This was the exact situation I was in a year ago. I had heard of journaling, did my research, found out about its amazing benefits, but never got around to take a moment out of my day to do it. I even bought a notebook, put it on my desk with a black pen next to it. But never touched them. I woke up everyday, looking at them on my desk. I knew deep down I wanted to do it. But I just didn’t know where to start. Here is what I find helped me the most.
1. Identify your goal
Why do you want to start journaling in the first place? There are many reasons to start
- Keep memories
- Reduce stress
- Improve mental clarity
- Focus on your personal growth
- Let go of things that weigh you down
- Let out anger and frustration
- Motivate yourself and track your progress
- Start your gratitude practice and lead a more positive and happier life
Start journaling with a purpose. Write down why you decided to started your own personal journal. It can be as simple as: “I want to reduce my stress. I know that journaling will be a great way for me to just let it go.”
2. Digital or paper
Pick whether you want to type your entry to write it down on paper. Each one of them have its benefits and drawbacks.
- Digital: your personal journal is accessible on your phone all the time. It is great if you are on the go, traveling, like to take photos. You can write anywhere, on the bus when you’re on your way to work or school. It doesn’t take much space, you cannot lose it.
- Paper: it allows you to be a bit more creative if you like to draw, use different colors. There is also that mind on paper connection that sometimes is very therapeutic because you’re “letting it out”. You’ll just have to remember to carry your journal around if you’re on the go, and make sure you don’t lose it so you can look back on your progress.
3. Fit journaling into your routine, not the other way around
The reason why it took me so long to start journaling is because I thought it would take me 30 minutes or more than an hour to write down stuff. I just didn’t want (yet) to dedicate that amount of time to this practice. Like many of you reading this, I just have lots to do and think about as soon as I wake up, and unfortunately journaling was not yet on top of my priority list.
The big questions is: How long do you want to dedicate to journaling?
Start with 2 minutes in the morning with some gratitude prompts and positive affirmations. This two-minute practice will go a long way, trust me. That’s how I start my day, everyday. That’s why Andrew and I made the app for. I needed something fast and easy. The app give me the place I need to write my thoughts, wherever I am (because my phone is always with me!).
4. Start writing
My number one recommendation is: start with bullet points or a list.
This is what I do, in that particular order:
- List three things I am grateful for
- List three things I really want to accomplish today
- List three positive affirmations
And these lists will get me going. I will start writing one thing or person I am grateful for and the reason why. I find that it flows from there.
I hope you found this article useful.
Do you have any other tips or questions? Tell me in the comments.