Start a Daily Journaling Habit in the New Year


I have been keeping a regular journal since I was 9 years old when I got my first little lock and key diary as a child. The way that I journal, what types of things I write down, and even the tools that I use have changed so much over the years, but one thing that remains the same is all the great benefit I get from this practice. If you’ve thought about doing this too, there’s no better time than with the upcoming New Year to set a new habit.

2024 can be the year you start daily journaling and learn all the ways it can benefit you in all aspects of your life. Establishing a journaling routine for the new year can be a life-changing decision that has many advantages and the ability to lead to personal development. If you want to begin doing this as a daily habit in the New Year, here are some tips to help you do so.

First things first, you really need to connect with the benefits of journaling. If you can do this, it will make it easier for you to stick with your new habit until it becomes routine. Then, you’ll just need some basic supplies to get started, and then you’ll want to establish a routine to make it easier for you to stick with it. Let’s look at how to do it.

Why Start Journaling?

Journaling is a tool for self-reflection, creativity, and mental clarity; it’s not just a way to write down your everyday activities. It can assist you in keeping tabs on your own development, comprehending your feelings, and organizing your ideas. It’s also a fantastic chance to think back on your blessings and make objectives, both of which can raise your level of happiness and contentment with life in general.

Choosing Your Journal

Choosing your journal can be a lot of fun – but don’t overthink it! You can try different notebooks, journals, and types of paper until you find your favorite. You also don’t have to use pen and paper, since there are so many different technologies to help you journal today.

 This could be a voice memo series, an electronic notepad, or even a digital application. The secret is to choose a format that is welcoming and at ease. Think on the dimensions, the kind of paper, and if you like pages with dots, lines, or blank spaces. Making your diary unique can enhance and enrich the experience.

Don’t overthink it though – you can use a dollar store notebook and some plain on Bic pens if you want.

Choosing Pens or Pencils

Your writing tool will be just as important as the journal you write in. You need something that is comfortable, smooth and easy to write with. I have tried so many different types of tools – pens, pencils, and markers over the years. My current favorite are Sharpie S-Gel pens. I prefer the Medium Point in black and blue.

Prior to that, I was very partial to Micron pens. I still enjoy the Microns for bullet journaling, but my Sharpie S-Gels for regular writing. Another type I’ve used in the past and still see recommended by a lot of journalers are the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip pens. My best advice is to try as many different ones as you can until you find the one that just “feels” right to you. You’ll know it when you get it!

Setting a Time and Place

When forming a new habit, consistency is essential. When you choose a time of day that will allow you to write for a few uninterrupted minutes, you can be more successful and consistent with your new journaling routine. Writing in a journal shortly before bed or first thing in the morning is a common strategy used by many people. Locate a peaceful, cozy area where you may sit and think without interruptions.

What to Write About

The most difficult obstacle for novice journalers is coming up with topics to write about. To get you going, consider these suggestions:

Daily Reflections: Summarize your day’s events, activities, and feelings in writing.

Gratitude: Make a list of your blessings. A warm cup of coffee or a friendly note from a friend can suffice for this.

Dreams and Goals: Describe your hopes and the actions you’re doing to make them a reality in your writing.

Problems and Solutions: Consider any problems you’re having and come up with some possible fixes.

Creative Writing: Write poems, stories, or even just rambling thoughts and ideas in your journal.

Making It a Habit

The hardest part of journaling is making it a regular habit. Here are some tips to help you stay consistent:

  • Don’t overwhelm yourself; start small. A few sentences can have significant meaning.
  • Establish a Ritual: Make journaling a part of your everyday routine. Enjoy it in the morning with a cup of tea or in the evening with some relaxing music.
  • Break Down Barriers: Have a pen and journal (or digital device) close at hand so you may write whenever the need arises.
  • Be Kind to Yourself: Let go of concerns about grammar, spelling, and coherence. This is exclusive to you.

Reflect and Adjust

Spend some time thinking back on the journaling process as you develop the habit. What is effective for you? What isn’t it? As necessary, modify your practice. Perhaps you should try writing at a different time of day or use a different journaling technique. What matters most is that it advances your own development.


Establishing a journaling routine in the new year is a great way to start the year with intention, reflection, and thoughtfulness. You can put your goals and plans for the new year and hold onto that energy that you feel at the fresh beginning. As you move on through the year, that feeling may start to fade but you can go back and re-read it to keep that energy flowing through you.

It’s a technique that can promote improved emotional well-being, creativity, and self-awareness. So, pick up a pen and write your story, one day at a time, in a fresh digital document or on paper. Cheers to your journaling!

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