If you have ever thought about starting to journal, there is no better time to begin than now! Writing out your inner thoughts and feelings can help you channel your creative energy and process your thoughts more easily. Here is our guide to daily journaling for beginners.
Though it may seem that the first step to journaling daily would be to schedule a set time to journal. This method might not be as easy in practice. Everyone has fluctuating moods throughout the day, which means that you will not always feel pensive enough to reflect on your mind space. Instead, make the idea of journaling something low-pressure, relaxing, and fun. You will find yourself reaching for your journal more and more. As well as not pressuring yourself to keep a schedule, you should not pressure yourself about the quality of your writing.
The act of keeping a journal means that you are doing something for yourself. So, you don’t need to feel like the writing in the journal should be high enough quality for someone else to read. If your standards for yourself are too high, you will avoid your journal because it will be too daunting of a task to complete. There is a strong psychological link between procrastination and perfectionism. So, if your journal is a place you can come and be a bit flawed or a bit inconsistent, then you are more likely to stick with it in the long run. If you make your journal the path of least resistance, then you are less likely to resist it!
Of course, it might be nerve-wracking to surrender control of who can see your journal. However, especially if you live alone or have your own bedroom or office space, leaving your journal out might do the trick of reminding you that it exists. Try a simple change, such as having your journal in your line of sight. This can make you more likely to build a routine. Especially since it takes around 66 days to form a habit! Removing the extra step of retrieving a journal from a hidden place might expedite developing a daily journaling practice. Are you are worried that someone you live with might pick it up by accident? You can call a house meeting to establish the status of your journal as private. You can also leave a couple pages blank. This might discourage curious people or trick them into thinking the journal might be empty.
If you take photos during the day, you will be able to look back through your phone when you want to journal and talk about what has been going on. If you saw a friend for lunch during a busy day, it could be helpful at the end of the day to see a reminder of what you did, and that could help you reflect on the meal or the relationship. Pictures symbolize what is essential for us to remember. So, you might start noticing patterns about what you choose to photograph. Do you pay attention to the sky? To the people around you? Looking for these patterns in your camera roll and writing about what they reveal could help you unlock deeper connections to your identity.
Additionally, if you wanted to, you could put some of your favorite images each month onto a flash drive and take them to a pharmacy to print. Or, you could invest in a photo printer. That way, after each month (or any interval of time), you can paste in a beautiful roundup of your favorite memories. This can be an excellent addition to looking back on your journal.
Once you have a few entries in your journal, it might motivate you to look back and reflect on how you have changed since you last wrote. Over the course of keeping a journal, you will change as a person. Whether it’s because you become more creative or reflective from taking the time to journal, or just because time is passing and you are maturing your outlook. It can be very healing to reread moments of stress much later, when the stressors have passed, and realize what you have learned in all the processes of your life. It can also be useful to reread your moments of joy! This is because you can connect with yourself and what you love through good memories. You can use your journal as a resource to motivate you to keep journaling!
Are you someone who can start sweating just from looking at a blank page? Many people struggle with the idea of entirely new projects because the reality of the project might not be as grand as the ideas that come before it. If you get blank page anxiety, it might be a good idea to fill out some pages beforehand with some kinds of backgrounds–putting some pen drawing garlands, subtle watercolor backgrounds, or washi tape borders might make your journal more homely and less intimidating for you to use. It can be very relaxing to do something crafty without really having to think about it, and then once you finish, you can have months of not-quite-blank pages for journaling.
Having a consistent layout throughout your journal, if you choose to keep it consistent, could also help you structure your reflection and keep you in a similar mind space. This will allow you to really track your growth as a person. For example, you can divide pages into four spaces. This way, you can write about PEMS: your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual states at a given time. Consistently doing PEMS in a daily journal can help break up the nebulous concept of “reflection” and divide it into manageable chunks. It can also help you track these specific threads in your life. For example, you can flip through your journal and see how your spiritual state developed over a few months because you have a specific section of each page set aside for that purpose. Having a consistent layout will make journaling easier. Plus, it could also make the act of rereading your journal more helpful to your reflective process.
Have you started your journal journey? Let us know on our social media pages!
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