4 Ways To Use a Guided Journal to Transform Your Life

A womans hand holds a guided reading journal on a cozy bed with a cup of coffee

Whether you’re new to journaling or a seasoned journal writer looking for some inspiration, you’ll benefit from using a guided journal.

You may have already heard about the numerous benefits of writing in your journal. Journal writing has been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety, increase self-awareness and compassion, and spark our creativity. By providing an outlet for our emotions, and a channel for our restless hands and mind, journaling is a simple, but effective way to cope with our everyday life. 

Another great thing about journal writing is its accessibility. All you need is pen, paper, and a quiet space.

Journal writing doesn’t come with any rules or expectations to be clever, imaginative, or even grammatically correct. When using a blank journal, you can write about your day, your challenges, or whatever is on your mind. There is also no strict time limit to journaling. Some people like to journal for twenty or thirty minutes, while others experience the benefits within minutes. 

What is a guided journal 

While a blank journal allows the writer to steer their own writing. A guided journal provides writing prompts, questions, and exercise to help support your journal writing practice. 

You can find guided journals that are dedicated to everything from self-care and mindfulness to goal setting and navigating your career. 

So how do you know if a blank journal or a guided journal is the one for you? 

While some people may enjoy the freedom of a blank journal, others may find the blank page to be nerve-racking. Guided journal users love having a prompt to work off of and find that it helps inspire creativity and self-reflection. 

Here are some other advantages to using a guided journal.

Pros of using a guided journal

  • Structure. No more staring at the blank page and wondering what to write. With a guided journal, you are given a prompt or question to ponder and write on. 
  • Enhance your creativity. Sometimes, too much freedom and flexibility can actually hinder your creativity. When you have too many options at your disposal, it can be paralyzing, and you’re not sure where to start. But a prompt gives just enough guidance and restriction to help you start writing. 
  • New perspective. When you write on your own, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. You might find yourself writing on the same topics or subject matter or find yourself complaining about the same old things. A guided journal, on the other hand, can open you up to new questions and introduce you to new ideas that you had never considered before. 
  • More flexibility. In a way, a guided journal can teach you to be more flexible. You never know what prompts you will receive and each new page feels like a roll of the dice. And this unpredictability can challenge you to put aside any doubts or hesitation, and take you out of your comfort zone. 

In short, a guided journal offers all the same benefits of a blank journal, but with added structure and support to deepen your writing routine. 

Here are some of the different ways that you can use a guided journal to enrich your writing and your life. 

1. A guided journal for a transitional time in your life

Maybe you’ve just gone through a bad breakup. Or you were let go from your job. Or you’ve just moved to a new city. 

If you’re going through a transitional time, you might be feeling unmoored and having doubts about the direction that your life is heading in. 

To help you navigate this new and unfamiliar time in your life, try a guided journal that can help you feel more grounded with mindfulness prompts.

The Do One Thing Every Day That Centers You Journal has 365 prompts to help you practice mindfulness every day. You’ll cultivate greater awareness and appreciation of the people, places, and things in your life. You’ll also find inspirational quotes throughout the book. 

By practicing mindfulness, you’ll feel more connected to the here and now, which will help you gain more calm and clarity during this time. 

2. A guided journal for career development

What do I want to be when I grow up?

This is a question that manages to be relevant no matter how old you are. 

If you find yourself at a crossroads in your career, use journal writing and self-reflection to help you discover your strengths, interests, and values, and determine your ideal job.

We may not all be able to afford a career coach, but the Career Compass Guided Journal is like having a professional coach by your side. Written by Dr. Colleen Campbell, a career and executive coach, this guided journal gives you the tools you need for self-discovery as well as tips on how to create an action plan to get the job you want.  

3. A guided journal for leveling up

If you’re looking to be more productive or successful in your life, you’ll want to develop the inner resources that will help you level up. 

Use a guided journal to combat limiting beliefs, understand your self-worth, and challenge yourself to take smart risks everyday. 

The Best Year Yet is a transformative guided journal that will ask you the key questions to help you level up and make this year a bright and successful one. 

4. A guided journal for self-care and compassion 

A guided journal is an essential part of a regular self-care routine. Writing down your thoughts can help you manage stressful times and big feelings, and make you feel so much better afterwards. 

We all know that practicing gratitude can make us feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically. But with our busy schedules, it’s also easy to quit on your gratitude practice. So make it easier to incorporate gratitude into your day with the You Already Have the Answers Gratitude Journal

You can reflect on a gratitude prompt each day and become aware of the simple, everyday pleasures that are all around you. Turn to this gratitude journal in the morning to get your day off to a positive start, or use it at night to help you wind down, and end the day on a loving note.

Written by JiJi Lee

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