Thursday, June 01, 2023
For men, women, and teens

What to do when journaling is not working

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Pen, paper and journal on desk

Are you wondering why you're not motivated to journal? Maybe it feels like journaling simply isn't working out for you. Don't worry - you can get your motivation back and reap all the rewards of journaling with this easy fix. And it won't feel like just another thing to add into an already busy day!

The problem

Most likely, your problem is that you're journaling in a way that might suit someone else just fine, but doesn't suit YOU. So you haven't failed at journaling, you're just doing a type of journaling that is not particularly helpful to you. Don't worry, this is totally fixable!

The solution

To fix this, simply change your type of journaling - I explain more about this below. First a concrete example though, so you can see how I went from no interest in journaling to it becoming a huge help in my life - just by changing the style of journaling I was doing.

A real-life example

I decided to journal for self-development. The journal went nowhere. I had no interest in writing in it - it became an unpleasant chore, and in the end there was no point in continuing. I'm sure you can relate to these feelings!

Then I tried creativity journaling, and this turned out to be a HUGE asset to me. It gave me a boost in my everyday life. I'd jot down creative ideas as they came to me (sometimes more than once a day, sometimes not for a week). I'd also jot down ideas of creative projects I wanted to do in the future. This journal became like a gold mine to me, because when I had time to work on a creative project I'd simply open up my creativity journal and find a project I wanted to do. It also meant I didn't have to re-invent the wheel each time I wanted to work on something, I'd just consult the notes I'd made about that project earlier.

So while journaling for self-development didn't work out for me, journaling for creativity was a huge success.

What this means for you

You just need to find your approach to journaling. Fortunately, I've written another article where I go into detail about each type of journaling you can do and how to do it, including plenty of awesome prompts in each style for you to get started. The 5 types of journaling that are covered in depth in that article are:

  1. diary or life journaling
  2. self-discovery or personal journal
  3. scheduling or to-do's - I love the stunning Erin Condren LifePlannerâ„¢ for this purpose. For more muted and office-oriented options, I recommend Best Self. Co.
  4. creativity
  5. therapeutic or self-care

Also covered is how to approach it if you want to journal but you don't know what type is best for you, so don't worry, that's covered too.


You'll quickly become naturally motivated to journal when you're journaling in a style that works for you. If you're currently unmotivated to write in your journal, rest assured you haven't failed! It only means you've tried an approach that wasn't the best fit for you. Instead find out here about different approaches and pick one that's better suited to you. You'll also see examples of daily journaling prompts to get started quickly and easily.

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In: For menFor womenFor teenslifestylehappiness

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