Many high achievers believe journaling is valuable for personal reflection and growth, but few actually open a journal on a daily basis. Perhaps you’ve thought about journaling, but then promptly gotten lost in the flurry of other tasks. Or perhaps you’ve attempted to start doing it more regularly, but then lost momentum. I’ve been there. Without the right tools, it’s one of the most difficult habits to establish.
From not having the time or not knowing what to write to feeling afraid to be honest with yourself or reflecting through social media instead, journaling can be daunting for any number of reasons. But you can change that. There’s tremendous value that comes with daily reflection, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Here are five tips to get you started.
- Pick a format. It can be whatever provides the space you need to write. You may prefer a legal pad, notebook, or journal you already have on hand. I love our Full Focus Journal.
- Pick a template. The blank page is scary. It can be intimidating to know what to write and leads to wasted time. So find something that guides your daily reflection. You can even build a format for yourself. Just determine what prompts will encourage you to reflect. Keep in mind that you’ll want to be able to begin writing within seconds of reading your prompts, otherwise your prompts aren’t strong enough.
- Choose a dedicated time. Whether you decide to journal in the morning or evening, pick a time and stick to it. You may have to rearrange part of your daily routine to fit journaling in, but you want it to become a natural rhythm in your day.
- Set a trigger. At the beginning of any habit, you need a daily cue to prompt the intended action. This could be a calendar alert or alarm.
- Commit to journaling for 30 days. If you quit a week into your journaling attempt, you won’t see results. But practice reflection for a month, and you will feel the positive effects. Push through the resistance for the first 30 days, and every day after will feel easier. If 30 days of journaling makes an impact on your life, imagine what a decade can do. You’ll gain perspective and live with gratitude. You’ll also supercharge your clarity and make better decisions.
For many, journaling can be painful and boring. But it doesn’t have to be. You can look forward to your journaling practice and even complete it in as little as 15 minutes a day by incorporating these tips. When our days are filled with one thing after another clamoring for our attention, journaling helps us slow down and reconnect with ourselves. The harvest we reap is an awareness of ourselves and our circumstances, clarity of thought, and gratitude for life.
Which tip do you need to implement today to cultivate a journaling habit?