This post originally appeared on my daily journal prompt website a few years ago called Daily Aspire.
Journaling has been a game changer for me. While most of the time, I choose to follow a gratitude journaling practice, I do also break out my notebook just to work through the thoughts in my head, document certain things, or try to figure out what I’m feeling.
Whether or not you are new to journaling, starting a new habit can be tricky. I totally get it. We are really excited before it all begins so those first few days (maybe even weeks) we stick with it, the adrenaline just carries us through. Then it starts to fade, we find ourselves busy and making excuses and next thing you know, it’s been two weeks and we haven’t even thought about it.
I find this to be true regardless of the healthy habit we’re trying to create – journaling, meditation, yoga, exercise, meal prep, etc. I think you get the picture. But I want this to be different. I want this to be a habit you can maintain. As such, I’ve pulled together five of my top tips for creating a consistent journaling habit. Ready?
1 – Start with 5-10 minutes
This may not seem like much but if you try to schedule out anything more than that (especially in the beginning), it’s going to feel like a burden which is the last thing we want. Start small and as you feel necessary, add to it. I recommend setting a timer. I promise it will go by much quicker than you think.
2 – Get a new notebook & pen
It’s possible I’m the only one who gets excited about new school or office supplies, but this new notebook and/or pen could be just the thing you need! This isn’t to say you can’t do your journaling on an electronic device but to me, there’s something even more personal about opening up a notebook and writing out those words by hand.
3 – Find your spot
Make sure it’s quiet, comfortable and inspirational. This may mean you need to do your journaling in the morning before anyone is up or at night after the kids go to bed. It doesn’t matter to me when you do it, just so long as you are getting that time for yourself so you can really look inward.
4 – Don’t worry about grammar
Bad grammar and terrible spelling is a major pet peeve of mine. It’s not to say I don’t ever fall victim (I’m human, after all) but when it comes to journaling, no one is going to be reading this, except maybe you 20 years down the road, so don’t worry about the spelling and grammar being perfect. If you focus too much on that, you’ll lose sight of what your feeling. Let it go and just write.
5 – Enjoy it
Seriously, this is supposed to be fun! Of course, there will be days when the words aren’t flowing and you get frustrated, or maybe the prompt is hitting really close to home and you can’t help but shed a few tears. I get it and I promise, that’s normal. But while all of this is happening, I hope you also find it enjoyable.
Do you journal? What are some of your trips to make it a habit and start journaling?