Developing a journaling habit requires effort and commitment. It may sound terrifying and daunting but it’s actually the same as any other habits that you want to incorporate with your life such as daily exercising, reading, meditating, etc.
Being an on-and-off journaler before, I discovered some hacks that helped me to make journaling a habit and always include it in my daily routine.
Now, I write in my journal almost every day. I cling to it so much that I feel like my day is incomplete and unorganized whenever I didn’t journal in a day.
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So if you also want to become an avid journaler and experience the benefits of it, regardless if you are just starting a journal or you’ve been journaling for a long time, these tips on how to develop a journaling habit will help you!
You can also start out with a worksheet! I’ve created a printable worksheet to start a purposeful journaling.
Tips to Develop your Journaling Habit
1. Include journaling in your daily schedule.
Scheduling your journaling sessions is so important if you want to develop a journaling habit. In anything that you want to do, if you don’t schedule it, it will be forever just in your mind which tends for you to always forget about.
Our brains receive tons of information each day, so don’t expect that you’ll remember everything.
Schedule your journaling session, just like cooking meals, going out for a walk, or a meeting.
Determine your own best time to journal and include it in your daily routine. Some people found that journaling every morning is a helpful starter of their day. Others found that journaling at night helps them to release any anxiety they have before they go to bed.
If you want, you can try one schedule of your journaling session for the whole week and see if that’ll work for you.
2. Do not treat journaling like a chore.
Okay, let’s admit it. Sometimes, journaling feels like a chore.
Change your mindset to develop your journaling habit. So instead of seeing it as a chore, treat journaling as your therapy. Like a person who’s willing to listen to anything you want to say even if it’s nonsense.
Journaling is also designed to help you release your stress and your frustration, so don’t feel like it’s a huge task to be done.
Although it’s okay to feel it sometimes, still give yourself a little push to write even if you don’t feel like it.
3. Turn off distractions.
Simple yet helpful to develop your journaling habit. Turning off any distractions that you have in your journaling sessions will help you to focus.
There are times that we don’t feel like journaling because our attention is so caught up in other things. This applies not just in journal writing, but also in other habits or while you’re working.
If you are writing in a physical journal, you might be distracted with your phone on your side. Put it away from you or turn it off for a moment and give yourself time for journaling.
BONUS TIP: Create your restorative niche for journaling. It can be one little space in your room where you can write in your journal. Space where you will only go to write a journal entry.
The idea is from the book Quiet Power. Susan Cain actually talked about is a Restorative Niche for introverts and I thought that we can also do this in our journaling sessions.
You can create a little quiet corner in your room at home or anywhere you can find it. Just like when you meditate.
4. Do not just write.
Do not limit yourself in writing. If you can’t express yourself and your feelings through words, drawing or sketching could be helpful.
Try to sketch what symbolize your day and how you feel. It can be the things you see around you.
Explore other things to do with your journal like doodling or pasting a photo in your journal that will express your thoughts.
5. Track your journaling habit.
Tracking your habit is one of the best ways to develop your journaling habit. By doing this, you will actually view your consistency in your journaling habit.
Try creating a habit tracker spread in your journal.
6. Use the journaling tools that suit you.
Being comfortable and satisfied with your journaling tools such as a journal notebook and pen contribute to develop your habit. We feel uninterested in journaling sometimes because the tools that we use do not excite us. So be sure to choose the journaling tools that you’re really into.
7. Choose the right journaling format for you.
Aside from Freewriting Journal, you might want to explore different types of journaling.
If you think that the format you use doesn’t seem to work for you, try another format such as Morning Pages, Bullet Journal, Prayer Journal and so much more. Choose the one that you like and if you want, you can always shift from one to another type of journal.
8. Limit your writing.
Limit your writing by the number of pages you will write. It can be 1-3 pages or even just a sentence or two each day that will summarize your thoughts or what you feel.
You can also limit your writing by setting a timer from 5 minutes a day to 30 minutes, it’s up to what’s best for you. It doesn’t have to be a long session of journaling, however, you can do it as long as you want.
9. The more you feel you don’t want to write, the more you should write.
Lots of people give up journaling just because they always feel that they don’t want to journal but in fact, the more that you feel you don’t want, the more that you should.
I realized this over the years of journaling. Those times when I don’t feel like writing are times that there are so many thoughts in my head.
Although it’s hard, sometimes it might be a signal that you need to organize your thoughts.
You can begin writing with “I don’t know what to write” the phrase itself, or “I don’t feel writing today” and then start digging the reason why you feel like that. The next thing you’ll know is you’re writing all things that stress you out.
BONUS TIP: If you pour out your anxious thoughts and stresses in your journal, write at least one good thing that happened to you on that day or write a gratitude list just to neutralize your mood and shift your focus on the positive side.
There you go! Those are the 9 techniques to develop your journaling habit. Don’t feel overwhelmed with these techniques that I gave you. You don’t have to do all of these, you can pick just one or two that will work for you.
Essentially, journaling is more helpful and beneficial if you make it a habit so always remember, just like what I’ve mentioned in the introduction of this post, journaling requires commitment and effort to develop it as your daily habit.
I want to know how you develop your journaling habit. What is one technique that you do? Comment it down below.
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Jocelyn is a coffee lover who believes that a bad day with coffee is better than a good day without it. You can find her obsessing over stationery, hanging out with her cat, or singing her favorite Taylor Swift songs.