How to Start a Journaling Practice You Can Actually Stick To (It Just Might Change Your Life!)

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What if I informed you that there’s one day by day behavior that’s made me extra centered, creativeand fewer anxious? And that it takes simply 20 minutes, and it’s nearly free? Artists and leaders, from Frida Kahlo to Susan Sontag to Oprah Winfrey, have sworn by this behavior as a key to success. If you guessed “journaling,” you’re proper. Wondering how to begin journaling in a manner that’s actually supportive to your objectives and emotional wellness? Then you’ve come to the proper place. My personal journaling observe is the primary device that’s helped me set priorities and make traction in the direction of my objectives over the past decade. As Sontag said,

“In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself. The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood.”

I’ve journaled semi-consistently for the previous couple of years, however just lately I made one tweak to my observe that absolutely modified the sport. I went from typing out my journal on my laptop to writing longhand in a sure pocket book. (I do know, apparent!) While I’d assumed that my means to kind as quick as I believe could be useful, I didn’t notice that I used to be lacking out on the meditative a part of journaling. As my hand strikes slowly throughout the paper, it untangles the ideas, emotions, experiences, and inputs which can be often so entwined in my mind that I typically don’t even know what I’m considering till I write it down. And I’m at all times shocked by what I uncover–a dream that out of the blue seems from the evening earlier than, understanding the reply to a enterprise resolution, or most frequently, having some new artistic inspiration.

So, I believed I’d dedicate at the moment’s publish to the merchandise, rituals, and inspiration which have helped me begin 2022 with a stable journaling observe. If you’re questioning how to begin journaling constantly, it’s a lot simpler whenever you set your self up with a few good instruments.

1. Create a ritual

I’ve been thinking about how creating rituals in our lives can enhance any experience. Nowhere is this more true for me than in the morning. I create little cues that speak to my senses, reminding me to be present and acknowledge the moment as sacred. When I get up, I pour my coffee into my favorite mug, turn on a good playlist for writing (no vocals), and light-weight a candle that sits on my desk. The repetition of these sounds and smells will get me within the zone. When my alarm goes off at 6am, I discover that I’m really excited to get into it.

2. Gather your journaling toolkit

I cannot write with bad paper or crappy pens. Literally can’t. I’m currently using an Apica Notebook CD15 that a good friend gave me, and I’m very into it. It lays flat, and is large sufficient to write freely however skinny sufficient to tuck in my purse.

For writing, I order large packs of black Uniball Micro Point Gel Pens. I like the graceful circulate of black ink, and I order the 12-packs as a result of Adam steals my pens from my desk after which chews up their ends whereas he’s on zoom calls.

3. Get started with a journaling prompt

You know how sometimes, you sit down to write and your mind is a total blank? It’s this feeling that often gets in the way of sticking to a journaling practice, so I find it really helpful to have a few journal prompts up my sleeve to get my circulate going. Here are a few favorites:

I used to be ______, and now I’m ________.

What makes me really feel energized? How can I carry extra of that into my on a regular basis life?

What’s one thing I would like to do for the primary time this yr?

How can I “be the good” inside my sphere of affect at the moment?

4. Get inspired

As with many healthy habits, I’m usually really excited to dive into them for the first couple weeks, but then hit a roadblock when the newness has worn off. When I need a fresh dose of inspiration, I turn to writers, poets, and resources who re-inspire me to invest time and energy into what’s important to me. Here are a few places I turn for inspiration:

My friend Leigh makes these incredible workbooks called Moon Lists which can be completely different from any guided journal I’ve seen earlier than. Full of thought-provoking quotes and prompts, with areas to doodle and dream. It jogs my memory to discover and concentrate to the little particulars round me, bringing extra presence to the day by day.

I just lately watched the Joan Didion documentaryand wow. What a trailblazing, curious, one-of-a-kind artistic, and her journals have been key to her evolution each personally and professionally.

All of Austin Kleon’s books (in addition to his weekly publication) encourage me to put pen to paper and use it as a device for creation, exploring my curiosity, and simply taking part in or having enjoyable. His work is among the greatest cures for author’s block I’ve discovered.

5. Just do one thing

Loved this tip from Mark Manson’s emailand it occurs to be a nice reminder for any new behavior you’re making an attempt to create this yr:

“When I’m feeling unmotivated, I use “The ‘Do Something’ Principle.”
It’s primarily based on the statement that motion is not only the impact of motivation, it’s additionally the reason for it… Not feeling like engaged on that guide you’re writing? Just begin on a top level view for a part of a chapter. See what occurs.”

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