How to Make Journaling a Habit

One quick thing to note about journaling before I dive in with my tips on how to make it a habit is to know there is no wrong way to do it! Journaling can be so personal, so just make it yours! Don’t worry about rules or how I do it, just get started, ok?

Buy a journal that gets you excited

This is an enjoyable part of journaling if you ask me. I am a planner and journal queen! I recently just finished my Paperchase journal, which did me so well & lasted just under a year before all the pages were filled to the brim. I do love a pretty & good quality journal. Anyone else!?

But even if you do not get as excited as me about picking out your journal, try to have some fun with it. Get something that reflects your personality. Maybe that means getting a neutral colour, or maybe it means something bright. Make it your own!

Pick a time dedicated to journaling

If you want journaling to become a real, daily habit, the best way to do it (at least for me) is to pick a dedicated time for it. You know I love to journal during my quiet time most evenings. I use my journaling time to connect with God but also to write out all the things that my brain will not stop trying to remind me of. Getting it down on paper really helps my brain calm down so that I can focus on more important things like what I am learning in life, my intentions for the day/week, etc.

However, I know some of us prefer & also have more time in the mornings. Especially during this lockdown season where a majority of us have the privilege of working from home. If you have the luxury of fitting it in first thing in the mornings, try it then!

Do not stress about what you are going to write

This is why buying a guided journal or one with prompts can be very helpful for some of us. Journaling should not be something that stresses you out! Although I do prefer to be free-flowing with my journals, like I said above, there is no wrong way to do it. If you are are unsure, here are a few prompts to get you started:

  • Do you have any current fears?
  • What are your wildest dreams? Sky’s the limit!
  • How do you feel? What is upsetting you?
  • What is bringing you joy right now?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What is stressing you out?
  • What do you want out of life?
  • Write a letter to the future you
  • Write a letter to the teenage you
  • List out all the adventures you want to go on in the near future
  • List out all the things that make you happy

As you can see, there are NO rules to this! Find a pen and just let the words start pouring out of you. And as much as some of you might want to, resist the urge to edit what you write! Misspellings, grammatical errors, etc. – let it all go and just write, Lord knows it works for me.

Stay consistent

Like building any habit, you have to be consistent with it. Even on the days where it really feels like a chore, I challenge you to still do it and then take a second to think about how you feel afterwards. It is kind of like working out – you might not want to do it sometimes, but you will never regret it. Tell yourself you are just going to write the date down and one word to describe how you are feeling. And then I am sure you will end up writing more. But even if you do not, that is OKAY. It is always better to keep showing up regardless – that is the hard part.

One of the biggest tips I have on the consistency front is to keep your journal with you 24/7! Get one you can fit in your handbag (it can be separate from your everyday journal at home or it can be the same) so whenever a mood or feeling hits you, you can immediately write it down. I have found that doing it in the moment like this also helps it feel less like a to-do and more of a habit.

Reflect on it

This might feel like something you can skip but do not! I have found reflection to be a crucial step in making anything a habit. It gives me a chance to remember why I wanted journaling to be a habit to begin with. It can be really fun to look back at all that you have written in the past, too. Sometimes mine look like craziness all mashed together on a page, but other times I feel like I can see the personal growth between whatever I wrote and where I am in that moment, which is honestly an amazing feeling.

And with that, I want to add that reflection also allows time to recognise your accomplishments. This is something I do not think I personally take enough time to do, which is why I wanted to mention it. Celebrating small milestones and moments of personal growth is important and having a record of them in your journal is an amazing opportunity to reflect back.

Do not overwhelm yourself

Journaling is meant to be helpful so do not turn it into something stressful by aiming too high too soon. If journaling every day feels like too big of a commitment to start out with, then go with every other day or even just a few times a week for a quick 5 minutes. There is zero shame in starting small and working your way into it.

At the end of the day, do not overthink it! There is no wrong way to journal, I promise you that!

Enjoy your quiet time my lovelies & let me know how it goes for you!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

Continue Reading

Related Posts:

3 Reasons Why I Love Prayer Journaling

Happy New Month my lovelies!

We are officially in JULY! & I WELCOME this month with open arms because not only has God kept me by His safe and by His side to see the middle of 2020 but He has given me the grace to see my 27th birthday month!

I decided to do something different this month of July. Each week this month, I will be discussing all things relating to Journaling specifically Prayer Journaling.

Why?

It has been such a blessing in my life & by God’s grace, it will give you some great ideas if you are in a journaling rut or want to incorporate journaling into your own faith journey!

I mentioned how you can incorporate journaling into one’s week in a previous post. Check it out here.

Three reasons I find journaling helpful:

Journaling Helps Think It Out

There are some days where I just need process what I am thinking properly, get it all OUT of my head and put them somewhere else. Sometimes I talk it out loud, go on my prayer walks but I have really found that writing it down is more helpful for me.

My journal is a sacred space where I can get all the good, bad, and the ugly down on paper and sort it out with God. I try not to filter myself when writing and let my mind go where it needs to. And sometimes writing it down, helps me see that my feelings actually do not align with what I want or with reality even. And sometimes, I realise they do not make sense and something about that feels freeing at the moment. Other times, as I write things down, I am able to uncover lies I am believing, which is a starting point for turning things around.

As I am writing, God often brings scripture to mind that helps me take all the things I feel and think and process them through the perspective of His truth.

This is important because my feelings can go all over the map, but to process them through truth on paper makes sure I land in a place with less of my human perspective of more of a God perspective.

Journaling Helps Me Have A Record Of What God Is Teaching Me

I am often so encouraged when I look back in my journal and I am reminded of what God was teaching me at particular times. When I am on the other side of specific prayers and can see his faithfulness, it encourages me to trust Him more. Also, I am reminded He is working even when I think He is not!

Through my journals, I have a record of His faithfulness to refer back to when the present feels difficult or when I lack hope. I also use it to write down scripture I am reading through or how certain verses are specifically impacting me at that time.

I mentioned in my first ever Honey Luxe post (3 Ways To Give Your Prayer Life A Boost) how journaling can support one’s prayer life.

It brings me joy just simply writing out scripture – just picking a verse and then writing it down in my journal. I have found that when I am really struggling to focus, it is helpful for me to write a bit of scripture down. As I slow down enough to write it out, I am able to focus on it more and really let it sink in.

Journaling Helps Me Remember

When you were a child you probably could not tell if you were getting taller from one day to the next because growing is a slow process, but from one year to the next you could see a big difference! It can be the same in our spiritual life.

I do not see what God is doing from one day to the next all the time because spiritually maturing can also be a slow process, but when I look back at a journal from a year ago I am honestly blown away! I have a reference point through my journal to see all that God has done and how I have matured in my faith and in my relationship with Him.

It reminds me that He is producing character and good fruit in me when day to day faithfulness feels like I am trudging through mud. I need that reminder that growing little by little each day will eventually yield noticeable growth in my life and I love having a record of the process in my journal.

Well, there are definitely more benefits to share, but those are the major reasons why I find journaling helpful in my faith!

Do you journal?

If so, how has prayer journaling helped you in your relationship with God?

Stay tuned for my next post in this series that will give you some different ideas on WHAT you can journal when you spend time with God!

Let me know your thoughts!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

Continue Reading

Related Posts:

Fuel For Thought: PRAYER

How Distractions Can Actually Fuel Your Prayer Life

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Imagine this… You sit down to pray. Then you close your eyes to all distractions and begin to speak to God. Start pouring your heart out to Him and then…

You remember you forgot to get milk at the supermarket earlier that day.

GREAT. Okay, you begin again. You are on a roll now, praying for a friend’s recent health concerns…

When a picture of the unpaid electric bill you have been meaning to take care of flashes through your mind!

Does any of this sound familiar? It has happened to me too many times to count! Maybe not the exact details, but do you ever find when you are trying your best to clear your mind and focus on God, the distractions come flooding in one by one, like little relentless attackers?

If so, then I have good news: it is actually okay for your mind to wander when you pray. It happens and honestly, I promise you are not a failure at prayer if you are easily distracted.

Let me say it again because you really need to know this:

You are not a failure at prayer if you are easily distracted!

This is so important because the feeling that we are a prayer-failure is one of the biggest blocks to becoming the prayer warrior God is calling us to be!

Satan would really love for us to begin to pray, encounter distractions, and give up.

But that is not our portion! Did you know that you can actually use distractions to our advantage?

I thought of three steps we can take in order to use our distractions as the momentum to fuel our prayers. Let me tell you how it works:

Step 1: Expect the Distractions

Let us face it, we live in a fast-paced world. Words and images flash past our phone screens more quickly than our brains were probably designed to handle. We have been trained to multi-task as a way of life. Is there any question why it is so hard to quiet our minds to connect with God, or to create white space for meditation and reflection?

So be realistic when you decide to begin your quiet time. Stop expecting that sitting still is going to come easily right away…because it is not!

Expect the distractions to come because they will.

Anticipate the attack.

Step 2: Embrace the Distractions

So now you know the attack is coming. What are you going to do about it? Now that you are fully aware distractions may come. You are going to embrace them as they come at you! Embrace your distractions…by writing them down, then continuing to pray. They may be something weighing heavily on your heart and what better time than now during your quiet prayer time to focus on it. Or it could be something important you need to do at a later point in time. You will need to be armed with a journal/notebook or even just paper and a pen, and so when you think about the milk you forgot at the supermarket…

Write it down.

As the picture of the unpaid bill flashes through your mind…

Write it down.

The mere act of writing your distractions on paper captures them, robbing them of any power they might have over the rest of your prayer time. They are captives on your list, to be dealt with only when you decide to deal with them – on your OWN terms.

Step 3: Utilize the Distractions

Okay, now we this is where we use the distractions to actually fuel our prayers.

Here is how it might look:

You are praising God and remember the forgotten milk. You write a note down so you remember to put milk on your shopping list for next time, and shift into praising God for providing the means to buy the shopping for your family. This might remind you of the homeless shelter you volunteered at, and the woman with three young children who was interviewing for a job the following week. You go with it and pray for God’s provision and for the interview to go well.

Then you move on to praying for your friend’s health, and get distracted when you realize you have not paid the electric bill. You write down a reminder to remember to pay it later, and then shift into asking God to provide for the physical and financial needs of your friend and her family, like utilities and housing.

By doing this, not only are all of your distractions dealt with immediately, but they are actually FUEL for your prayers! And an added bonus is that it actually trains your mind to shift your thinking to prayer in many different, seemingly non-spiritual circumstances.

By God’s grace, these three tips will help you leverage distractions to fuel your prayer life? Try it, and let me know!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

Continue Reading

Related Posts: