How to Build a Daily Personal Journaling Habit
The biggest mistake is to journal only in reaction to something that is going on, instead of letting it be part of a system.
Make writing in your personal journal part of your everyday routine.
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Start your daily journal off on the right foot by scheduling your writing for a set time every day.
There is a traditional way of journaling with a notebook and a pen or pencil. Then there’s the modern method, where you type your thoughts on a device.
Choose a method that you can do consistently.
Journaling is about you and your thoughts. The best way to record those thoughts is to minimize distractions.
You need a quiet part of the room that’s away from other people. Separating yourself from technology is also important while you write in your journal.
The easiest way to protect your journal is to keep your journal with you at all times.
You may consciously or sub-consciously avoid writing about certain topics for fear of what others could think. This fear may hold you back from writing about stuff that matters in your journal.
When it comes to your journal entries, if it’s important enough to record, then it’s important enough to date.
Having a date above each entry can help you understand your thought process as it relates to important life events.
Record how you really feel, not how you think you should feel.
Share the first thought that comes to mind. The first thing you think about is typically what’s most important to you at that moment.
The quality and depth of your writing aren’t important in journaling.
Just get your honest thoughts down on paper as they come to you.
When you know your journal is for your eyes only, you have the freedom to write whatever you want without worrying about anyone else’s thoughts or judgments.
As you write, don’t worry about your grammar or spelling, no matter how good or bad they are. If you can understand what you wrote in each entry, then the grammar and spelling are fine.
The slowness of writing by hand is actually better for connecting with your thoughts as you write them.
Since it takes longer to write everything, you end up thinking deeper thoughts and really considering how you feel about what you’re writing.
When you start your journaling habit, make that your main priority. Commit to it for at least 30 days, and, to get the best results, tie it to another pre-existing habit of yours.
For example, if you start your day with a cup of coffee, you could decide to journal every morning while you drink your coffee.
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Your first notebook will be your learning notebook. Like any productivity method, it will take time to find a bullet journaling flow and structure that works for you.
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To build a habit of daily writing, try to get three pages of writing done every day. It can be about anything and it’s important that you write all without editing or censoring.
Come up with trackable goals like a number of words or pages per day. The specificity is important because being able to measure it allows you to keep track of your progress and better change your behavior.
Keeping track of streaks is a very powerful tactic for developing any new habit. Knowing that you have consistently succeeded for a number of days helps you push through the days who are unmotivated.
Other ways to foster regularity: writing in a different style or genre, and doing your writing first thing in the morning.
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Labeling emotions and acknowledging traumatic events, both natural outcomes of journaling, have a known positive effect on people, and are often incorporated into traditional talk therapy.
3 pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-conscious, done as soon as one wakes.
They are not meant to be art. Or even writing. They need not be smart, or funny, or particularly deep. It's a form of “brain drain”, a way to expel all that angry, petty stuff that spirals through our subconscious and muddies our days.