It seems that while many people really want to keep a journal, they find it to be a daunting task. I think the reason for this is that they feel like there’s a structure to it that they must keep. In reality, you’re journal is there to aid you, and trying to be so rigid with it defeats the purpose by making it into a task rather than a comfort.
It has been my experience that trying to turn journaling into one of your regular daily habits is counterproductive to the benefits I gain from keeping a journal in a more free and open capacity. Here’s how I go about it.
- Don’t feel that you have to write every day or at the same time every day. Instead think of your journal as a friend who is always there to listen when you need them. I keep my journal with me at all times, sometimes I write multiple times a day and some days I don’t write at all. I just write when I need to.
- Don’t think that you have to stick to a certain format. Your journal is there for you to put your thoughts in. How you do that is irrelevant. Some of my entries are lists, some are long pages of prose and some are quick single sentences. Sometimes they’re completely disjointed thoughts that make no sense when I reread them later. But no matter the format, each and every entry was useful.
- Don’t feel that you need a special kind of book. It’s a nice bonus but not at all necessary. Some of my journals have been nice, hard bound, decorative tomes while others have simply been pocket sized spiral notebooks. They all become equally special because of their content, not their design.
- Essentially, don’t feel that there are any rules you must follow. If you feel that there’s something you need to get out of your head and you have nothing but an eyeliner pencil and a napkin, use it. Forget the rules and just write!
If you’ve ever wanted to journal but have failed time and time again to keep it up, try again with the more free approach that the journal is a friendly ear there to offer comfort and clarity whenever you need it. If you need some ideas to get you started, here are 6 Types of Journals for Self Growth.
And if you attempt this, please come back and let me know how it went!