How to Keep a Journal and Stick to It: 8 Steps

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How to Keep a Journal and Stick to It: 8 Steps
How to Keep a Journal and Stick to It: 8 Steps

Keeping a journal is a great way to put your emotions on paper and save experiences. A few years from now, you will wonder what you were doing years ago. A journal will remind you of the good and bad times you had in the past. A journal will also help you vent your frustrations as well as your emotions. It's a great way to express your feelings and empty your heart when you're sad or when you just need someone (well, something actually) to share your most intimate thoughts with. Many of us started journaling at some point, but we never keep doing it. We started during tough times and just quit when things got better. It does not have to be this way. Journaling can also be used to record happy memories.


Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 1
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 1

Step 1. Make sure your journal reflects your personality

Some of the ways that people keep a more personalized journal include the following:

  • adding clippings such as movie tickets, receipts, flower petals, etc.
  • pasting photos
  • making sketches and drawings
  • writing poems
  • choosing the appointment or the goal of the day
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 2
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 2

Step 2. Write basic information about yourself on the first page

You could include your name, your age, your best friend, your occupation or school grade, and some of your hobbies and favorite things. Some people include a "whoever finds it will be rewarded" note in case they get lost.

Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 3
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 3

Step 3. Start your writing by putting the day of the week and the date, the time and possibly where you were when you were writing this

Write as if you are talking to your best friend or even to yourself, in enough detail to remember what was happening at the time. Remember that things may be different in the future.

Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 4
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 4

Step 4. Don't be afraid to even name the journal

Imagine that you are a person, not an inanimate object. This may one day be your "best friend!"

Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 5
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 5

Step 5. You can write down your frustrations and celebrations, but also write things from everyday life, from your friends and the things you like to do

People forget the things they think they will always remember and these everyday things will become very meaningful later. Try to be positive too. Being positive can help you through the toughest times.

Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 6
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 6

Step 6. Start over if you have stopped writing

If you miss a day or several days, or even weeks, don't worry. Just start over with the current day. Obsessing over trying to catch up by writing everything that has already happened is the quickest way to lose interest in a journal. If you remember something weeks later, that you did not write, it will come to mind and then write it down. Don't worry if you miss a day, a week, or even a month. Nobody keeps score.

Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 7
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 7

Step 7. Read your previous writings from time to time and see what you think now compared to then

But do this when you're in a good mood to accept yourself. It doesn't help much to be mean and judge your former self and then toss your journal in disgust. Be kind to yourself and treat your old diaries as letters from your old self to your present self. And most importantly, see how much you have matured and learned from your experiences. At the end of the day, that's the true beauty of a journal, of your own personal and emotional growth as you strive to improve each day.

Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 8
Keep a Diary and Stick to It Step 8

Step 8. Make sure to hide it too

It is a personal diary so you need to be safe. A hollow book is a good place to hide a journal.

You can also hide your journal in other places such as between the mattress and the base of the bed; Also stick it under a chair seat or table cover, in a video box, in a shoe box, or in a sack bag


  • Don't compare your writings with those of others; each one of us is unique and naturally our life and style will be different.

    If journaling makes you boring, you can write short stories on topics that interest you

  • Famous journalists included Leonardo da Vinci, Henry David Thoreau, George Washington, Maria Nikolaevna Romanov, Virginia Woolf, Sophia Tolstoy, Anne Hathaway, and of course the legendary Anne Frank.
  • Anthony J. Robbins, who keeps his journal, believes that if your life is worth living then it is worth writing. Write your goals not just on the first page, but throughout the year as they change.
  • If you want to make it even more interesting, once you read your journal several years from now, write with a hint of humor. It will definitely make you laugh later.
  • If you have nothing to write, write lists. It can be a "how-to" list, a list of your favorites, a shopping list, a travel list, and so on.
  • Consider decorating your journal cover with labels, drawings, photos, etc. Be creative and you will be amazed at how much you express yourself by doing this.
  • Be honest in your journal. What's the point if you can't say how you really feel?
  • Find a hiding place so you can write what you really feel, without worrying if someone is going to read it.
  • When an idea is persistent in your head, write a small note that you can later express in your journal in greater detail.
  • Put it in a place that you will remember. If you put it in the bottom of a drawer, you might forget it.
  • You can start by using the journal as a notebook to write things that interest you and eventually you will feel more inspired to write your thoughts in a more elaborate way.
  • If you feel comfortable enough, have your best friend or favorite family member or loved one write something in your journal for a special date or just because. This will make your journal treasured and you will not have to be saving greeting cards that you will later throw away.
  • Enjoy it! You shouldn't feel like you're doing homework when writing your journal.
  • If you don't want to keep a journal, then don't start it. Just have fun!
  • If you decide to read what is already written and something you do not like, do not tear the page or cross it out! Things are going to be different in the past than they are now. In a couple of years, when you read them, you'll be glad you kept everything the way you did at the time.
  • You could also write your journal like a book. Pick a name that you like and use it as yours so if someone wants to read it and it doesn't have a lock, they won't know who you're talking about.
  • Vent all your emotions in your journal! (For children) Talk about how irritating the person sitting next to you is in history class or what the person you are excited about does for you. A journal is a friend who will NEVER share your secrets. You share everything: illusions, dreams, songs you want to write or anything else!
  • If you really want to remember everything about the day, choose a time at night to write. You may want to write in the car, on the way home, or after school or right after class. Any time is good!
  • Don't feel bad if you have to add something to the previous writings. You may need to add something else.
  • DO NOT TAKE IT TO SCHOOL! Other people will be tempted to read it (diaries contain secrets, after all) and all your secrets will be made public at school. Unless you want the whole class to find out who you are in love with (or whatever, this is just one example), leave your journal at home!


  • Make sure where your journal is at all times, especially if it has important or embarrassing information. If it contains top-secret information, put a lock on it or get a padlocked journal and hide it. Be careful not to leave it anywhere and then forget it.
  • Write in ink. The pencil may fade.
  • Do not copy from others, this is your journal so do it your way!
  • Make sure the ink doesn't get through the paper!
  • Write everything! Censoring your own thoughts means that you are not honest with yourself.
  • Be yourself, don't want to see your life as someone else's.

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