image by olivander
I get lots of emails from people with variations of below comments:
I used to journal, but just got out of the habit.
I want to start a journal, but I don’t have time to write every day.
I want to journal, but I just can’t maintain the habit.
Does any of that resonate with you? Do you want to journal, but you are unable to develop a habit? Do you run out of things to write in your journal? Developing a journaling habit is pretty similar to developing any other habit. You’ve got to want to do it, and you need to practice it enough. I have some tips to get you started.
5 Ways to Develop a Consistent Journaling Habit
1. Set aside regular time
When developing a habit for anything, consistency is the key. If you can set aside at least five minutes a day, that’s better than 10 hours once a month. If you absolutely can’t set aside daily time, then try to create a twice a week, or even once a week habit.
In the early stages, consistency is the key. Therefore, try to set aside time at the same time, on same days.
2. Focus on just getting something down.
One of my life goals is to learn to write with my right hand as well as I do with my left hand. But I am not very motivated to practice. I get frustrated by the slow pace, and bad hand-writing. So I came up with a simple solution. I only have to write 2 sentences a day with my right hand. Two sentences is nothing. Even the laziest person should be able to do that.
Two sentences don’t make a lot of difference, certainly not in the short term. But they do instil a habit. Just writing two sentences also enables me to get used to holding the pen with my right hand, and just making words. I may not have a great hand-writing, but at least I am able to write perfectly legible sentences.
Two-sentences is a plausible goal for me, especially because this particular skill is not a priority for me right now.
You can do the same thing with journaling. Decide to write just two sentences a day, or a paragraph, or a page. Whatever works for you. Just have an easy goal to get some words down in your journal every single day, and before you know it, you will have a completed journal.
3. Use random free-writing sessions
Whenever you have some free time on your hands, use random free-writing sessions to get bursts of journaling inspiration going. Free-writing is great to get you in the zone. You set a timer for a specific length of time, and then just write…write…write!
4. Use Lists
Lists may be considered anal, but they can also be a great medium for tapping into creativity. Lists are also make perennial journal prompts when you are at a loss for what to write. Just start making lists. Make lists of your favourite things, of things you hate, of your strongest memories, of the people you love…you get the idea. You can make lists of just about everything.
You can also use lists to do a free-writing exercise. If you want to instil a journaling habit, but don’t really know what to write everyday, then you could have a goal of just writing a list of 10 things that happened during your day, or 10 things you liked in your day, or just 10 random things. There are infinite ways to use lists.
5. Use doodles and drawings
Don’t just limit yourself to writing. If you are a more visual person, or just fancy expressing yourself through doodles and drawings, then do that. Your journaling does not have to be limited to words. Use any medium that works for you.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
Start yourself on a 30-day challenge to develop a consistent journaling habit, starting today!