Essential Tips For A Successful Daily Journaling Practice
Most individuals will buy the notebook, the pen, the accessories, and trimmings at least once in their life, maybe even once a year. But very rarely is the act of journaling every day as a practice kept for more than a week at a time. So, for something that in theory is so simple, why do we find keeping a journal so difficult?
‘I don’t have enough time’
‘The kids just take all my energy’
‘It never did anything for me’
‘I always seemed to be negative about my life’
‘It took so long to do every day’
These are just some of the excuses I’ve heard over the years, and all of them are valid. But they’re often showing us why we need a journaling practice, rather than why we shouldn’t be incorporating one into our lives.
As someone who has journaled solidly for around five years now and incorporates it as a technique in my therapeutic coaching programme; I can vouch not only for the health benefits of keeping a journaling practice, but also the creative benefits. It’s a great way to start consolidating a life where you focus on the quality of the moments that fill your day, and the importance of the simple elements which we often take for granted. Often the biggest steps in our healing, simplifying and self-love journeys is to believe that we are worth the time and energy it takes to invest in something as easy as a journaling practice – so in case no one told you today…you are worth it.
How to develop a consistent daily journalig habit
I believe that everyone should have a journaling practice and the ability to incorporate one into their lives, so from me to you here are the 5 Essential Tips For A Successful Daily Journaling Practice; tried, tested and successfully implemented:
1. Eliminate the fear factor
The notebook you buy sets the tone for how you view your journaling practice. Take the time to browse in several shops both online and on the high street; touch the pages, see whether you like the idea of writing on lines, dots, squares, or blank sheets…finding a notebook that you have to use every single day means that you should be investing in one you connect with and get excited about using.
I would always suggest using a notebook that’s physical rather than digital, this is because you’re less likely to be distracted if you’re focusing on paper and there are no apps you can get lost in. It also lowers your daily screen time and improves the quality of your experience. Don’t buy the most expensive, luxurious notebook out there because you’re not going to view this as a tool, you’re just going to get intimidated by it. Get a notebook that reflects your character and find the pens to match!
When you come to journaling, you have to come to it with the understanding that there are no excuses and there are no shortcuts, there are just priorities. And if you want to improve your life then journaling is now a priority. If it helps to let people in your life know you’re doing this, (especially if you live with them and they might be inclined to interrupt you without meaning to) that may help you to set aside time that remains yours.
3. Realism vs Aspiration
Most of us are working full-time with social lives, relationships, hectic side hustles and the mess of everyday logistics thrown in. Realistically – each day – we have a window of about ten to thirty minutes where we can guarantee that we won’t get interrupted.
But also remember to be kind to yourself, if something happens and all you manage is one line, that’s amazing! You are a human, and this is life, cut yourself some slack and have the goal that no matter what happens; every single day you will come to those pages and write something. Even if it’s just a word. If you have more time then write a little extra, if you don’t then at least you’ve met your goal.
You may go through a phase of hating turning up to those pages, but if you do it every day at the same sort of time for long enough, you’ll start to crave the time that you can switch out the rest of the world and open those pages to get your thoughts in order.
4. Templates, templates, templates
I cannot stress this one enough. Using an existing template (check out the SOLEMNIKO Instagram for free templates) or creating one of your own, is going to be the saving grace of your journaling practice. It might sound clinical and completely unemotional; but having a template will save you time, it will help you to prioritise your thoughts and it will increase the quality of your experience.
Whether you’re someone who loves to spend hours writing out what happened in your day and processing your thoughts, or if you’re someone who literally only has time for a five-minute list of what went well; there’s a template out there for you. Use it and journaling every day will become as easy as the other habits in your life that you don’t think twice about.
Whether you love taking polaroids and sticking them in, or maybe you have a thing for funky tape and decoupage paper, or perhaps you’re obsessed with quotes from books…add it all in. This is supposed to be your personal space! There is no compromise needed, there is no asking permission, there’s just what you want and how that looks is entirely up to you. Perhaps every so often you want to be able to stick in a chart for how many glasses of water you manage to drink per month, what you’re going to cook, or when your cycle is due.
Whatever is important to you, whatever your style is…let it come alive in this journal and be honest about it. Be honest about your life, be honest about your day, be honest about yourself. Because if you’re not honest with your journal then there’s really no point in keeping one, and it isn’t going to be a fun experience.
I hope this is helpful – if you want help with your journaling practice or wish to explore journaling as a therapeutic coaching method, get in touch with me over at SOLEMNIKO and I’ll be more than happy to chat about what you want and how I can get you there. But remember; you are worth the time, the dedication, and the effort a daily journaling practice takes.
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