9 easy quickstart tips to creating a journal for self improvement

If you want to improve in any way, keep a journal.
Creating a journal is only one method out of many for getting your thoughts out on paper, working out what you are really thinking and addressing your thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
However, when you use your journal correctly, ie you use it to honestly narrate what you are thinking and feeling, it’s one of the most powerful ways to help you improve yourself in whatever field you have chosen.

Here at Wardrobe Journaling we have many posts on self improvement, personal growth and goal setting. Here are a few that relate well to this post:

How to use journaling to easily track your self improvement goals
What is a growth mindset journal?
how to create your own manifestation journal template

Journals can be an effective way to build your character, develop self control and monitor habits such as discipline, your ability to plan effectively and to set and stick to a goal.

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Creating a journal for self improvement

For that reason creating a journal for self improvement can be one of the most worthwhile actions that you undertake if you are seeking to improve one particular area of your life.

Writing a goal down starts to make it a goal. While it is still only in your head it probably isn’t a goal. And writing your goal down is only the start of the journey to achieve that goal. While it would be easy if goals followed a linear path to success, the road of self improvement is a windy, rocky path and not the wide, easy highway that would make our life easier.

By creating a journal for self improvement, you can state your goals and make them concrete, but also track and monitor your progress of self improvement on your way to achieving whatever goal you have planned.

Creating a journal for self improvement to track your self development goals

You can track your self improvement goals into phases:

Creation of the self improvement goal – deciding how you want to improve or change yourself
Progress of the self improvement goal – tracking your journey
Coping with the journey – learning to improve
Taking it day by day – self improving one day at a time, sticking with it
Arrival. Celebrate.

The following section gives you some useful tips as to how you can quick start your self improvement journal and journey. Enjoy! And to your success!

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9 journaling ideas that will help quick start your journey to self improvement

1 Write down your goals each day

Brian Tracy and others involved in the self improvement/goal setting world advise setting a number of life goals and then writing them out each morning until they are achieved.

2 Daily log

Keeping a daily record helps you keep yourself accountable as well as focussed on whatever ideas for self improvement you have set.

3 Journal 3 ideas you’re grateful for

Self improvement isn’t a linear journey and it isn’t always easy, so writing down 3 ideas that you are grateful for helps to keep the balance in your brain.

4 Problem solve

Use your journal to problem solve. Get it out on paper. Don’t let problems just go round and round your brain. Write them down. Then, when the decision comes, journal about that too, and make sure you stick to it.

5 Journal for stress

Journaling for stress has medical approval. Studies have been undertaken which show the efficacy of journaling for stress. David Allen, author of “Get it done” writes that the brain is meant for having ideas, not holding them. When we get a backlog of ideas, problems and issues building up in our brain, it can get very stressful, so journal about your stresses and keep yourself calm.

“What’s the best thing that happened today?”

Speaking of keeping yourself calm, what about lifting your mood entirely with a phrase like that.

6 Productivity planning

Nothing makes me happier than planning to be productive, it’s infinitely preferable to actually doing the work! Of course planning is part of the work, and it is often overlooked. We want to get straight to the work or the project and not take the time to plan or to track our plan. Take the time. Write out your plan and then track it.

7 Write down your focus for the day

If your self improvement goal is to be healthier, and being healthier involves running, yoga and a change in diet, write down, each day, what your focus is for that day. It could be the run, it could be to make sure you eat what you say you’re going to eat and not the chocolate ice cream and almond croissant. Whatever your focus is, write it down.

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8 Capture your thoughts of the day

Whatever you have thought about the day, journal how you met your self improvement expectations. Whether you have met them or have not met them is not the point, the point is to capture your thoughts. If you can learn to regard both kinds of thoughts equally, ie meeting your expectations and not meeting them, then you are definitely on the road to self improvement. Capture your thoughts and learn not to shame or blame yourself when you fail to meet your own expectations.

9 Progress logging

You can create a journal simply to log progress. You can log your progress visually, as well as verbally. Creating a journal for self improvement is as much about learning to monitor your actions as it is to actually take the action itself.

Journal prompts for when your mind is stuck

If you want to start journaling for self improvement but feel a bit stuck, use one of these three journaling prompts to kick start your journaling practice.

1 Self love journal prompts

Learning to relax, accept and even love yourself is an important stage on your self improvement journey. As you are creating a journal for self improvement, scatter your self improvement journal with self love journal prompts such as: “What are my best qualities?”, “What makes me smile?”, “What am I most proud of?”

2 Self discovery journal prompts

Self discovery will be a major part of your life, as you are creating a journal for self improvement, so use some regular prompts such as:
“What makes me feel powerful?”,
“What makes me feel in control?”,
“What makes me feel calm?”,
“What’s a choice I can make this week based on my own needs?”,
“What will help me slow down today and feel more present?”
“How can I trust myself to make this big decision?”
Even writing those down makes me feel curious about myself without even having written the answers so I hope those prompts, plus others that you may choose yourself, will also inspire you.

3 Self improvement journal prompts

Finally, when you are creating a journal for self improvement, use some regular self improvement journal prompts: “How would I feel if all my goals were accomplished?”, “What would my ‘self improved’ self say to my current self?”, “What boundaries do I need to set with myself and others that will help me on my self improvement journey today?”, “When I have achieved this aspect of self improvement, how will my life be different?”

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