How To Start A Manifestation Journal: 11 Tips That Actually Work!

Disclosure: this page may contain affiliate links to select partners. We receive a commission should you choose to make a purchase after clicking on them. Read our affiliate disclosure.

While you can’t magic things out of thin air just by thinking about them, you can bring about very positive outcomes by setting your intentions on them and working hard.

That’s where a manifestation journal can pay huge dividends. By using one, you will be able to align your wishes with your actions to increase your chances of getting what you want.

Let’s dive into the process of starting a manifestation journal and how to make it work for you.

What does manifestation mean, exactly?

In simplest terms, when something “manifests,” it materializes from the abstract to the tangible. Instead of just being made of idle daydreams and wonderings, it becomes something real and solid: an item or situation that you can experience or interact with.

Although the term is sometimes used with spooky things like ghosts or nightmares, when it comes to consciously manifesting something in your life, the hope is that the item or experience will bring you fulfillment and joy.

As a result, the process of manifesting something you want means bringing it from daydream land into something you can see, touch, taste, etc.

Of course, this requires a certain amount of action and effort. We can hope and pray to whatever higher powers we like to gift us what we want, but that rarely comes to fruition the same way that our own efforts will.

I mean, I can pray for some otherworldly beings to cause a piece of toast to appear on a plate beside me, or I can frolic my way to the kitchen and make it myself.

Which of those actions do you think is more likely to result in hot, delicious, buttery toast being hoovered into my face? Exactly.

When we talk about manifestation here, our emphasis is on the actions we need to take in order to make our own wants and dreams a reality. For that to happen, we need to have clear goals in mind, and then solid gameplans on how to attain each of them.

The best way to keep track of this sort of thing is to keep a manifestation journal.

11 Manifestation Journal Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of The Process

Think about the different tools that you use in order to keep your days on track. Chances are you use some sort of calendar to keep on target with work or school assignments, as well as appointments, important dates, and various other reminders.

You may have notepads sitting around that have random scrawlings on them that you want to remember for X reason, maybe some apps on your phone to remind you to drink enough water, pay bills on time, track how much you’ve eaten that day, etc.

All of these tools are essential for keeping our lives from falling into complete chaos. A manifestation journal is no different.

Instead of thinking of it as simply a journal, consider it a type of multi-tool for manifesting your goal. This is a planner, workbook, filing system, organizer, diary, and journal. You’ll use it to map out critical paths with milestones to work towards, as well as logging your progress so you keep track of how you’re doing.

And yes, you can also use it as a diary to keep track of your thoughts and emotions as you move along on this journey. After all, this is an intense voyage that you’re embarking upon. If you’re serious about achieving a long-term goal or dream, then a manifestation journal like this also becomes a dear friend that helps to hold you accountable. It’ll keep you encouraged, hold your secrets for you, and remind you to stay the course even when you feel discouraged.

1. Be absolutely clear about what it is you want to attain or achieve, and also why.

If you’re starting on a manifestation journey, then there’s probably something important that you want to achieve or attain. Maybe it’s something that you’ve been interested in doing for a long time, or perhaps it’s a major change that you’d like to see happen in your life.

Some people will use a journal like this to help them go on a trip they’ve always dreamed of, whether it’s a month-long adventure exploring the Arctic via dogsled, or an extended silent retreat in a Tibetan ashram.

Others might be working towards finally owning that car they’ve been drooling over for years, or getting a down payment together for their first home.

For some, the manifestation might be more personal and spiritual. They might be on a healing journey, letting go of old wounds and traumas that have influenced their behaviors – and by extension, their life as a whole. Or maybe they’ve been through a great deal of shadow work and personal growth and are now ready to manifest the soulmate they’ve been seeking.

Whatever it is you’re aiming towards, make it a very clear, tangible goal with as many details as possible. Furthermore, be clear about why it is that you want to achieve these things.

Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and philosopher Victor Frankl made some very powerful observations in his work and writings. Not least of which is the fact that people can endure just about anything as long as they have a reason why.

  • Why do you want to go on this adventure?
  • Why do you want to lose the excess weight you’ve been carrying?
  • Why do you want to earn that distance degree?
  • Why do you want to own a cottage in the woods?

When you understand the motivations behind your desires, you’ll have a better idea about how to go about achieving them.

Furthermore, instead of them being vague wants that are tugging at the edges of your psyche, they can be brought front and center and made solid priorities.

Do you want to go on that adventure to challenge your body, mind, and spirit? Or is this something you’d like to cross off your bucket list?

Is the excess weight causing other health issues that you’d like to clear up? Or do you want to feel more confident in your appearance?

Are you pursuing a degree because you’ve always wanted to learn more in this field? Or do you want to gain recognition from people who didn’t believe that you could achieve anything?

And do you want that cottage as a private escape from the weight of the world? Or as a fun place where you can invite friends and family members for joyous celebrations?

Once you know exactly why it is you’re pursuing these things, you can integrate your priorities into your journaling entries.

2. Write a detailed list about your needs to achieve this goal.

Now, going back to being very detailed in your manifestation journal plans, let’s use the Arctic adventure as an example.

If this is something you’re planning, then the first thing to do is have a consultation with an agent who specializes in these kinds of travel destinations. They can give you a rundown of costs needed, from airfare and accommodation to equipment and supplies that you’ll require.

Once you have a ballpark estimate of how much money you’ll need, and what your physical fitness level will have to be in order to take part, you can start to plan accordingly.

Do you want to do this a year from now? Okay. Take into account how much this entire adventure will cost you, and then tack on another 15% for the sake of unforeseen circumstances.

Check to see how much money you have available to you now, then determine how much you’ll need to save by the time you depart. Then make a point of setting aside X amount of money every week towards that goal (make that part of your manifestation journal’s checklist).

Then write a list of all the equipment you’ll need, and spread that out over the course of your journal. Every couple of weeks, or once a month, go shopping to get X number of items that you will only be using for that trip. Keep them in a huge plastic bin labeled “ARCTIC TRIP,” and check them off as you purchase them.

These are tangible, physical items that will reinforce the fact that oh heck yeah this is real and this is HAPPENING.

Seeing all those items pile up and watching your dedicated holiday savings grow will keep you encouraged as you move forward.

The same goes for literally anything else you’re trying to manifest. If it’s fitness goals, then invest in a new type of exercise equipment once a month or so. Similarly, if it’s coursework you’re completing, you’ll be able to see your online course completion pie chart fill up as you submit your papers and take your online exams.

Use visual cues whenever possible to keep this momentum going. In fact, consider putting up vision boards in various rooms in your home. Seeing these can help to keep you motivated if and when you hit a wall.

3. Get a journal that will entice you to make updates every single day.

Think about what it is you’re aiming to manifest, and then choose a journal that’s going to inspire you along the way. It should be large enough for you to be able to update it daily (and we mean every single day) along your journey, but small enough to write in easily.

Consider how long you’re giving yourself to manifest your goal. Are you giving yourself a year to lose 100 pounds? Six months to train so you can run a marathon? Two years to complete an online associate’s degree program?

Count how many days you expect to be on this path, and then look for a great-looking journal that contains at least that many pages. For example, if you go by the target mentioned above (e.g. losing 100lbs in a year), then aim for a journal that has at least 365 pages in it.

Generally, it’s better to have more pages than you expect to use just in case you need to tear any out, or if you have additional notes to write here and there.

Choose a journal in an aesthetic that you truly love, rather than just one that’s convenient. Sure, standard collegiate-style spiral-bound notebooks are efficient, but are they inspiring to write in? Mehhh.

4. Be consistent with your journal entries (and your progress!)

When it comes to manifesting something that’s incredibly important to you, it’s vital to be consistent with both will and action.

Think of it kind of like establishing a garden. It’s not going to take form overnight, but instead requires small, diligent actions on a daily basis in order to come to fruition. Consistency is key.

When you’re prepping the beds with compost and mulch and planting those astonishingly tiny seeds, it’s nearly impossible to believe that they’ll grow so abundant as to fill your fridge, pantry, and belly quite thoroughly. Yet tend them lovingly with light and water (and patience) every single day, and before you know it, you’ll have armfuls of produce to enjoy.

It’s a good idea to align your journal entry writing with other habits that you do daily. Take some time to analyze your daily schedule and note what you do at the same time, day after day.

Do you sit down with a cup of coffee to scroll through your phone before the kids are up every morning? Then that’s the ideal time to set your daily intentions. It doesn’t take long: just a few jotted notes about what you plan to achieve that day.

Same thing goes for your evening schedule. Do you like to wind down the evening with a cup of herbal tea? Or do you like to read for a bit after an evening bath or shower? Then that’s the time to get your pen out and do your twilight update.

Every morning, create a list of intentions.

These will depend on what it is you’re trying to manifest, as well as how much energy you have to use that particular day.

If you’re doing physical training, for example, you can write down the exercises you plan to do that day. Make them SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.

So you might say that you’ll be doing X sets of X exercises, and then run for 40 minutes. Or, if you’re working on redoing your house, you can say that you plan to have this one room painted with two full coats, by 4pm.

Every evening, write a synopsis of the day.

At the same time every evening, set aside 15 to 20 minutes to go over the goals you’ve set for that day. If you’ve achieved them, put a big check mark or similar beside them. If you haven’t, then carry them over to the next day and make them part of tomorrow’s actionable goals.

At the bottom of the page, write briefly about some things you were proud of. Did you overcome self-doubt? Did you manage to write a paper that had been intimidating you? Or did you discover that you could do 20 more situps than you thought you could?

Were there any moments where you felt like you were self-sabotaging? Or did other issues arise that seemed to hinder you? Write all of this down so you can watch for patterns over time.

By keeping track of issues that arise, you can be more aware of causal factors that may have contributed. Do you get cyclical insomnia or emotional upheaval with the full or dark moon, for example? If so, does that impact your productivity?

5. Make your journal a thing of beauty to keep yourself inspired.

What kind of journal would make you happy to look at? Or, more importantly, what items, tools, etc. would help to keep you inspired to write in your journal on a daily basis?

Do you look forward to using things like stickers and washi tapes to decorate journal pages? Or do you enjoy practicing your handwriting with elegant pens in different ink hues?

Check out Pinterest or Instagram accounts like Notebook Therapy for inspiration, and make your manifestation journal a place of inspiration for you.

This isn’t just a notepad that you’re scrawling random updates into once in a while: it’s an extension of yourself as you manifest something that’s incredibly important to you.

Invest in the tools that will keep you encouraged to use this journal diligently. Get pens that you truly enjoy writing with, for example. Alternatively, if your journal has durable paper, you can even go nuts with watercolor pencils or brush markers.

Use this manifestation journal as an extension of your journey itself. Put as much care and love into updating it as you do towards what it is you’re trying to achieve, and the forward momentum will keep itself going.

6. Create milestones and celebrate them enthusiastically.

As mentioned, we’re aiming for a journal that has at least as many pages as days are needed to manifest your goal. Since you’re making tangible, measurable progress here, you’ll be creating a critical path and work-back schedule to adhere to, right?

This means mapping out milestones to attain along the road.

For instance, if we’re using the 100lb weight loss example mentioned before, then you can create milestones at the three, six, and nine month marks, aiming to lose 25lbs by each marker.

Count how many days will elapse from your journey’s start date to the first marker, since not all months have the same number of days in them. Then count that many pages ahead in your journal and dedicate that page to your first milestone.

Glue a tab sticker onto that page so you can watch it get closer with every passing day. This is a good visual cue that your first milestone is approaching, so you can get excited about achieving that first part of your goal. Decorate this page however you see fit, but make sure to leave some space so you can write down how far you’ve gotten.

Then do the same thing for the second and third markers.

As an added incentive for attaining that milestone, buy yourself some gift cards to favorite places ahead of time, and tape them to these pages. Increase their value and special-ness to reflect just how much work you’ve put into attaining these milestones.

Try to make the gift cards reflect and work with your goal. If you’re going on that Arctic adventure, for example, maybe you can get yourself cards to use towards equipment like new boots or an excellent insulated coat. Working on health and fitness goals? Maybe get yourself some gorgeous bath or skincare products to celebrate the body you’re strengthening.

In fact, you don’t even need to wait for full milestones for this. You can toss some smaller gift cards or coupons in between pages for whenever you need a little boost. Get yourself a new book, your favorite bubble tea, a movie night with the one you love. You’re earning it with every day’s consistent effort.

7. Write random notes ahead of time to keep yourself encouraged.

Collect several quotes, sayings, and other words of encouragement that you know will inspire you when you’re having an off day. Then flip ahead in your journal and write some of those at the top of blank pages. Space them out in between milestone markers to keep you going on “off” days.

Chances are you’ll forget about these over the course of the year, as life has a tendency to distract us with tons of different happenings and responsibilities.

One of these days, you might be feeling a bit down or in need of some encouragement. You’ll open your journal to write down that day’s intentions and find a note from former you to present you, saying that you’re proud of where you are now, and that you know you have the strength and will to keep staying the course.

What better way to keep yourself encouraged than with your own voice? It’ll help, I promise you.

8. Switch things up if and when you feel the need to.

Don’t feel like you have to stick to a particular method or aesthetic throughout the entire journal. We’re all growing and evolving on a constant basis, and you might find new aesthetics or techniques for your journal over the course of this manifestation journey.

For example, you might start out with long paragraphs in cursive writing, but then find that bullet points are far more efficient a few months down the line. Or, you may like things very stark and minimalist at first, but then discover that glitter gel pens, stickers, and taped-in photographs do wonders for your mental health and motivation.

Let the journey inspire your journal. Flow with things as they shift and evolve, and let your journal reflect the new version of yourself that you’re becoming.

9. Try to keep positive about your journey.

Let’s say that you’re manifesting something significant, but it’s going to take a while to take full effect. Maybe you’re doing a distance degree program, or working on losing a significant amount of weight that you’ve been carrying for years.

Since you’re being consistent with your journaling (as well as continued progress), you are achieving forward momentum on a constant basis. The key to remember is that this forward motion is going to vary from week to week.

If you’re on a weight loss journey and you find that you’ve only lost half a pound this week, don’t be hard on yourself for “only” losing that much. Instead, celebrate the fact that heck yes: you lost half a pound! That’s half a pound less than you were last week, showing that you are indeed moving forward on your path.

Similarly, if you could “only” do some of your course’s required reading this week instead of writing two essays because you had the flu or needed to catch up on other life stuff, that’s absolutely okay. You completed some of the required reading, and that’s awesome!

Check that off your list and put a sticker next to the achievement in your journal.

It’s easy to fall into downward spirals when and if we don’t make the strides we’re hoping for, but that’s not going to do us any good in the long run. Instead, we focus on positivity and gratitude and keep moving forward. In fact, on that note…

10. Add gratitude prompts at regular intervals.

Remember how you wrote down little quotes and notes of encouragement to discover here and there at the tops of some of your journal pages? Well, consider doing the same thing with gratitude prompts at some of the bottoms of other pages.

Something as simple as “Write down one thing that you’re grateful for today” can reset your perspective, especially if that day was particularly hard.

One person I know is currently on a journey towards losing 120lbs. They were feeling daunted about the fact that they’ve “only” lost 62lbs so far and still have “so much more to lose…”, so I asked them what they were grateful for today: right here and now.

They took a moment and said that they were grateful for the fact that they were able to take a beautiful long walk along the beach with their kids for the first time in a few years, without getting exhausted after just a few minutes.

That simple realization was enough to shift their mood from feeling discouraged to inspired about how much more they’d be able to do with their family at the end of this journey. 

11. Be gentle with yourself.

Don’t give yourself a hard time if you have “bad days.” Life happens, and sometimes we need to make adjustments accordingly.

This can be as subtle as having to eat some unwanted carbs while doing Keto because that’s the only food your stomach can handle after a belly bug, or as intense as having to take some time off working on that novel you’re writing because of a death in the family.

Remember that every minute of every single day gives us the opportunity to start anew.

If you step off the path of forward momentum that you’ve been on, that’s okay. Don’t berate yourself for daring to do so, but don’t be too lax about it either. Instead of saying that you’ll start back on track again tomorrow, choose this moment right here to hit the reset button.

Why wait?

You have the opportunity to step back on that path with your next breath, so choose to do so rather than writing today off as a loss.

If it helps, consider doing something that helps you jump the groove to a solid reset, such as taking a shower. Use this as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean (quite literally!), and then step right back on the path that you veered from. Dry off, put on some clothes that make you feel amazing and capable, and get back on that horse.

By taking these tangible steps towards your goal, you’re taking your destiny into your own hands. Rather than relying on hopes, dreams, prayers, or “the power of positive thinking” to manifest what you want, you’re putting real plans into action.

Quite simply, you’re stepping into your role as the author of your own story.

This manifestation journal isn’t a magical item that’s going to make all your dreams a reality. It’s simply a tool that your magical self is using to keep you on track as you put in the hard work to make it so. And you are going to get there!

Just keep consistent every day, and you’ll be in a very different place a week, a month, a year from now.

You got this.

You may also like:

About The Author

Catherine Winter is an herbalist, INTJ empath, narcissistic abuse survivor, and PTSD warrior currently based in Quebec's Laurentian mountains. In an informal role as confidant and guide, Catherine has helped countless people work through difficult times in their lives and relationships, including divorce, ageing and death journeys, grief, abuse, and trauma recovery, as they navigate their individual paths towards healing and personal peace.