if you want a journal specifically dedicated for your travels.
Here is a great travel journal from Amazon that has journal prompts you can use to recount your favorite details and memories from the trip, as well as include your favorite pictures! It also comes in various colors:
9. Your bucket list
Another thing you can write in your journal is your bucket list, or things you want to do before your life ends.
Yes, this might sound a little deep, but making a bucket list is a great way to put a list together of all of the things that you really want to do. Then, you can make a plan to start crossing them off the list.
Life moves fast and if we aren’t intentional about using the time we have to do the things that we want to do most, we may run out of time or opportunities to do them!
10. Creative ideas that you have
A journal is also a perfect place to write down all of your new ideas.
Do you have any business ideas? Ideas for how you want to live your life? Ideas for how you want to spend time with your family and friends?
No matter what kind of ideas you have, a journal is a great place to write down your brilliant ideas so you can ensure that you never forget them!
11. How you’re feeling in the present moment
Oftentimes, we write about the past or the future, and we don’t really check in with how we are feeling at the moment. So, in your journal, you can write about how you are feeling in that very moment.
Did you get a good night’s rest? Are you in good health, or are you injured? Are you sick?
Whatever the case may be, it can be really nice to just write how you are doing and simply recognize that you are a living being in this world! And simply process the emotions around how you are currently doing.
12. Your favorite quotes
Do you ever stumble across inspirational quotes that you love, but forget to write them down, only for them to be lost until you happen to stumble upon them again?
Instead of totally losing the quotes that really speak to you, try writing them down as soon as they pop up.
If you write down quotes that you love, you will always have them imprinted in your journal for whenever you want to look back at them for a little inspiration, hope, or whatever emotion that they bring you.
If we don’t write things down, they could be quickly forgotten. To ensure this never happens with your favorite quotes, you can absolutely write them down in your journal!
13. Current events
What important events are going on right now for you in your city, state, or country?
Or even at your school or at work? Did something really exciting happen? Are there elections coming up?
Whatever is happening in the world around you is absolutely worthy of being written in your journal, if you’d like.
Even if something not-so-good happens in the world that you hear about, it can really help to process it when you write about it in your journal (if you so choose!).
14. Use journal writing prompts
Journal prompts are questions or statements designed to give you an idea or topic to write about in your journal. Essentially, journal prompts give you something to write about!
There are so many great journal prompts out there that are designed to give you creative journaling ideas. If you are looking for new year journal prompts or journal prompts you can use specifically in the fall season, check these out:
15. Your to-do list
Your journal can also be a great place for your to-do list. As you take some time for yourself, feel free to gather your thoughts and start jotting down the things that you want to get done for the day.
Remember you can use the blank pages of your daily journal for anything you’d like!
16. What you want your future self to be like
Do you ever envision yourself years down the line? What are you like? What do you do for fun?
What are your friends like? What do you do for work? Where do you love to go? What goals have you accomplished? What goals are you pursuing?
Envisioning your future self is a great way to manifest the life that you want for yourself in the future and it’s also fun!
Writing about your future self is one of the many creative things that you can do as you write in your journal.
17. What your perfect day is like
Among the many previous journal ideas is to write about your perfect day. Where would you go? Who are you with? How do you feel?
The next time you journal, try to think hard about what your perfect day would look like.
Then, if it isn’t too difficult to bring to reality, why not try? Design your perfect day and then go live it!
While it is so much fun to dream about your perfect day, it would be even more amazing to actually experience it.
18. Use your journal as an art journal
Do you like to create art? Do you draw? Paint? Sketch? If you’d rather express yourself creatively in a way that isn’t writing, you can always use your journal to create art.
Expressing yourself via art is totally fair game when it comes to your journal.
19. Use your journal for creative writing
Maybe you don’t want to write about your own life in your journal – maybe you’d rather use your journal to write short stories or poems.
Don’t hesitate to use your own journal however you’d like in the moment. You can always use your journal in your own way, however you see fit for yourself.
This blog post was all about 19 creative things you can write in a journal.
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