Developing a journaling habit is not easy. Like other habits, the beginning stage can feel frustrating and impossible, leading to abandoning the effort altogether.
I want to share a few tips with you that have helped me continue journaling for several decades.
1. Make It Easy
You’ve probably heard this over and over again from me, but I can’t stress the importance of this in helping you start a journaling habit.
MAKE IT EASY on yourself. You don’t have to do it exactly what it looks like for someone else.
You don’t have to complicate things or make it feel like a chore.
You have to figure out what works for you.
And so, what works for you? Pen & paper? Voice recorder? Computer? Tablet?
Whatever it is, please do it for a few minutes a day or a week and see how it feels. You’ll be surprised at what can work.
2. Buddy Up
Buddying up means two things.
One, it could be you find a friend, coworker, or family member who is willing to join a journaling journey with you even if it’s just for a little bit.
I don’t know about you, but there’s something about being accountable to someone else that sometimes helps me gain new habits.
Part of it is that I don’t like to break my promises, not to myself and especially not to others. And when I team up with someone, I don’t want them to miss out on something because I didn’t follow through with what I said.
The second thing buddying up means is to buddy up the habit of journaling with something else you are already doing.
This part is about reflecting on why building habits like this have not worked for you before.
(A journal is sooo helpful for this part if you wanted to use this as a journal prompt)
What is it about how you have been trying to journal that has felt like a chore, or that has made it so difficult?
For instance, even though I have been journaling since I was eight, at one point, it became more like a chore, which caused me to do it less and less.
But once I figured out that the way I was journaling was not helping me because I was not journaling the way I LIKE to journal.
And I started journaling with the idea that someone else was going to be reading what I wrote. It became censured.
Then I was able to change things so that I LOVED journaling. It was helping me to think, reflect, plan, heal, and flourish.
All the things I listed above is the power of journaling.
Remember, when you are journaling, you are doing it for you. Let go of any fear you might have that someone will read it and get upset at you.
If you spend your life so worried about what other people will think about your inner thoughts with yourself, you will restrict yourself and your growth.
People should not cross your boundaries by reading your journal. And if they do, then that’s on them.
Besides, are those the kind of people you genuinely want in your life? Is it worth filtering and censuring yourself to keep this person in your life?
I want to leave you with this parting thought;
Journal for you.
Do what works for you.
Allow yourself to connect with your inner self and give yourself the time you need to be honest with yourself.
Life is too short AND too long to live unhappy and disconnected.
You can be your best friend, which allows you to become the best of friends to others.