journaling habit

How to Start a Consistent Journaling Habit

Have you ever tried to start a journaling habit? Did it work? If it didn't, don't worry it's a hard thing to start and even harder to keep going over time. This article will attempt to help you get started and hopefully help you find a groove that helps you stay on track. Habits are a built over time, not over night. SO be nice to yourself and give yourself a break if your journaling habit takes a while to get going.

Thinking About Your Journaling Habit

Starting your journaling habit can be a daunting task. You may be working yourself up with a myriad of self-doubting questions like

  • What should you write about?
  • Should you write every day?
  • What happens if you don’t write every day?

These questions may be valid concerns in your head, but they aren’t worth worrying about. Who cares what you write about! It is for you and you alone.

It's serves you better to think about what you want out of the exercise and how you want to feel at the end of writing session. Knowing that will help you determine the how, what, when, and where of creating and sustaining your journaling habit.

Why Start a Journaling Habit

When we journal, we are recording our legacy each day. A journaling habit is a great way to help you process what is happening in your life and can help you be more creative, clear, and present in your day to day life. Every day is a good day to write something down about

  • how you are feeling
  • what happened that day or the day before
  • what your dreams are
  • where you want to be in 5 years
  • your past

Whatever you may do tomorrow, today is here right now. Now is as good a time as any to start your writing practice or journaling habit.

How to Start Your Journaling Habit

How to start you ask? With grace! Seriously though, before you embark on this adventure, give yourself some grace as you go along and remember that you are in fact only human. That being said, there are a few things you can do to help you get started on the right foot.

Thinking through the

  • how
  • what
  • when
  • where

of your journaling habit will help you be more successful in the end. You'll find that most of my suggestions always come back to making a plan. This is intentional. You can take these suggestions and frameworks and apply them to almost any problem or thing you need to solve. Enough about that though, you are here for starting your journaling habit.

How Often Should You be Journaling

Frequency of how often you want to journal can have a huge impact on your ability to start and keep going with your journaling habit. Daily journaling works for some and may not work for others. You may want to journal once a week or less frequently.

Weekly journaling is a great option if you can't commit to daily. Doing it on the same day each week may help with the consistency and continuing with the habit but try to give yourself grace if you are unable to

Daily journal prompts can be literally anything. This a reddit thread on 1000 daily journal prompts. The poster also included a Google Doc with 1000 prompts to choose from. You can check that out here to help get you going if daily journaling is what you are after.

Where to Start Your Journaling Habit

Oof! This one. My approach is that you can write anywhere. For me that is true. However the type of writing I'm doing does change where I like to write most. My recommendation here is to not overthink it. Depending on how you are planning to write (pen and paper, computer, tablet, phone, earth and stick), your “where” will mostly be dictated by the how.

Starting Your Journaling Habit

Now we come to the crux of it. Actually starting the habit. A blank page is the hardest place to start when it comes to writing anyway. Writing prompts are your best friend when it comes to conquering the blank page.

Where to source journal prompts

  • email newsletter that inspires you – pull the subject line or a heading that speaks to you
  • quote at the bottom of an email newsletter that you like
  • googling “journal prompt”
  • 52 Weeks of Storytelling
  • search this website or click here
  • your first thought this morning when you woke up
  • you get the idea…

Writing every day, it would be nice, wouldn’t it? Inevitably life gets in the way and all of a sudden a month has gone by since you touched the journal stashed in your dresser drawer. Don't forget that you can always change your mind and switch to another frequency. Additionally, even if you don't manage it daily, writing more than once a week totally counts. Now start writing!

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