Developing Daily Journaling Habit for the New Year


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It’s the middle of January, which means we are now firmly in 2016. I hope you’ve now stopped scribbling 2015 by mistake, and that the New Year’s Eve hangover is properly gone. Welcome to 2016!!

If  you haven’t already begun, now is the time to think about what positive changes you want to make this year, and what goals you want to accomplish. And developing a journaling habit, is both a good habit and an excellent goal.

A quick list of 10 reasons why you might want to develop this habit:

  1. Create headspace by emptying out your thoughts
  2. Catharsis
  3. Make sense of what’s going on with you
  4. Understand patterns of behaviour
  5. Get unstuck
  6. Learn more about your self
  7. Learn more about your environment
  8. Set goals
  9. Record your journey towards achieving your goals
  10. Leave a legacy

Of course benefits of journaling are not limited to just above reasons, but even those ten reasons are pretty impressive. It’s a testament to just how much journaling can achieve. Look at majority of successful leaders – either historical or modern day – in all fields, from business leaders, to writers and artists, from presidents to solopreneurs: they all keep a journal. Some may call it a notebook, a log, a diary…but regardless of the name, they keep a journal that supports them in their endeavors. Journaling has survived through centuries in all its different forms because IT WORKS! If you need more convincing, read 10 Benefits of Keeping a Daily Journal.

I am going to assume that’s convinced you that you should develop a journaling habit. So now, let’s think about HOW you can do that.

Here are 7 quick ways to instill a journaling habit:

  1. Schedule 5 minutes a day. Don’t get over-ambitious. Start small, but remain consistent.
  2. Buy a quality journal that you like. And a nice, comfortable pen. This enhances the experience of keeping a journal.
  3. If you don’t know what to write, use journaling prompts. You can find them all over the internet, including this website (just use the search phrase – journaling exercise.) You can have a year’s worth of prompts – and some more – from my book 365 Days of Journaling.
  4. If you skip a day, don’t obsess about it. Failing one day doesn’t mean there is no point in carrying on. It means you let it go, and pick up your pen the next day, and keep writing. 
  5. Treat yourself with a time and place. For example, make a date with your journal in your favourite café. Have that latte you love, while you journal.
  6. Journal with a friend. You don’t need to share your entries, you don’t even need to talk about what you write, but you can share the experience of doing it – such as set a target to write together for 10 minutes, or set exercises that you both do together. Make it a social thing, and hold each other accountable.
  7. Try new things. Journaling is not supposed to be a chore, or a boring process. Try different prompts, different styles. Experiment. There are no rules. Go with whatever you feel like, and you will eventually discover what works the best for you. 

So, if you haven’t already got one, get yourself a journal and get writing. 



Create your own daily journaling  challenge, and start NOW. 



2 thoughts on “Developing Daily Journaling Habit for the New Year

  1. A simple tip I have started this year… And it takes less than 5 minutes – is to write three gratitudes – and I have set a limit that I cannot be grateful for the same thing twice. Often I have expanded one of the points – it is adding some great positivity to the start of my day!

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