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.
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!