Behavior change is hard. We’re creatures of habit so creating new habits, like journaling, can be a challenge because we’re introducing a change in thought patterns and behaviors.
When it comes to change we have a tendency to make a long list of what we want to begin (or stop) doing and that list quickly becomes overwhelming and is a recipe for a failed attempt.
More effective than microscopically analyzing yourself and creating a list of all that you would like to do (or stop doing) is nailing down a “keystone” habit, which can carry over and help lock your other habits in place.
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, describes keystone habits as “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”
Take exercise as an example. Lets say you start exercising consistently once a week, and unknowingly you begin eating better and being more productive at work. She feels less stressed and have increased motivation toward your goals. The ingrained patterns in your brain reform. By starting with exercising once a week you created a habit and the overall affects of that habit carried over into other aspects of your life.
You acquire one habit and everything in your life can change. Keystone habits spark a chain reaction of other good habits and can rapidly alter every aspect of your life.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle
Like exercise, journaling is also one of those habits with far reaching benefits. Journaling as a keystone habit can help you find your purpose, heal yourself, and create the life you most desire. It is a way of coaching yourself through your “stuff” and letting it out on the page, unclogging your mind from years of destructive thoughts. In doing so, begin to see life with unsurpassed clarity.
BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
- Reducing scatter in your life
- Increased focus
- Greater stability
- Deeper level of learning, order, action and release
- Holding thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated
- Bridging inner thinking with outer events
- Detaching and letting go of the past
- Allowing you to re-experience the past with today’s adult mind
- Increases self awareness
- Increases gratitude
- A private, non-judgmental space to process your thoughts and emotions
writing consistently in a journal can help you re-discover a purpose and significance for your life.
It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. -Anthony Robbins
Creating a Journaling Habit
The idea of journaling can be daunting and one of the biggest challenges can be what to write. Having pre-written prompts as a guide and inspiration can make it easier to overcome that challenge.
Guided journals make journaling more fun and less intimidating especially if you’re just starting out.
14 Guided Journals To Inspire Journaling for Self Care and Self Discovery
1. 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling and Inspiration fro Positivity, Balance and Joy
An inspiring tool for list lovers to discover the keys to their own unique happiness and bring more joy and balance into their lives. This beautiful, undated hardcover journal with 52 listing prompts encourages readers to reflect, acknowledge, and invest in themselves, and ultimately transform their lives by figuring out exactly what makes them happy.
2. The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration
Create 52 lists, one for every week of the year, that will help you discover the beauty, joy, creativity, and power you already have! This gorgeous undated journal of weekly lists will help nurture self-expression and self-development.
3. 52 Lists for Togetherness: Journaling Inspiration To Deepen Connections With Your Loved Ones
Learn more about who you are, how you see your loved ones, and how you can thrive together by creating 52 lists, one for every week of the year in this beautiful, undated hardback journal meant for celebrating and cherishing the many relationships that make up a community.
A portable sacred sanctuary to record our flashes of insight, find our ground, create and clarify our goals, and bear witness to our own evolution. More than 150 beautiful pages of questions, teachings, inspiring imagery, and plenty of space to write, draw, and reflect, this journaling adventure guides us into nine compelling portals to our highest ways of living.
5. Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal
A 52 week guide to cultivate an attitude of gratitude! It is a self exploration journal designed to focus on being thankful for what we have, the big things in life, as well as the simple joys. Each well designed weekly spread contains an inspirational quote, space to write 3 things you are thankful for each day of the week, and a weekly checkpoint. If you start each day by writing down three things you are thankful for – a good cup of coffee, the smell of rain, starting a good book – you begin each day on the right note. Do it daily and make it a habit to focus on the blessings you have been given!
6. Change From Within: A Journal of Exercises and Meditations to Transform, Empower and Reconnect
A quick, daily meditation practice that shows readers how to turn old emotional wounds and unhealthy beliefs into wisdom and clarity. The simple exercises in this journal guide you step-by-step into establishing healthy self-esteem, self-trust, and self-respect.
7. The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude yields many benefits: physical, mental and spiritual. In this Journal, you have flexibility to write down the dates of entry and not feel guilty if you miss a day. There are also pages in this journal where you can just draw something beautiful. Every page contains an inspirational quote. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation for what one has. Write down three to five things you are grateful for in this journal and turn your ordinary moments into blessings.
8. Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self Exploration
Start From Where You Are An interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.
9. The Joy of Now Journal: Mindfulness In Five Minutes a Day
A beautiful, full-color guided journal that readers can use to help them appreciate the beauty of the present moment and “live in the now.” With insightful questions, inspiring quotations, and thoughtful meditations, this journal is a guide to mindfulness for anyone who spends too much time thinking about the past and/or worrying about the future.
10. The Mindfulness Journal: Daily Practices, Writing Prompts, and Reflections for Living In the Present Moment
365 unique, actionable writing prompts divided into 52 weekly mindfulness topics. This gives you seven days to fully immerse yourself in each topic. Also the prompts are unique enough so you’ll never feel bored while journaling. These prompts are fun, engaging, and will help you gain an appreciation for the world around you.
11. The Wellbeing Journal: Creative Activities To Inspire
Explore your inner world and be inspired with The Wellbeing Journal. Developed in partnership with Mind, the mental health charity, each page of this gorgeous journal has been thoughtfully crafted. It includes activities, coloring, drawing prompts, contemplative quotes, and lots of space for you to write about your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Creativity and reflection can have a powerful, positive influence on our lives.
12. Present Not Perfect: A Journal for Slowing Down, Letting Go and Loving Who You Are
13. The Mindful Life Journal: Seven Minutes a Day for a Better, More Meaningful Life
A thoughtful interactive book that gently guides readers to reflect on their emotions, intentions, and energy. Through a series of simple, practical prompts and playful illustrated exercises, The Mindful Life Journal: Seven Minutes a Day for a Better, More Meaningful Life will help you feel better in the morning, be more productive during the day, and sleep better at night. With just seven minutes of effort per day, you’ll begin to knock down the barriers between you and a happier life.
14. Self Discovery Journal for Women: 365 Magical Lists for Happiness, Gratitude and Everyday Bliss
A beautifully-crafted guided journal book that will inspire you to the core. This journal is filled with 365 lists, writing prompts and questions that will help you reconnect with your inner self, write your heart out, and get your creative juices flowing.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. -Jim Rohn
I started my journaling practice with 52 Lists for Happiness. Almost 2 years later, I don’t always use guided journals, but when I do, [right now] I’m using Practice You: A Journal and The Joy of Now.
Have a beautiful day!
be the best version of you,