I have been a journal keeper for most of life. Ever since I was about seven or eight, I’ve had some form of journal close at hand to collect my thoughts. Writing in a journal has been a way to relieve stress, process my feelings, keep track and accountability of my goals, and channel my creativity. The pages are sacred to me, and have served throughout my life as my therapist, coach, and muse.
The beauty of keeping a journal is that it’s completely your own. They are the pages of your life, a written expression of everything you are. There are no rules for what you’ll use it for, how often you’ll write, or what it will look like. A journal can be an organized system for logging, planning and strategizing, it can be a collection of poems or recipes, or it can be a space to scrawl intricate doodles. You can save it, or you can burn it. How ever you decide to use your journal, have no doubt that its pages and process will add to your life, serve your authenticity, and help you know, heal, and accept yourself.
“Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and your learning in life. It offers a place a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.” -Robin Sharma
For as many ways as there are to use a journal, there are as many ways to build a practice of journaling. When, where, and how often are customizable to your life and things to consider when deciding to begin your practice.
How to Begin a Journaling Practice:
1. Why are you starting a journal?
What is your journal for, how do you intend to use it, and how will the practice serve you? Is it a way to handle emotions and stress, keep track of goals and progress, a space to plan and strategize, an accountability tool, a space for creative expression, or pages to record stories and experiences? Or is it something else entirely? The journaling possibilities are endless and can be catered to fit your best interest.
2. How often will you journal?
Once you know the intention of your journaling practice, decide how often you will sit down to write. What will best serve your intention? Is it once a month, week, or everyday? Will you journal at the beginning of the month/week or at the end? Is a morning or evening practice best for your daily routine? Make a plan that realistically fits into your lifestyle and tendencies.
3. What will be your reminder?
Adopting new habits, and practices, require a cue – something that will trigger you to engage in that activity or behavior. What will be your cue to sit down with your journal? Maybe it will accompany your morning coffee, or be the last thing you do before you curl up in bed. Create a cue: an alarm on your phone, a post-it note on your coffee mug, or placing the journal on your favorite spot on the couch. Do something to remind yourself of your new habit.
4. How will you make it an enjoyable experience?
Make your practice something you look forward to. If not to make you more likely to do it, than simply because journaling is an enjoyable activity! You are choosing a practice that serves you, so make sure it does! Brew some tea or coffee, put on your favorite music, get comfortable, and enjoy the time you’ve set aside for yourself.
5. Uphold your commitment.
You’ve made a commitment to yourself and your well-being, honor it. Self-care or personal time is essential and important – just as important as all those tasks on your to-do list. Recognize that importance, your importance, and stick to your commitments.
6. Subscribe to inspiration.
I offer a free email subscription that provides you with weekly journaling prompts, self-coaching exercises, and inspiration designed to help you deepen self-awareness, build self-acceptance, and get all the benefits of journaling. This weekly email is a great way to get started with your journaling practice! SUBSCRIBE HERE!
7. Give it time.
All new habits and practices take time, and consistent practice, to develop. Give it time, and enjoy the process of perfecting your new practice!
P.S. Be sure to check out 5 Steps to Get the Most Out of Your Journaling Practice!
What are your barriers to journaling?
What has held you back from starting or maintaining a regular journaling practice?
I want to hear from you! Contact me here, or leave a comment below! ❤
Keep calm and journal on!