Making the decision to start a daily journal writing practice is usually far easier than actually beginning to journal. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Once you begin, you can shift your style or abandon your style for another that makes more sense or is a better fit.
Here are some great things to ask yourself before you start your journaling practice:
✓ How do I want to express myself when I journal?
✓ How much time do I have to spend journaling?
✓ Where do I want to do my journaling?
✓ Is there an activity I love that I can use as a form of journaling?
✓ What is my goal in creating this journal?
Answering these questions helps you choose the best method and time frame to begin journaling. Now all you need is to pick the method and time frame that suits you and begin.
Things to Consider When Starting a Journaling Practice
Find a pen that is smooth and effortless to use. Decide if you love a notebook that lays flat, a bound blank book or notepad.
If you are using an electronic notebook make sure you are in a comfortable space whereever you work.
Be on the lookout for tools that will make journaling fun and time well spent.
Time is Key
Find time when you have peace and quiet and are fully charged to do your journaling. This may only be before the family wakes in the morning or after they go to bed.
Perhaps you will have to journal in the car between activities for your kids.
You don’t always need a lot of time, either.
Sometimes I only have – literally! – a few minutes. And sometimes those few minutes are all I need to jot down the thoughts that are clogging up my thinking.
Sometimes I just need to make a list – a to-do list, a list of things I want to get, a quick list of new things to add to my bucket list…you get the idea!
Be intentional about creating a routine you can count on when you start to journal.
Time may be a commodity, but there are ways to increase your productivity when journaling.
Reduce distractions, including unnecessary noises. Turn off the radio, television or close your door.
Go outside and listen to the sound of nature or turn on a fan or white noise device.
Limit the number of people in your personal space and consider diffusing oils or having a scented candle burning.
Make your space a special place for you to turn inward.
Ideally, you conjure a contemplative state where you can freely write what comes to mind.
Do What Comes Naturally
The best way to begin journaling is by doing what already comes naturally.
If you love to write long, detailed entries, make the time to do it – pencil it in your calendar, tell your friends and family you have an appointment you can’t miss, and get to it.
If you are a list maker like me, start listing your thoughts down in nice neat rows.
If you are a talker and a runner, consider an audio journal that you can dictate into while you do double duty as you exercise.
Have a Why
Anytime there is a solid why to what you do, you are more likely to stick with it. Knowing why you are journaling helps get you going and keeps you going.
If you are trying to lose weight or manage a health issue, knowing that you are journaling your food intake for your health will keep you motivated.
Starting to journal creatively isn’t difficult and the fun begins when you make the decision to start.
From finding the perfect tools to expressing yourself in a natural and effortless way, you will be on your way to recording important history about your life before you know it.
Join WriteLifeDown’s Creative Camp!
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