How should I start...

  • What's on my mind?
  • How should I have reacted in hindsight?
  • How are things different now?
  • What would I say to a younger version of myself?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What do I value?
  • Who helped me?

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How To Start A Journaling Habit Today

medium.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

I've tried traditional paper-based journals, a password protected file on my computer and even journaling apps. I've kept journals about my personal life, professional life and even my business. So what should you do?

Both digital and paper-based journals are useful. With digital journals, you can search old entries and never worry about losing anything. With paper-based journals, you're less likely to be distracted from your practice by notifications or social media. I recommend trying both for a week or so and then using what works for you.

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But what if you're not a writer?

Journaling is kind of like having a personal therapist on retainer, and that's why I recommend journaling to people of all types.

It'll help you express yourself, think ideas through and create a record of your life. If you want to practice journaling, write a short entry at the same time every day. Or even just once a week.

  • Pick your journaling tool of choice.
  • Pick a topic to write about, e.g. your daily routine.
  • Set a timer.
  • While writing, don't stop to edit yourself or edit for punctuation.
  • When the timer sounds, re-read your entry and tidy it up

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I've tried traditional paper-based journals, a password protected file on my computer and even journaling apps. I've kept journals about my personal life, professional life and even my business. So what should you do?

Both digital and paper-based journals are useful. With digital journals, you can search old entries and never worry about losing anything. With paper-based journals, you're less likely to be distracted from your practice by notifications or social media. I recommend trying both for a week or so and then using what works for you.

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Journaling doesn't have any rules.

After all, what you say in your journal is for you and you alone... at least at first. If you want to turn it into a public work later on. That's fine. If you want to stick in your wardrobe and forget what you ever said, that's fine too.

Just don't expect your ex to understand.

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Integrating journaling in your daily life

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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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.

Keeping a journal helps to organize an event in our mind, and make sense of trauma. 

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Learning from old experiences

When looking back on her previous journal entries, Virginia Woolf remarked that she often found the significance to lie where she never saw it at the time.

Reading your old journal entries is a bit like reading a great book for a second time. You pick up on new sentences and see the past in a different way.

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