Affirmation Journal

How To Start An Affirmation Journal: 10 Easy Tips

An affirmation journal can change your life – especially if you struggle with self-doubt and have a constant inner critic in your head.

But here’s the thing: Writing nice things about yourself in a notebook is going to feel strange at first. You have to push through that initial period and stick with it. Because it’s so worth it.

It feels strange to write things about yourself that you might not necessarily believe (“I am a healthy and happy person”). But the goal is to shift your focus to positive thoughts and leave less space for negativity.

But how to start an affirmation journal? And what does a daily affirmation journal actually look like?

You probably know that talking badly to yourself saps your confidence. So why not harness that power and see what talking positively to yourself can do?

I’ve been journaling for decades and positive affirmations have really changed my life – even though I’m not always perfect at journaling everyday.

So here’s my ultimate guide to start a daily affirmation journal – with insider tips from my years of experience (and my trials and errors).

What is an affirmation journal?

A blank affirmation journal lays open on a white table filled with bits of greenery, white flowers, scraps of brown paper and a cup of black tea.

An affirmation journal is your safe space to write down positive statements about yourself.

It’s a space to give yourself the self-love and encouragement you deserve – but maybe didn’t always get.

A daily affirmation journal isn’t going to stop negative thoughts. Those thoughts will always be there. And they’re a natural part of life.

But an affirmation journal will make you more self-aware when negative thoughts do come in. And it will make you less inclined to believe them.

The benefits of journaling are countless. Journaling boosts your confidence, helps you cope with stress and improves your self-esteem.

And once you experience those benefits, you’ll be hooked.

Affirmation journal examples

A brown journal with a white branch on the cover lays on a desk alongside a sketch of a coffee cup and a white cup filled with pens.

I take great care of myself, eat well and take care of my body.

I travel often and take the initiative to explore new places. I create opportunities to travel and I motivate myself to try new experiences.

I love nourishing food and the feeling of air filling my lungs as I walk.

Do affirmations actually work?

Yes! When you write down positive statements about yourself, you activate the same parts of your brain that having the actual experience would.

Repeating positive statements encourages your brain to regard them as fact. And when you believe in yourself, your actions start to reflect that.

How to make an affirmation journal

A minimal grey journal lays on a marble surface next to a cup of black coffee and a silver laptop. There are streaks of sunlight coming in across the desk.

Think about the best version of yourself and your best life.

Picture in vivid detail your ideal future self – down to their wardrobe and favorite lunch spot. Imagine the life you want to lead and the priorities you’d have.

Do you want to take better care of yourself or travel more often?

Do you want more financial security and a stable savings account?

Do you want richer relationships and more time with loved ones? 

Use your affirmation journal to narrow down your goals and paint a vivid picture of your ideal life.

Keep your affirmations positive, hopeful and achievable. Then turn those hopes into factual statements about yourself. Write down all your hopes and dreams as if they’d already come true.

Write your affirmations in the present tense and repeat them with conviction. Do this for 3-5 minutes a day and be consistent!

Affirmations work best with repetition. And there are no shortcuts to feel the full impact of an affirmation journal.

And don’t forget the key step: action! Affirmations don’t create change unless you behave as if your positive statements were about to come true.

How To Start An Affirmation Journal

A calendar lays on top of an affirmation journal with a white mug of black coffee on top. That's surrounded by bits of greenery, white flowers and a wooden bowl with small scraps of paper.

1. Make it personal

Make your affirmations personal and avoid blanket feel-good statements. Make your affirmations as specific as possible.

Don’t copy and paste what you see others wanting in life. Choose bold and specific statements that resonate with you – and light you up with joy.

What aspects of your life do you want to improve? Craft your affirmations to focus on the goals most important to you.

2. Write positive statements in the present tense

Always write your affirmations in the present tense – as if they were already true.

It will feel awkward at first, but affirmation journaling isn’t about being honest or recording your emotions. It’s an exercise meant to change your perspective.

Use phrases like “I am” and “I choose” to reaffirm any positive statements about yourself.

Keep the statements positive and avoid negations like “I will not be depressed.” Instead, write “I feel hopeful and confident.”

3. Be specific

A journal lays open on a wooden desk at a cafe next to a cup of coffee and a small jar of milk.

Your affirmations will make a bigger impact – and be far more believable – when they’re unique to only you.

So instead of writing “I am creative,” write: “I always sketch in the evening with my tea, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, and this inspires me to be consistent with my art.”

4. Feel the emotion

Don’t rush through your affirmations.

Really take your time to feel the emotions behind your words. Meditate on your feelings and savor the moments.

As you write, imagine the feeling you’d experience when you receive your desired outcome. Visualize yourself achieving your goal.

Do you feel fulfilled? At peace? Secure? Lean into those emotions and stay in that headspace to allow those emotions to become vivid.

5. Keep your expectations realistic

It’s not easy to build a consistent affirmation journal habit.

You might get impatient and give up before you see any results.

So start small and build a journaling habit around an already-existent habit in your daily routine. Do your journaling with your morning coffee or set aside 5 minutes to write before you sleep.

Start small with 3-5 daily affirmations. Increase your journaling time as you get more comfortable with writing everyday. Stay consistent even if that means journaling 5 minutes a day.

Trust in the process and keep going, even if you don’t immediately see results.

6. Put your words into action

A navy affirmation journal lays on top of a white desk next to an opened magazine and a cup of coffee.

Affirmations are powerful. But they only work when they’re coupled with action.

Affirmations won’t make your goals miraculously appear out of thin air. But they’ll give you the confidence to pursue your goals.

And they’ll make actions towards your future life feel far less intimidating.

Affirmations are the springboards for action and the inspiration to help you achieve your dreams.

7. Express gratitude

Leave some space in your affirmation journal to express gratitude for what you already have.

Gratitude cultivates an abundance mindset and a positive outlook.

A gratitude journal is an incredible tool to use alongside your affirmation journal. To get started, make a daily list of 3 things you’re grateful for before you start affirmations.

8. Enjoy the process

An affirmation journal should be a pleasure and a real highlight of your day – not a burdensome chore.

Make your journaling enjoyable. Brew a fresh cup of coffee and sit out in the sun while you write in the mornings. Or light a scented candle and pour yourself a drink when you journal at night.

Decorate your journal, sketch in the margins and use your favorite colored pens if you’re feeling creative.

Make affirmation journaling something you look forward to. It’s your time for self-care and indulgence. It’s a time to reassure yourself and quieten your anxiety.

9. Don’t be harsh on yourself

An affirmation journal lays on a white table filled with bits of greenery, scraps of brown paper and yellow leaves. There's a wooden bowl with a sliced guava and a cup of dark tea nearby.

You’ll probably miss a few days of journaling when your life gets hectic or when the unexpected strikes. It happens to everyone – even us seasoned writers.

So don’t beat yourself up if you skip a few days of journaling. Consistency is far better than perfection!

Don’t judge your writing or get deflated when you don’t see immediate progress. Don’t fret if the process feels forced and awkward.

Affirmations are a journey. It’s not about the destination or a perfect Pinterest-worthy diary.

10. Track your progress

Reread your affirmations regularly to track your growth and reassess your goals.

Celebrate your achievements and treat yourself whenever you reach a milestone. Use your successes to fuel higher affirmations and motivate yourself to action.

How to write an affirmation journal

A brown affirmation journal with white flowers on the cover lays on a white desk alongside a cup of pens and pencils.

Affirmation journaling rewires your brain for greater confidence and positivity. Consistent affirmations will transform your outlook and give you the self-belief to pursue your loftiest goals.

Start small with 3-5 affirmations a day and turn your journaling into an enjoyable habit.

10 affirmation journal prompts

1. I feel gratitude because…
2. I am capable of achieving…
3. My greatest strengths are…
4. I am worthy of…
5. I deserve to have…
6. My voice matters because…
7. I am worthy of love because…
8. I am confident in my abilities because…
9. I am resilient because…
10. I deserve happiness because…

Journaling tips for beginners

A woman's hand holding a pen and writing in a journal with a cup of coffee in the background.

Need some inspiration to get writing? Read 17 Powerful Journaling Tips For Beginners (And How To Start) for my ultimate guide to kickstarting a daily journaling habit.

The guide includes all my insider tips – from the best journaling techniques to prompts and habit stacking.

Life-changing journaling benefits

A spiral notebook lays in the sun filled with sloppy handwriting. There's a bowl of peaches next to the notebook and a silver pen.

From boosting your self-confidence to reducing blood pressure, a daily journaling habit has many surprising benefits.

And these benefits are great to remember when you need motivation to keep writing.

Read 18 Incredible Journaling Benefits (To Transform Your Life) for my ultimate list of all the physical and mental perks of writing.

More resources

Journaling for Mental Health (And 30 Powerful Prompts)

100 Incredible Journaling Ideas (For Anxiety, Clarity And More)

14 Life-Changing Journaling Techniques (And How To Start)

51 Inspiring Quotes About Journaling (To Get You Writing!)

Nature Journaling: An Essential Guide (+8 Tips To Start)