Start Where You Are With What You Have

Yesterday, someone asked what I recommend to get started with journaling or planning, particularly for mental health.  I thought I'd share my answer with you here.

Start where you are.  Use what you have.  It really doesn't take a lot to get started.  Just a pen and paper is really all you need.  Everything else is extra.  I mean, I love me some stickers and washi, but the truth is that all of that is extra.  The goal of journaling is to get your thoughts out, and the goal of planning is to get your plans down.

What do you do with that blank piece of paper?  I'm glad you asked.  No, you shouldn't just stare at it.  Let's talk about journaling first.  What is the purpose of this journal?  If it's just to get your thoughts out, then do that.  Write down exactly what's in your head.  If it's gratitude, then write down what you're grateful for.  It's just that simple.  We'll go into more detail about all different kinds of journal another day.  For now, just focus on getting those thoughts down onto the paper.

Now for planning you may want to at least get a calendar, but it's really not necessary.  Again, the goal is just to get it on paper.  So just write out what you need to do, where you need to go, who you need to call, what you need to buy, whatever... just write it down.  This can be done as one big list or broken down by days or into sections.  It may seem overwhelming at first, but trust me.  You'll get used to it and your days will be a lot less chaotic because you'll know what needs to be done.

Once you get used to just writing things down, you'll learn what works for you to make it better.  Before I moved to planning with stickers, I was planning with different colored pens and highlighters.

Remember, it's okay to stick to the basics.  You don't have to buy all the things.

Start where you are with you pen, paper, thoughts, and plans.  You've got this!!


  • Cheryl Kosch

    Yes! Amen! The Planner & Stickers really are just Extra lol. I Guess I’m Totally *Extra* 🤪 Gonna do this Journal once and for all. Gonna give it a go but for 2019 I’m gonna make it a Goal to Journal everyday😉💖

  • Paula

    I think, no I know I need to start journaling! I tend to bottle things up and then when it finally comes out it’s never good. I just started planning and that in itself has been helpful and kind of like therapy for me (if that makes sense) but I think it’s time to take a step further. I need to stop thinking about it and just do it!

    • TarchelleB

      Yes! Yes! Just go for it. There are no rules to journaling so do it however you like. Planning is therapeutic to me, too, so that makes total sense. Keep me posted on your progress as you start your journaling adventure.

  • Jessica

    The title of this blog is great advice for just about anything someone wants to embark on. Again great advice. I do love me some stickers though. But even that can get overwhelming and paralyzing if one gets carried away as I have done before. Another great post!

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