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For many it may be difficult to begin the journaling process, but if you really put your mind to it you will not be disappointed. Below I will discuss helpful and motivating tips to get you journaling. I will not be talking about bullet journaling and specific ways to organize your notebook pages, but rather about emotional journaling. This type of journaling, also what I like to call “journaling my feelings,” gives me lots of clarity on what I’m going through without the fear of judgement. So, if you want to try something new continue reading and maybe journaling will be your next favorite pastime.  

Find out what works for you

This could be as simple as finding the perfect notebook and pens. Once you find out what style and routine works best for you the rest is pretty easy. 

Know the difference between when you don’t want to journal and when you REALLY don’t want to journal

Sometimes the days you don't want to journal are the best days to journal. Other times if you really don’t feel like you have time to sit and write then don’t, just pick up the next day.

Just start!

The hardest thing about journaling is starting, but once you put that pen on that paper you’ll feel very accomplished and confident that you will do it again.

Be brutally honest

There is no judgement when you journal. Being honest with yourself will most likely be difficult at first, but once the truth is written down you’ll feel so much relief. 

Look back

Looking back at what you wrote previous days, weeks, months and even years is very beneficial. See if you notice any patterns, and then you’ll be able to make effective changes in your life.

Journal every single day

Some days if you honestly have nothing “important” to discuss, just write down a few sentences. Journaling every single day will keep your routine on track.

Wash your brain of guck

Work through your emotions and rinse your brain when you’re feeling clogged up.

Positive days are important too

It seems easier for some people to write about bad or negative things they’ve experienced. But, don't forget to write about your good days, too.

Although it may seem arduous to begin journaling and keep it up on a day-to-day basis, it is something that anyone can accomplish. Once you set your mind to it, journaling will become something that you look forward to doing everyday, I promise! Put pen to paper and start your journaling journey! 

Abby Winterburn is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison intending to major in Journalism. Upon acceptance into the J-School, she will be working towards a degree in Strategic Communication with a certificate in Digital Studies. On her free time she likes to hang around with friends, visit local coffee shops, and listen to her favorite band Mumford and Sons.
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