Making the decision to build a journaling practice is usually easier than beginning to journal. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Once you begin, you can shift your style or abandon your style for another that makes more sense or is a better fit.
Here are some things to ask yourself before you start to journal.
- How do I want to express myself when I journal?
- How much time do I have to spend journaling?
- Where do I want to do my journaling?
- Is there an activity I love that I can use as a form of journaling?
- What is my goal in creating this journal?
Your answers to these questions will help you choose the best method and time frame to determine what your own journaling practice will look like. Pick what works for you and discard the rest.
Consider these things when making your decision.
Find the right tools: Find a pen that is smooth and effortless to use. Decide if you love a notebook that lays flat, a bound blank book or notepad. If you are using an electronic notebook, make sure you’re in a comfortable space wherever you work. Always be on the lookout for tools that will make journaling fun and time well spent. For me, I love a good fountain pen and a book that is either spiral bound or has lay-flat binding, because I prefer to write by hand.
Time is key: Find time when you have peace and quiet and are fully charged to do your journaling. Before the family wakes in the morning or after they go to bed. Perhaps you’ll jot down a few thoughts and ideas in the car between activities for your kids. Be intentional about creating a routine you can count on when you start your practice.
Spatial Awareness: Time may be a commodity, but there are ways to increase your productivity when journaling. Reduce distractions including unnecessary noises. Turn off the radio, television or close your door. Although I do have an app that plays music geared toward flow, focus, and creativity. If you find yourself in a situation where it’s difficult to minimize distractions or background noise organically, you can also place headphones in your ears to simulate quiet.
Go outside and listen to the sound of nature or turn on a fan or white noise device. Limit the number of people in your personal space and consider diffusing oils or burning a scented candle.
Do what comes naturally: The best way to begin journaling is by doing what already comes naturally. If you love to write, get to it. If you are a list maker, start listing your thoughts down in nice, neat rows. If you are a talker and a runner, consider an audio journal that you can dictate into while you do double duty as you exercise. Remember when I said there was no right or wrong way to journal? 😊
Have a why: Anytime there is a solid why to what you do, you are more likely to stick with it. Knowing why you want to start a journal will not only help get you going, it will also keep you going. If you are trying to lose weight or manage a health issue, knowing that you are journaling your food intake for your health will keep you motivated and hold you accountable.
Starting to journal isn’t difficult and the fun begins when you make the decision to start. From finding the perfect tools to expressing yourself in a natural and effortless way, you’ll be on your way to recording important history about your life before you know it.
*** Need more self-care tips including info on incorporating more laughter into your day, head on over to A Cup of Positivity on Facebook join the discussion.
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Patricia “Pat” Bumpass is a ghostwriter, self-care advocate, author, and parent coach. She encourages and empowers women and parents with special needs kids to love themselves. Pat is North Carolina “born and bred” and loves coffee — hot or iced. You will often hear her say, “Twertles make me happy.” 🙂
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