Journaling is a good habit

Writing works

Many happy and successful people have one thing in common: They keep a diary. You haven't been able to motivate yourself to do this yet? Here are 101 reasons why you should grab pen and paper today.

The list is probably the longest that you will find in German-speaking countries on the reasons for writing a diary. It is inspired by a blog post by Samuel L. Lytle.

Nevertheless, the list does not claim to be complete or to be absolutely true. If you disagree with individual reasons, no problem. Then you will surely find enough other arguments on the list that make you more enthusiastic about writing - or are you not ready to be inspired at all?

For the sake of clarity, I have divided the reasons into 7 subject areas.

Warning: the list is to be taken with humor. Not all of my comments are politically correct. But journaling doesn't always have to be politically correct or serious either. Incidentally, in this article I use diary and journal interchangeably, although one could argue that this is not entirely correct.

Now, however, have fun reading and, above all, finding the reasons that motivate you to finally stick to the successful habit of writing a diary.

101 reasons to keep a journal

Personality development

  1. Find inner peace. Write yourself in your zen mode, line by line.
  2. Get rid of stress.Let out what burdens you instead of keeping frustration, anger and worries inside and letting it rage in the unconscious.
  3. Set goals for yourself. There is more than a spark of truth in the English saying: "A goal not written is only a wish."
  4. Increase your chances of success. Studies show that writing them down increases the likelihood of achieving goals.
  5. Write and update your bucket list. Yes, we all have things that we want to achieve and experience in life. When we dig deep, great things come to light. Why don't you write down your wishes so they don't slip away from you?
  6. Find out who you are and who you want to be. Writing is the best and cheapest way to get to know yourself and develop yourself. My opinion. Find out for yourself.
  7. Find out what you like. How often do you do or praise things when you actually don't like them?
  8. Realize your weaknesses. Yes we are all perfect. Perfectly imperfect. It is good if you know exactly what you are about.
  9. Make a plan for how you will overcome them. Knowledge is only the first step towards change. You will reach your destination with a timetable. But save a few weaknesses, nobody likes absolute perfection.
  10. Discover your talents and strengths. You are aware of some talents, others you may not have discovered or properly appreciated. Time to change that.
  11. Track changes and progress across your various life stages.If you make journaling your habit, you will always smile at your younger self and wonder: Was I really like that ... ?!
  12. Appreciate what you've been through. We all experience injuries during our decades on this planet. Sometimes we forget or suppress the traumatic experiences that happened to us. If you write about it, you can learn something for your future from these dark hours.
  13. Reflect on why you behaved as you did in certain situations or phases in life.Why did you become addicted to the Pokémon Go epidemic too ?! Ok, you can consider more serious questions as well.
  14. Discover your inner sources of happiness and contentment.How often do we build our happiness on things / conditions / framework conditions that we cannot control? Meditation is very much in vogue, but reflecting with pen and paper is not a bad change if you want to open your eyes again. 😉
  15. Practice gratitude for the little things. You don't have to keep a gratitude journal right away, even if I can recommend it. How about a few lines of conscious gratitude every now and then?
  16. Develop self-discipline. Having a writing habit strengthens your sense of self-efficacy. If you can write regularly, then you can save the world. Well, maybe not the world, but at least yourself.
  17. Strengthen your doer skills. You can influence more than you think. Discover your options. First on paper. Then in real life. Put your words into action.
  18. Build confidence.You can meanwhile keep your own promises and have realized that you can implement your ideas? Then you have every reason to feel confident and start your next adventure.
  19. Learn to laugh at yourself. Life is unbearable without humor. Believe me.
  20. Focus on the positive. Also write about the wonderful experiences. So you can enjoy the feeling again and get your happiness hormones dancing again with every reading.
  21. Learn to trust yourself.I'll start exercising tomorrow. From next week I will lose weight ... and it stayed with the intention. If you integrate your findings from the diary more and more into your life and document your progress, you will trust your words (again) more and more.
  22. Improve your health Stress makes you sick. We all know Various studies prove the positive effect of writing about stressful life events.
  23. Cultivate open-mindedness. Prejudice is comfortable, but it keeps you in the status quo. It's better if you are open-minded, find out about other perspectives and great ideas - this also leads to less stress when talking to colleagues at lunchtime.
  24. Learn from the mistakes of others. Don't just look for mistakes in yourself, but dissect the learning experiences of other successful people. Is much less painful and just as effective.
  25. Enjoy the feeling of having pulled something off successfully. If you flip through an old diary one day, let me know if you don't have that wonderful feeling that you have achieved something.
  26. Realize how you want to be treated yourself and how you want to treat others. Have you ever really thought about the values ​​that are important to you in your togetherness? Apply your collected list to others and see what happens.
  27. Improve your organizational skills. We live in permanent sensory overload. You can't remember everything. Use your brain to think, not to store. A diary is a practical invention for storing information.
  28. Learn to worry less. When I read through old diary entries, I find that I was worried about many things that, in retrospect, were small and insignificant.


  1. Become a better draftsman. Have you never scribbled around in your diary? Its Time. It's fun and you can certainly use your new visualization skills at work. # Whiteboard king
  2. Invent new words. You can express yourself as you like, undisturbed by the spelling popes and language custodians. Only you have to understand yourself. An undreamt-of oasis of freedom!
  3. Become a master of the encrypted messages. Yes, there was encryption before PGP and the NSA scandal. Write in your own abbreviations, write backwards. Why? Because you can!
  4. Write yourself a letter. I love this exercise! Reading is almost more fun than writing. Do you want to thank yourself Appreciate your achievements? After a year, read through what you had to say to yourself. Who gets mail from the past ?!
  5. Break the rulesArnold Schwarzenegger already knew: Break the rules, don't break the law. Try something new. Break up your thought structures.
  6. Try different text styles and expressions.Do you like poems or haikus? How would you have formulated it in the Middle Ages? How about a rhyme for your current week? Nobody said journaling had to be serious.
  7. Give your photos a worthy home. Terribly beautiful selfies or divine lunch menus - don't let them sink into digital nirvana, but give them a worthy setting in your notebook.
  8. Know the difference between hurdles and insurmountable boundaries. Some borders just seem insurmountable. We have to accept others in order to move forward. Find out what belongs to which category.
  9. Capture ideas before they evaporate again. How often did a flash of inspiration come to me in bed in the evening and in the morning all I knew was that I had a brilliant idea. Do better and write down your ideas right away.

Love & family

  1. Become a better person - a better partner, boyfriend, son, brother, better daughter, sister, girlfriend ... Write down one thing that you can do to do something good for a family member. Take action. Enjoy the result. Repeat.
  2. Clear relationship problems.Yep, some people think that's basically what diaries are about. Big misunderstanding, but sometimes it's good for that too.
  3. Fall in love again If you're in a long-term relationship, do you remember all of the reasons you fell in love with your partner? Works wonders when everyday life threatens to put its gray veil threateningly over your happiness in a relationship.
  4. Write down the dates of important events. Birthdays, graduations, accidents, anniversaries - which dates don't you want to forget?
  5. Leave something of value. You don't have to leave tens of millions behind (I probably won't - oh, and I don't think it's bad at all). Some records are worth more than money can be.
  6. Help others remember you and get to know how you see yourself.Friends, family and colleagues have very different images of us. Why don't you let others know how you see or have seen yourself?
  7. Be a contemporary witness. If generations before us had not kept a diary, we would know much less about the everyday lives of perfectly normal people from earlier centuries. So, write something about the context in which you live: gasoline prices, the refugee crisis, the NSA. But please, skip Donald Trump, ok?
  8. Keep important stories. I mean the stories that are important to you. With all planning and striving for success, don't forget to write them down.
  9. Don't forget your roots. Roots are the basis for all growth. If you neglect your roots, your foundation will be weak.
  10. Track your children's development.Do you have children? I wish my parents had written about their experiences with the mini version of me. We only realize the value of some texts much later.
  11. Tell your children and grandchildren stories. What new technology did you try? What new ideas did you get to know? In 50 years' time, they'll smile at what you thought was so new and innovative back then.
  12. Be a role model for those around you and your children. Don't hide in secret to write like it's an embarrassing quirk. Communicate your habit confidently. This is the only way you can inspire others to write too.
  13. Do what your mentor told you to do. Whether your mentor meets you in books or communicates with you live, if he says you should keep a journal, then let that be one of the pieces of advice you just take.


  1. Improve expression, vocabulary and text comprehension. The best place to learn to sing is in the shower.
  2. Learn how to tell stories. If you practice it every day, you will feel able to write an entire novel much faster than expected.
  3. Develop your own sense of humor.Should have found some by writing. When I look back on my experiences, a comedy often emerges quite unintentionally, which I would have liked to have seen in the situation instead of being upset.
  4. Increase your typing speed. If you write with pen on paper, you will not be able to prevent the development over time. If you type on the computer, completely new dimensions of productivity arise with more speed. If you are a tablet user, I would be surprised if you set speed records. But that's your business.
  5. Become a writing professional.Write every day; we will only get good at something with continued practice. It doesn't have to be the much-cited 10,000 hours, you probably notice long in advance that you are getting better and better. And written words are power, even in the Youtube era!
  6. Learn to build tension. I turned my life around with this simple trick. It only took me 5 minutes a day. I was incredibly lucky to find out about it. What am I talking about? When you sell information attractively, life becomes easier.
  7. Find your writing voice. Your self-confidence as a writer grows with the writing practice, regardless of whether you ever publish or not. If you have a book idea, doubts are no longer in your way. You know you can write.
  8. Find out if writing is for you. Banal, but important. Only by doing can you find out if writing is your thing. If you don't enjoy it, please leave it. Then you'd better join the podcast lemmings.
  9. Overcome writer's block. Free writing works wonders. The more often you write intuitively, the less writer's block will be your guest.
  10. Find out what type of writing you don't like. Do you prefer first-person narratives or texts in the third person? Quotes and descriptions of the situation or abstract essays? The more I wrote, the more clearly I knew what I wanted to read and, above all, what I wanted to write.
  11. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I can convey opinions. Situational descriptions are not my forte. How did I find out? And how am I going to change that? Correct.
  12. Build a portfolio (even if it's just for you). Do you want to write a novel and feel self-doubtful? Then look at the shelf with your diaries. You have already had several novels on the shelf.

Problem-solving skills

  1. Let it out!Your partner, your dog, your colleagues have already gotten enough of you in a bad mood.
  2. Take different perspectives. There are always several ways of looking at a situation, even if only one seems right to you.
  3. Know problems before they arise. History repeats itself (often at least). Learn from the past and you will always have a better idea of ​​what will happen next.
  4. Empty your mindWrite about anything other than your problem. When your head is empty, you are much more likely to find a solution.
  5. Keep secrets. Do you find it hard to keep secrets to yourself? If you want to remain trustworthy, next time tell your journal instead of your girlfriend what you've been entrusted with.
  6. Value your relationships. Appreciation magically improves your relationships. Can you think of someone you don't like? Wonderful. Write something that you honestly appreciate about him or her. How do you feel now?
  7. Make your therapist happy. If you have one, he should appreciate your keeping a journal. Keyword: poetry therapy. It makes work easier for both of you. If you don't have one, so much the better.
  8. Rejoice in your loyal ally. When was the last time you were lonely? With a journal, you always have someone to listen to you.
  9. Prepare for conflict. Do you have an unpleasant conversation on the calendar? Put your arguments in writing in advance. The preparation will pay off.


  1. Connect with God. The wife complains to her husband: "Why do we sit so far apart on the sofa in the evenings?" The man replies, "I didn't move."
  2. Align your inner compass. If your actions are in line with your words and your values, you will always stay on your path, no matter what it ultimately looks like.
  3. Find your why. The common thread is visible from notebook to notebook. Not from line to line.
  4. Find out what you believe. God? The universe? Nothing? As your life changes, so does your spirituality. An exciting story in your story.
  5. Write down prayers or mantras.What you write down has more weight - and often more impact.
  6. Record your favorite wisdom. The day will come when you will want to read these words again or pass them on.
  7. Have spiritual dialogues. You can interview yourself. You can talk to God or a higher power. At least your intuition can speak out of you - with insights that are often surprising to me.
  8. Admit mistakes. Call it sin or not, sometimes it is good to ease your conscience.
  9. Learn to turn the noise of the world quietly. Writing meditations are a great way to escape the daily overstimulation, hustle and bustle, and distraction, and to come to terms with yourself.
  10. Hold on to inspiration. The universe gives you the best inspirations. Hold her tight. If you don't appreciate her, inspiration moves on.
  11. Keep a spiritual travel journal. Whether you go to an ashram or the Camino de Santiago, you will have intense spiritual experiences. It would be a shame if the insights and emotions simply fade away.

everyday life

  1. Live a more interesting life.When you know you're looking back at your day in the evening, you want something more newsworthy to write than the composition of your lunch.
  2. Remember details. Where were you on New Year's Eve three years ago? How did you spend your last milestone birthday? I hope I've made a note of it.
  3. Learn to appreciate the little things. An unexpected gift, the first conversation with your new colleague - if you don't write down these situations, you will have forgotten them by next week.
  4. Create a guaranteed space for reflection. Life is hectic. We run on autopilot most of the time. If you block a few minutes every day for your diary, you have the chance to reflect on what is flowing into you in the first place. If you need some structure, journals like the 6-minute diary can help.
  5. Separate fantasy and facts. The stories in our heads can sometimes be quite different from the facts. Use the diary to get back to the bottom of the facts.
  6. Create your own treasure trove of quotes. If you spend time with interesting people, you will come across plenty of quotation material and you can add a few new sentences to the same sentences that have been circulating on the social web or enjoy them entirely to yourself.
  7. Treat yourself to entertainment from your past.If you ever get bored, leaf through one of your old journals. The further back you go, the more fun. Better than Netzflix binge watching. Promised.
  8. Avoid wasting time. Nothing against TV trash, but at least after hour 2 in front of the box, diary writing is a better alternative for me.
  9. Resolve litigation. If you ever get into the awkward position of being involved in a lawsuit, you can use your journal to remind yourself of the details - once you've written about them. Let's hope we never need the diary for that.

Special topic focus

  1. Work diary. I actually had to do it on a weekly basis and so I always had a nice overview of my results and successes.
  2. Diet journal.Write down what you eat and you will become less of the bad things. The way to your desired weight is that easy. Alright, almost.
  3. Sports journal.Track down which workout routines you go through. When you see successes, you know exactly what to repeat.
  4. Illness / wellbeing diary. Are you chronically ill or do you often just feel devoid of energy? Do you keep having migraine attacks? A diary can help to identify connections.
  5. Travel journal. There was a time before the travel blog. Indeed. And sometimes a private trip can stay private.
  6. Hobby Journal. Do you have a special hobby? Then dedicate your own diary to him.
  7. Baby journal. Thoughts during pregnancy or the first months and years of life. - special periods of life that pass far too quickly deserve their own diary.
  8. Team diary. If you work in a team, you can keep a joint diary in which you record your successes and learnings.
  9. Dream diary. A classic. An expressway into the unconscious. For it to work, you should put it right next to your bed before the confused world of images slips away completely.
  10. Idea journal. Are you one of those people who always have new ideas? You can't do all of them right away, but knowing they are in a safe place is comforting. Who knows, maybe your first million is hidden there, all you have to do is turn it over.

I'm curious which reasons appealed to you the most. Feel free to write me a comment or - even better - start keeping a journal. It is worth it ..

If you do, stay tuned for at least 66 days in a row so that your new habit is on autopilot afterward. For tips on building a stable journaling routine, check out this article.

Have you been keeping a diary or journal for a long time and would like to report how it has changed your life in a positive way? Then write to me. I'm always happy when I'm allowed to publish success stories.