8 Steps To Take To Turn Journaling Into A Daily Habit
Have you ever tried to journal, but had difficulty making it ‘stick’?
Well, one reason why might be a lack of consistency. One of the best ways to developing the habit of journaling is to make it a daily habit. That way you can reap its full benefits. The problem is that forming new habits is often easier said than done. If you're having trouble creating a daily journal practice, read on for several tips to get started:
1. Use The Real Thing
While journaling in an app or on your computer can be great, it doesn’t always put writing top of mind. A physical journal kept where you can see it is a visual reminder to write.
2. Write In Something You Love
Rather than settling for a notebook or random scraps of paper, find a spectacular journal. Choose your journal with care and it’ll become a joy to use, increasing the likelihood of writing in it daily.
3. Make It Part Of Your Morning Routine
Instead of waiting to write at the end of the day, do it first thing in the morning instead. Morning pages can be a great start to you day. Getting up a few minutes earlier each day can give you the time that you need to think and write without being rushed.
4. Try Using Writing Prompts
Sometimes staring at a blank page can be overwhelming, making it harder to write because you feel like you don't know what to say. If that’s been your experience, try writing prompts.
Writing prompts are questions or statements that allow you to express your thoughts and feelings about a specific topic. Here are a few to get you started:
What have you always secretly longed to do?
What is the number one location on your bucket travel list?
What has been the most interesting time in your life so far?
What is your favorite color and why?
Consider creating your own writing prompts. Your inspiration can come from anywhere, books, movies or even your favorite songs. If all else fails, there’s always Google!
5. Use Phone Reminders
One of the joys of being alive in the 21st century is access to smartphones (although some might argue otherwise). If you have a hectic schedule and don't always get a chance to journal because you forget to do it, putting a reminder on your phone is a quick and easy solution.
Set your daily reminder for a time of day when you can take a few minutes to write.
6. Use a Timer
Sometimes the idea of writing seemingly endlessly can lead to paralysis and we don’t write. A timer can help with this. Set your timer for 10 15 or 20 minutes, not too long so those feelings of being overwhelmed don’t come back.
Write for the duration of your timer. And before you know it, your writing for the day will be done!
7. Know Your Reasons
Sometimes we have trouble building habits when we're unclear about how the new action will truly benefit us. If this sounds familiar then take a few minutes to figure out WHY you want to journal. What are you hoping to get out of the experience? What change are you looking for?
8. Make it Fun
No matter what, a habit is impossible to form if you're trying to do something you hate. Journal in a way that works for you. If that means stickers or colorful pens, then so be it. Journaling shouldn't feel like a chore. It should be enjoyable. After all, journaling is a way of managing your stress before your stress manages you.
The main thing to remember in building any habit is to be consistent and give things time. If you keep writing every day over a few weeks, before you know it, you’ll have developed a new habit. You can do it, it's all about Making Time.
Let’s talk, what steps will you take to develop your daily journaling habit? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a facilitator, stress management coach and author of “Yes I’m Grateful,” a gratitude journal. She believes in empowering her clients to help them manage their stress and increase self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or LinkedIn