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8 Ways to Stop Thinking About Journaling and Actually Start Journaling

Use an App

While many people recommend journaling in a physical notebook to give your brain a break from screens, if you’re having a hard time keeping up that practice, you can try using an app that you can whip out when you have an extra moment in the day.

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8 Ways to Stop Thinking About Journaling and Actually Start Journaling

8 Ways to Stop Thinking About Journaling and Actually Start Journaling

https://www.themuse.com/advice/8-ways-to-stop-thinking-about-journaling-and-actually-start-journaling

themuse.com

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Key Ideas

Do it Before You Get Out of Bed

Try grabbing your notebook as soon as your alarm goes off and writing for a few minutes before your feet even hit the ground.
This way you know it will get done, and the activity first thing in the morning may help wake your brain up. 

Use an App

While many people recommend journaling in a physical notebook to give your brain a break from screens, if you’re having a hard time keeping up that practice, you can try using an app that you can whip out when you have an extra moment in the day.

Don’t Use Full Sentences

Feel free to have your journal as disjointed as you want. 
Leo Babatua of ZenHabits says he only writes his journal in bullet points; just three to six per day. By making it this easy, he says it’s much more attainable for him to keep it up.

Write on a Calendar

Instead of getting a notebook to journal in, get a (large) desk calendar or date book, and then just challenge yourself to write a sentence or two every day, on that day. 

This small amount of writing a day feels attainable. By writing it on a calendar, it’s very obvious when you’ve missed a day.

Make a Template

Sometimes the hardest part of journaling is staring at a blank page and not knowing what to write about. 

Create a template that you follow every day. Maybe that’s writing three things you’re grateful for every day, or asking yourself a question each day, like “What can I do to make tomorrow better than today?” If it’s helpful, you can create printable journaling “worksheets” that lay out the activities you’ve promised yourself to do.

Find Fun Prompts

Find a bunch of interesting prompts that you’re excited to mull on and write about, and then spend each day journaling on a different one. 

Search for “journaling prompts” and start collecting your favorites. Compile them all in a Word document or on the first page of your journal and work your way down the list.

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Set Accountability Metrics

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. 

Make It a Regular Practice

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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How to start journaling

The biggest mistake is to journal only in reaction to something that is going on, instead of letting it be part of a system.

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Benefits of a Daily Journal
  • When you keep a journal, you can look back on important life events to read about how you felt at the time. You may also be able to learn from these past experiences.
  • Writing about traumatic events results in physical and psychological health benefits. Journaling focuses on understanding traumatic events and makes people see these events with an extra level of clarity.

Set Aside Time Daily

Start your daily journal off on the right foot by scheduling your writing for a set time every day.

  • If you find your mind is most active in the morning, wake up 15 to 20 minutes earlier and jot down your thoughts then. 
  • If you prefer to record everything after the day is over, then make it an evening activity before you go to bed.

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Adjust Your Mindset

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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The first steps

  1. Get a Journal and Writing Utensils
  2. Start an Index Page: The backbone of your BuJo system, like a table of contents in a book
  3. Create Logs - places where you can brain-dump tasks, projects, goals
  4. Pick Signifiers: Many people use bullets for lists of tasks, circles for events, and dashes for notes. 
  5. Document Items with Collections: Collections are running lists and anything you want to remember for later(like blog topics, books you want to read etc.)

The 3 common types of logs:
  • A future log helps you keep track of items that aren’t yet on your immediate radar.
  • Monthly logs include things like calendars and categorized goal lists for the next 30 days.
  • Daily logs may includes entries of to-dos, meetings, and reminders.

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