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Journaling isn’t a new concept for most of us. But the idea of starting one and then keeping up with it is a bit daunting. At least for me it is?
But journaling is one of my big self-improvement goals for the year so it is high time for me to sit down and make it happen. I did some reading and thinking and decided that I needed a list of reasons to get myself (and you) inspired. After that I will talk about how to get started, so stay with me.
5 Terrific Reasons To Start a journal
Journaling gives you clarity
I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day I am often a jumble of emotions. I am trying to process what I did or didn’t get done, my family’s needs, and my own emotions. Sitting down for a few minutes will help me get clear about whether or not I am meeting my own goals.
Now that I think about it, journaling will help to clarify my goals. Goal setting in and of itself is difficult. Reading your own writing is an effective way to remind yourself of what you really care about. More about setting goals in the month to come, I promise.
Journaling proves that you are growing
If you take the time to write down your thoughts on the day, then you are growing. Your self-awareness is growing and your sense of your place in the world is growing. That is a good thing. Whether we admit it or not, every one of us wants to better ourselves.
Lets grow together.
Journaling allows you to be honest
Nobody but you is reading and judging your innermost thoughts. You can tell your journal how immature and unkind your coworker is. Or you can write down exactly how proud you were of an achievement without feeling like an egomaniac.
I frequently vent my frustrations in writing because it doesn’t hurt anyone. Journaling allows you to be totally honest without fear of someone else being hurt or angry with you.
Journaling is Cheaper than a therapist
Not that it replaces therapy, but it can help you to see patterns in your life. Patterns in relationships and your own behavior. Plus- you might realize you do need a therapist.
If you already talk to a counselor your journal might be helpful in bringing to light issues during your session. I guarantee your counselor will approve of journaling.
Journaling is relaxing
It encourages self-reflection. Writing is sometimes a lot like meditation. You can just write and write without worrying about punctuation or spelling. Sort of like free writing – no worries, just writing.
Journaling is an activity well-suited to winding down for the day. You could try doing it right after work, or after school. I was thinking of trying to journal before I do my nightly reading.
Bullet Journaling is Trendy
Ok, this is not really a reason, but it’s true. People are crazy for the bullet journal. I will be honest and reveal I have not yet tried it, because I cannot discipline myself to set it up. Baby steps….
Here is a video about bullet journaling that is pretty easy to follow.
How to start a journal
Choose a format
Digital or paper-based. If you have a large planner you might also be able to use that. I would recommend password protecting a digital document so that you feel secure in the knowledge that nobody is reading it.
I will be using my Living Well Planner , which I will write about soon.
Use a timer to get started
Keep it short and simple. No more than 5 or 10 minutes. If you are still staring at a blank page after the timer goes off, then don’t berate yourself. Just write “I can’t today” and be done with it.
Add personal touches
Maybe it’s just me but I love colored pens and post its. Fill your journal with color, photos, drawings and news clippings. Whatever appeals to you or inspires you.
Decide when you want to journal and make it part of your daily routine. Date each entry, even if it is a non-entry. You may even want to have yourself set a reminder in your phone. I like Google reminders and Google Keep.
Try different types of journals
The bullet journal is a big deal right now, and many ADHD adults are having success with it. I have also seen some very cute options on Amazon.
Need some ideas to get started with your 2017 Journal?
Is journaling a part of your life?
Do you have any favorite journaling prompts to share?