Journal writing is an important and therapeutic part of the creative process. With so many benefits of journaling, it’s easy to start, but all too often life gets in the way and your journaling habit just falls away. Your journal ends up dusty and unloved. Here are some tips for creating a consistent journaling routine so that you can enjoy the benefits of journaling without scrambling to find the time.
Schedule Your Journaling Time
We set aside time for things like going to work and meeting up with friends and family, so why not journaling? Having time blocked off in your schedule will make it much easier to stick with your journaling habit. You could even set a notification on your phone to remind you when it’s time to get out your journal.
It’s best to designate a specific time for the journaling to happen each day. You can choose to write about your day every evening. Or you could set aside time in the morning for planning and reflection. You can even write during your lunch hour, if that suits you. The most important thing is to prioritize your time consistently to be creative and reflect on your feelings.
Make a Ritual of It
Create a space that feels good and inviting to journal in. You might want to light a candle, turn on some music, or invest in a comfy chair and rug for your journaling zone. You could also create your own personal tradition or ritual, like beginning your journal entry with three things you are grateful for that day.
Eliminate distractions by closing your door if others are home and putting your phone on silent and moving it to another room.
Pair Journaling with Another Habit
An easy way to start a new habit is to pair it with something that you already do on autopilot. For example, you could pair journaling with your morning coffee. Make it easy for yourself by leaving your journal near your coffee cup.
In time, the journaling habit will become as natural as making yourself coffee or brushing your teeth. You won’t even have to think about making it happen anymore.
No, not actual carrots. I mean, treat yourself to a simple reward for when you’ve journaled consistently for some time. For example, a new pen or a sticker set. You could also choose an experience, like going to a day spa or getting a mani-pedi.
Positive reinforcement makes it much easier to make the journaling habit stick. Even something as simple as giving yourself a gold star every time you journal can produce a powerful dopamine hit.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up If You Miss a Day
It’s about progress not perfection, young grasshopper! If you miss a day, simply start again the following day. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve trashed the whole week or month. Just hop back into the journaling saddle as soon as you can.
Use Journal Prompts
Writer’s block has brought even some of the most prolific writers to their knees. It can be a real drag because you might feel like you’re wasting the time you’ve allocated to be creative.
Have some fun prompts on hand to get yourself going if you feel stuck. And don’t worry about creating the perfect entry — a journal is a space to explore, not to create polished writing.
Find a Buddy
Many people find that having someone to check in with or report back to helps them stay accountable and motivated. Consider finding a friend who also wants to start journaling and create an accountability group where you can encourage each other. You could even agree to be pen pals and send each other excerpts or pages from your journals.
Consider Digital Journaling
The digital age has made consistent journaling easier than ever. Journaling apps are easy and convenient to use if a pen and paper just isn’t your thing. Other advantages to digital journaling include never losing your journal (your entries are stored securely in the cloud) and not having to carry your journal around with you when you travel.
Have You Tried ByteLyfe?
ByteLyfe is a digital journaling app. It allows users to store all their diary entries securely. You can also add in photos, memes, emojis, location tags, and audio and video files. Entries are searchable, and you can add hashtags and labels to group certain entries together.
ByteLyfe makes it easy to create a journaling habit that lasts because you can use it on your phone and don’t need to carry around a physical journal. The ability to add images and other files from your phone also means that you don’t have to write anything if you’re feeling blocked. You can simply upload photos to match your mood, or just talk into your phone for a few minutes.
The Power of Consistent Journaling
The power of consistent journaling is that it helps us be more creative, process our emotions, and get clarity on things we don’t understand or want to work through in life. When we journal consistently, we’re also able to identify patterns in our thoughts and behaviors, which helps us to achieve goals.