To some people, the thought of keeping a journal may seem a bit infantile – but the good news is that you don’t have to start your journal passages with “Dear Diary.”

Beyond the more obvious benefits, such as record-keeping and therapeutic relief, read on for a few more reasons to consider journaling.

Travel plans and trips

Keeping a travel journal can include tickets, time-tables, maps, postcards, sketches as well as descriptions of all the wonderful places you visited, people you met and overall impressions.

Keep a food journal

With so many people turning to a healthy diet, keeping a journal of what you eat and drink helps to monitor your intake of all the right nutrients. Nutritionists frequently recommend keeping a food diary for weight loss. Include favorite recipes and menus for the week ahead.

Building new habits

Making changes in our lives, such as giving up smoking or healthy eating, frequently requires new habits. Recording them in your journal helps to keep you on track.

Getting in touch with your feelings, values and/or beliefs

Recording how we feel about the challenges life throws at us can be a source of comfort and allows us to work out how to overcome these difficulties in a private space.

Creative writing practice

Use your journal as a place to practice creative writing. Just pick a topic and off you go. Maybe add a ‘Word of the Day’ to expand your vocabulary.

Celebrating successes

There’s nothing more rewarding than achieving a goal, however small. Making a point of recording the times when things have gone well gives you something to look back on when events take a turn for the worse. You’ve achieved success once, you can do it again.

Tell Me: Do you keep a journal? If so, how do you feel it benefits you?