Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and hey, if you have, no judgement), you’ve heard about journaling. I’m sure most if not all of us have journalled intuitively our whole lives.
I remember my first diary. I was just barely old enough to know how to write. It had a puffy plastic pink cover and a cheap brass lock, ostensibly to keep out prying eyes, although even without a key it could be easily coaxed open if you jiggled it the right way.
As my baby subconscious was still developing, I wrote down everything. It was like I hadn’t learned to internalize shadow yet, so I wrote it here instead.
As I got older, similar iterations followed, though these with varying security upgrades: code words, my own language, and at one point even code hieroglyphs.
I abandoned journaling for a time, but found my way back during my anxious years as a teen on the encouragement of my therapist. It was helpful to get my ruminating thoughts out of my head and onto paper, where they felt less powerful, and I could challenge them.
Inspired by Harriet the Spy, this time I had a bit fat plain notebook from the discount shop, which I kept carefully hidden. Able to type far faster than I could write, and drunk on the power of having a computer and printer in my room, I typed out my entries in Microsoft Word, printed them out and glued them in my notebook.
Of course, if these tools weren’t available, the journal did contain instances of my hurriedly scrawled rant in dreadful cursive.
Can you relate?
After my teens, journaling seemed babyish, so I tossed it aside for some years. It wasn’t until I began my career in personal development that I learned how powerful a tool it could actually be.
The benefits of journaling for manifestation
Journaling isn’t just a great tool for manifestation, but also for our lives and wellbeing. These are just some of the many reasons why we should all have some form of journaling practice in our daily lives.
It connects the conscious and the subconscious so that you can identify any patterns or limiting beliefs that may be holding you back
It puts situations that perhaps have been bothering you into perspective
It provides a safe space to “vent” without judgement
It reduces intrusive thinking by getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper
It improves your memory
It improves self awareness
Gratitude journaling is a great form of daily gratitude practice
It helps to set, review, and stay on track with your goals
It is a mindful activity which absorbs you in the present moment
It strengthens self discipline
It helps with creativity
It boosts self confidence and sense of self worth (the ultimate magnetism)
It aids relaxation
It strengthens intuition
It makes goals seem more real and tangible by putting them onto paper
My Manifestation Journal Routine
This is the routine that works for me. By no means do you have to follow it to the letter. Nor do I suggest that it needs to be done daily, but certainly regular journaling (at least four times a week) has a profound effect on my mental health, my emotional health, and my magnetism.
Law of Attraction Planner | This is my daily go-to journal: a blend of a day planner and a personal development/goal setting planner in one. This journal is the “hub” which pulls all the other journals together.
I highly recommend reading my review of the law of attraction planner here, for a more in-depth look at the law of attraction planner and its benefits. I use it to stay on track with and set new goals, keep track of my appointments, and set reminders.
I just cannot bring myself to use an electronic calendar with any semblance of success: there’s something about having everything written out manually that makes it stickier in the brain.
Related Story: Law of Attraction Planner Review
The Gratitude Journal | Any old pretty notebook will do just fine for this. I do recommend that you use something inspiring and uplifting like this one. Prompted gratitude journals also work well, if you struggle for inspiration.
Each morning, I like to write out no less than 3 things I’m grateful for. I start with 5, but often once the pen ink starts flowing, so does the gratitude. First thing in the morning with a fresh start and fresh hope is the best and most effective time to do this.
If you’re really struggling to find something to be grateful for, start with the basics. You could be grateful that you woke up in bed this morning and opened your eyes.
You could be grateful that you have hot running water to shower in. You could be grateful for your breakfast, or your dog, or your family.
I generally try to change up what I am grateful for each day, but it’s fine to list the same things if you're struggling - as long as you get started.
Gratitude is so important for magnetism and manifestation. Not only does being a grateful person make us more magnetic to others, it puts the lives we lead into a fresh, empowered perspective.
When we’re able to see our blessings and be thankful for them, it puts our focus into appreciation frame, and we become naturally better able to discover more blessings.
Our dreams are the portal to our subconscious mind: relaying to us what we’re stressing about, fantasizing about, mad about, sad about, or passionate about.
Sometimes our dreams are pure wish fulfillment, other times they force us to confront our shadow, the hidden elements of our personality we do our best to dissociate from in waking life. Because integrating our shadow is so important for any manifestation work (and it can often be difficult to identify what that is in waking hours), our dreams provide the clues as to where we most need to be focusing.
There are two ways to go about decoding your dreams after you’ve written them down. Either consider each element and interpret it yourself, use a dream decoding book, or head to a dream decoding website like Dream Moods.
You can type in each thing or situation that appears in your dream. I take a moment to sit with each element and the dream overall and write down the very first thing in my life or emotions that it reminds me of – no censoring.
My gratitude journal and my “rant journal” - both opposites of the same coin and both have their place in my manifestation journaling routine
The rant journal | This one hearkens from my teenage days when I was processing ruminating thoughts. I’d get them out of my head and onto paper, and then I’d work through them systematically.
It was like removing them from my head and putting them onto paper took away their power, like destroying its indestructible force field so I could get to their weak spot.
This doesn’t have a place in my usual daily routine. I whip this badboy out on an as needs basis only. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen too often.
All my other journals are so high vibe and pretty – my rant journal is black, and when I’m pissed, I scribble into it furiously.
It’s messy, emotional, judgmental, juvenile, neurotic, angry, sobbing, hormonal, foul mouthed, anxious, shit scared, negative, full of curses, and often, incoherent. Sometimes the pages are splashed with tears.
On other pages, I’ve gotten a little too angry and stabbed the paper with my pen. Anything goes here.
There is no censoring, no restriction, no care for others’ feelings. This is the place I am safe to express my emotions fully. I get in here and I rant for as long as I need to.
When I’m done, I get up, and I walk away. I have a good cry, or a shower (sometimes both at once), take a nap, scream into a pillow, do a heavy lifting workout to death metal, or cuddle my dog. It’s a release that is kind of exhausting after it’s all done.
But I never leave the rant journal as is.
I come back to it when I’ve spent time fully immersed in my emotion and allowed it to pass. It always does. I don’t suppress emotions, spiritually bypass them, or label them as negative.
I allow them to be as they are. I allow them to be my teachers.
The next part of the process, therefore, is to come back to the rant and read through it – all of it. I energetically send love and compassion and grace to the me in that moment who wrote it.
Then I go over what happened. I circle beliefs that come up. Anger is amazing truth serum! I circle patterns I’ve noticed before.
On a new blank page (on both sides, you'll see why later), I write out the patterns, and then I explore:
What’s really true versus what I’m possibly haphazardly cobbling together through subconscious focus and limiting beliefs
The emotions that I felt in that moment
What I’m really afraid of/concerned about
The thoughts I had and the beliefs they stem from
What about the situation felt so triggering to me
What I could be responsible for in the situation
What I possibly could have done differently
Whether this was a boundary issue
The expectations I had – whether these were reasonable and whether I had clearly communicated them
What I could learn from the experience
What I will consciously decide to make this experience mean
What I can be grateful for
Then I go deeper and I challenge my thoughts critically, as though I was a complete outsider listening to me vent. This is a technique I learned from my therapist as a teenager. I use whichever of these are relevant for the situation at hand.
How do I know this is true?
Is this fact, or perspective/opinion?
Have I tried to do this another way?
What is the worst that could happen? Can I handle that?
Would I say this to somebody I really care about?
Is there something I could do to change these circumstances if I wanted to?
Is there a way I could use this experience to create opportunities or better circumstances for myself?
Are there other ways I could see the situation?
Will this matter in five years’ time? In one year’s time? In six months’ time?
What would Jesus do? (I’m not even a Christian. It doesn’t matter. I write whatever falls into my head and it’s never steered me wrong.)
I go gently and without judgement through my rant and write down the answers to these questions in the rant book.
Then I write down:
One thing about the situation I’m grateful for (without invalidating myself or negating my experience). It can be tiny.
An area of shadow work I want to explore further through the limiting beliefs I’ve identified.
Some new re-programmings: For every limiting belief I identified, I write down its antithesis, something more powerful I could believe instead. e.g. No one would want to be in a relationship with me becomes I am worthy of being loved in a healthy relationship. I am love.
When I no longer feel the emotion I take the “rant” part, rip it from the rant book, and burn it to ashes on the waning moon. As I do this, I repeat to myself: “I now lovingly choose to release this energy and open myself up to the energy of love and flow”.
You absolutely don’t have to do this last part, but I do recommend getting rid of the rant pages in some way, so that only the work through of the situation/emotion and the new beliefs and re-programmings remain in your rant book. You lose the energy of the emotion, not the powerful lesson it has taught you.
The “Brain Dump” Notebook | The last journal in my routine (I know, I have a collection and a half) is the mini notebook, which I carry around with me everywhere. In my handbag, beside my keyboard near the computer, and beside my bed.
I learned this tip through the Productivity Freedom course by Elizabeth Masarik, who calls it a “brain dump book”. (I highly recommend her course!)
The notebook is where I quickly jot down anything that comes to mind: things to Google, something I appreciate/am grateful for, inspirational quotes I hear, good tidbits of advice, things to add to my to do list, or when people verbally invite you to things/set up appointments with me for some future date (because otherwise, who remembers?).
I literally can’t take my law of attraction planner with me everywhere because it’s so big, so this little mini notebook does the job perfectly. It’s also great for the thoughts I have at 3 am – it works like the rant book.
I quickly jot them down in the notebook, so I don’t lose sleep throwing them around my brain for hours. In the morning when I’ve had a good night’s sleep I can come back to them.
The Scripting Journal | This is a plain, but pretty spiral bound notebook that I use to practice the scripting exercise. This is basically like writing a “manifestation list” for the day. I write down how my day would go in an ideal world.
Evening I’ll start with my evening journal practice because it’s the precursor for the next day.
Just before I close the office for the evening, I go through my law of attraction journal and review and reflect on my daily goals, doodle and pretty it up, and review my appointments for the next day. It helps me feel prepared for whatever’s coming. I write out my top three priorities for the next day, and set an overall intention – usually a mood or buzzword.
I also grab my “brain dump notebook” and carry across any appointments, reminders or to-dos in my law of attraction journal.
In bed, I read from my gratitude list from my morning practice (see below). I listen to music at between 60 to 80 bpm or binaural music while I do this, or an audio book. Then I do my daily scripting practice.
I really want to do an entire post on this in more detail, but scripting is the practice of writing your ideal future as if it’s already happened. It helps me to set a powerful intention for the day ahead, and I always feel like I have a better, more purposeful and productive day when I pre-script how it’s going to go.
It helps to preset your focus and intention for the day ahead. This activates your RES (Reticular Activating System) to align your reality with your intention.
The day doesn’t have to go perfectly in alignment with the scripting: in fact, many unexpected wonderful things surprise me on the days I’ve scripted first. And when shit goes bad, it doesn’t matter, because whatever happens, I'm always carrying my intention for the day.
How to script:
Write how tomorrow would look if everything ran according to the best case scenario
Write with the intention buzz word for the day in mind (e.g. uplifted, progress, health, focus, creative, love, grace)
Start at the beginning of the day, waking up, and end it with getting into bed
Write in the past tense, as if it’s already happened
Incorporate goals you want to accomplish and appointments you have
Focus on the way you feel as you do each thing
Add in some little things that make you feel extra yummy – a relaxing bath, a muffin for breakfast, or an out of this world meditation
End it with summing up how you feel at the end of the day and how you feel in alignment with that buzzword you chose
Thank the Universe for your amazing day
After I’ve written out my day, letting the words flow without censoring, I go back over and read through my script for tomorrow, and let myself feel the feelings of having already lived it through. I listen to relaxing music (usually at 60 to 80 bpm), watch Disney+ or listen to a spiritual audiobook like A Course In Miracles, using my imagination to think about the day ahead. So zen.
Morning | Each morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is write down my dreams while they’re still fresh in my mind. I am still confused, cloudy, and my eyes are sticky with sleep so what I write usually makes no coherent sense.
Sometimes I haven’t even sat up yet. I just quickly scrawl images that come to mind, snippets of scenes, or strong emotions I felt in the dream.
Then I sit up slowly, stretch a little and spend about 5 minutes decoding my dream and contemplate the messages that I’ve received from my subconscious.
After prayer and meditation, when my head is clear and fresh, I read everything from my gratitude list the day before and then I write what I’m grateful for today. I set myself a minimum of five things, but I let my hand grow and free write as many things that fall into my head.
I usually listen to gratitude/morning energy binaural beats while I do this. Many days I write an entire page of things I’m grateful for (I’m a blessed girl) before I’m straining for things to write about.
Others, I get to the minimum of 3 and I’m 100% done. Both are fine.
Finally, I read through the script for my day with my buzzword intention in mind. It gets me so amped and excited to begin the day that I practically spring out of bed.
The whole process only takes me about 10 minutes, but it’s such an amazing way to check in with myself in the morning and align my subconscious for the day. So there you have it. My ultimate manifestation journaling routine. It’s had incredible benefits for my magnetism and manifestation. I only share the manifestation steps that have worked for me time and again and this is one of the most powerful.
It’s a lot – I’ve been journaling for years and I’m kind of an addict. Try a few different ones on and see what works for you, and add or subtract as you like. Even just having one of these practices in your day will be transformative, promise.
Shop the Story … My must-haves for journalling …
Law of Attraction Planner by Freedom Mastery - for daily planning, goal setting, and personal development Gratitude - A Journal - Prompted journals are a godsend if you’re new to a gratitude practice and lost for where to begin The Weird Shit I Dream About Journal - Write in it first thing in the morning when your dreams are still fresh in your mind 12,000 Dreams Interpreted - Too early to fire up the World Wide Web to decode your dream? You’ll likely find it here. Keep it beside the bed.
Things I Can’t Say Out Loud Notebook - I love a rant journal that is black, because mood, but also with something funny/inspirational on the cover to remind myself this too shall pass. The “Brain Dump” Notebook - I never leave home without this thing. Take it wherever you go and keep it by the bed to capture your 3 am thoughts. PIN IT! If you found this useful, I’d love you to Pin the image below and share with your friends! The rise is more beautiful when we lift others up too. Scripting Notebook - You’ll just need a blank notebook for this - make it as pretty or plain as you like Rose Gold & Glitter Rollerball Pen - Do I NEED a sparkly glitter pen to manifest? No. But I personally love the process to feel good, and sparkles feel magical to me. I do however suggest you choose something that glides across the paper like satin - it makes free writing from your stream of consciousness easier.