How to start a journal in 2020

How to journal

The art of journalling


Journalling is a beautiful self-care practice that can be used to process your thoughts, feel ‘heard’ and have a little chat with yourself to get back on track.


I have been journaling on and off since I was 11. I think it might have been something the girls were doing at boarding school. You know – “Dear diary”. Over time, I’ve come to love  and even that time to write in my journal every night. It has truly become part of my evening ritual.



Here are just some of the things I get from journaling:


  • A calmer mind
  • A better sleep
  • Insights into my needs
  • Presence
  • Creativity
  • Forgiveness
  • Freedom


What is journaling?


Journaling is the simple act of writing your thoughts down in a notebook on a regular basis. You could do this each night before you go to sleep, first thing in the morning or as a weekly ritual in your favourite coffee house once a week.


How to start a journal in 2020


There are many different types of journaling and you can pick the style that suits you best. Here are just some of the main ways people journal:


Freeform – writing for a few set minutes or until a certain number of pages in your notebook are filled. Don’t filter, pause or think too much. Just let the pen flow on the page and see what comes up.


Gratitude – listing ten-twenty things you’re grateful for. It could be things like your nice warm bed up, an opportunity you have or even a relationship from the past.


Bullet – this is more focused on a list of tasks, life activities or projects. You bullet down your priorities for the month, the week and the day, and tick them off as they’re completed.


Topic journals – you could pick a theme like books, food, art, travel and anything in between and journal your activities and experiences. People who are trying to eat more healthily, for example, might start a food journal to really see what they eat in the day and be more mindful when they eat. A travel journal could be used to document the places you visit and what you experience.


Dream journal – documenting what you dream about as soon as you wake up.


Abundance journal – making a note of things that flow into your life from new clients and projects through to gifts and that time your friend paid for your coffee.


There are lots of different types of journaling and this definitely isn’t an exhaustive list. If something on the list grabs you, dive right in. But it’s perfectly okay to try out different styles and even use two or three methods.


Journaling is an experience for you to enjoy.  It’s private and personal. You don’t need to share anything that you create in your journals with anyone else so use it indulgently for your own needs and do what feels best.


How to start a journal in 2020

How I journal:


I keep two journals: a freeform journal and an abundance journal. Here’s what I do…


Each night before I go to bed, I like to write one or two pages in my main journal. It’s a beautiful brown book made with recycled paper. The cover is upcycled from an old book from 1940. You can find the ‘About:Blanks’ journals online.

Journalling in bed


I also write two or three things in my abundance journal. This is a perfect little A5 journal with the word Expansion embossed in gold on the black cover. I send one of these to everyone who joins my coaching programme.


So each night, I start with how my day has gone. I record anything that happened that I’d like to remember. It’s a nice easy way to begin; just recounting the day’s events. Then I move into freeform writing. I write without editing or thinking. I just write. I write what’s on my mind. What’s in my heart. What I’m worried about. What I need. I commit to filling at least one page or writing until I have nothing left to write.


And once I’ve done that I take a deep breath and reflect on what has come up.


Gratitude journalling 2020


Sometimes I just leave it there and go to sleep, a little lighter now that I’ve gotten things off my chest. And sometimes I move into coach mode and start asking myself what outcome I do want amidst the chaos or confusion or fear. I remind myself of my vision and I write out things I’m trying to bring into my life – like connection, peaceful mornings and financial independence. I finish by asking myself what I might need to focus on to bring them into reality.


That way, I go to sleep knowing I have a plan, knowing I have direction, knowing it’s all going to be okay.


When I wake up, I reconnect with the journaling from the night before. I remind myself how I felt, and I set my point of attraction to the outcome I’m trying to bring about.


Beautiful collection of journals


Next, I open my abundance journal and note two or three things that flowed into me that day. The purpose of this is to focus on plenty, abundance and flow rather than lack. For example, if a friend bought me a coffee – that goes in! It a wonderful new client joined one of my courses – that goes in. If I even just appreciate I could pay a bill on time or in full – that goes in.


Abundance journaling is working with the law of attraction to focus on how much abundance there is in your life, so you can bring about more of the wonderful things you want, need and crave.


How to get started journaling


It’s really simple to get started. All you need is a journal, a pen and a commitment to showing up for yourself over a set time period. For example, could you journal every night before bed, or every week in your favourite coffee shop. It can take a while to get into the flow of journaling so it’s best to make a commitment up front.


Picking your journal


Now I have to be honest here and say that, for me, even the act of picking a journal is a part of the process. I love going into town, looking in all the stationery shops and independent books shops and picking up all the notepads, small and big, blank and ruled, black and coloured. I love taking my time and indulging in the search.


Gratitude journalling 2020


Once I’ve made my selection (I rarely pick one!) I head to my favourite coffee spot and get writing right away. I love writing the date at the front and picking a phrase or intention to set the tone for my brand new journal.



About Lisa…


Lisa is the 33 year old founder of three multiple six figure businesses. Having built and scaled businesses in digital marketing, recruitment and online training, Lisa is the industry expert at helping purpose-driven business owners clarify their offering, define their product set and build a scalable six figure business.


With her base in Newcastle and her offices in Manchester, Lisa lives and works all over the world, teaching purpose driven entrepreneurs how to build multiple six figure businesses that scale.



Lisa’s brand new book “First Sh!t Version” goes on sale in January. Click here to join the waiting list and we’ll tell you as soon as it’s available to buy via Amazon.



Want to learn more?


Lisa Bean is the founder of Expansion Business School – an online training, mentoring and coaching programme for purpose driven entrepreneurs who want to hit six figures and beyond. Spots are now open for new students. Click the link below to find out more and apply for a complimentary discovery call with Lisa.


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