When I’m feeling stuck or like I can’t push past an obstacle, intentional journaling helps me get my life back on track. And the best part? You can integrate this process into whatever sort of journaling works for you.

An open notebook on a table with a pen across it with a cable-knit throw over a chair behind it and the text "Try Intentional Journaling to Clear Your Head"

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a feral notebook hoarder and at any given time, I have about 15 notebooks I’m working with. I keep them for different writing projects and some of them are for planning. But there is always a journal on deck, gang.

If you’re looking to create an intentional journaling habit, start by thinking about what journaling actually is, and how you can do it intuitively.

What is Considered Journaling?

Like all the best things in life, when it comes to journaling, there are no rules. At least, not in the sense that if you have to keep a journal in a specific way.

Journaling is the process of writing down your thoughts and feelings. Some days, you may have very little to say. You may write what happened that day and how you felt about it. Other days, you may find that your pen never leaves the page and you’re in a full-on stream-of-consciousness flow state.

Both are correct.

The journal is there for you to write what you’re thinking and feeling, and to help you work through anything that might be stuck in your mind.

You can use whatever tools make the most sense to you for your journal. I’m a notebook girl, but some folks prefer to type because they can get the words out quicker that way. Some people like to speak their thoughts and record the audio files.

As with all things, do what works for you. There’s no medal for doing journaling “right.” So pick a method you enjoy and keep coming back to.

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Journaling Examples

Luckily for everyone, there are tons of different ways you can journal. This list isn’t comprehensive, but these are the most common types of journaling.

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Of course, you’re free to create whatever sort of journal you need. I’ve learned a lot by writing a book journal before, and my ideas journal always has my back. And a writer’s journal is never a bad idea.

How to Do Intentional Journaling

Typically speaking, most of us don’t think about picking up a journal unless we have a ton of negative emotions we want to unload. That is definitely a good use for a journal, but that’s not how intentional journaling works.

Intentional journaling is the act of setting an intention or goal, and using the journal as a tool for keeping you accountable to that intention or goal. This process can help you solve problems or overcome the negative emotions you may have been unloading in a more reflective journaling session.

To get started with intentional journaling, choose your journaling method of choice. You can journal intentionally in an art journal or nature journal, or any type of journal. So make sure you pick what works best for you.

The next step is to set an intention. Think about what you want to get out of the act of journaling and why you even started the journal in the first place. That will help you narrow down what the whole goal of this exercise is.

Then, you’re going to hit the ground running.

Please know that creating the journaling habit and keeping it up are going to be the hardest parts of your intentional journaling journey. So make sure you give yourself some compassion and grace as you work through the startup phase.

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Perfection isn’t the goal, here. Your intention is.

Intentional Journaling Prompts to Clear Your Head

If you need a little inspiration for you intentional journaling, check out these prompts to get you started.

  1. What am I stressed or worrying about right now?
  2. What do I need to let go of to move forward?
  3. What are my priorities right now?
  4. What does my ideal day look like?
  5. What am I most proud of?
  6. Who brings me joy in my life?
  7. How can I be more present for the people who matter most?
  8. What’s something kind I can do for someone else?
  9. How can I strengthen my relationships?
  10. What qualities do I think are most important in another person?
  11. What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
  12. What three goals should I focus on this month?
  13. What does success look like?
  14. How do my current goals align with my life goals?
  15. How can I better achieve work-life balance?
  16. What do I love most about myself?
  17. How can I better practice self-care?
  18. Which of my habits need to change?
  19. What is one change I can make to become a little healthier?
  20. How can I better relax?

Do You Journal Intentionally?

Are you a journaler? Have you ever kept an intentional journal? What’s your favorite journaling method?

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