Many high achievers believe that keeping a journal is valuable for personal reflection and growth, but few open a journal on a daily basis. You may have thought about keeping a journal, but then quickly got lost in the hustle and bustle of other tasks. Or maybe you’ve tried doing it more than once, but lost the momentum. I have been there. Without the right tools, it is one of the most difficult habits to establish.
From not having time or not knowing what to write to being afraid to be honest with yourself or reflecting on social media instead, keeping a journal can be daunting for a variety of reasons. But you can change that. Daily reflection brings tremendous value, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Here are five tips to get you started.
- Choose a format. It could be anything that provides the space you need to write. You may prefer a notepad, notebook, or journal that you already have on hand. i love our Full focus diary.
- Choose a template. The blank page is scary. Knowing what to write can be intimidating and a waste of time. So find something that guides your daily reflection. You can even build a format for yourself. Just decide which prompts will encourage you to think. Keep in mind that you want to be able to start writing within seconds of reading your prompts, otherwise your prompts won’t be strong enough.
- Choose a dedicated time. Whether you decide to keep a journal in the morning or in the evening, pick a time and stick to it. You may need to rearrange some of your daily routine to fit your journal in, but you want it to become a natural rhythm to your day.
- Set a trigger. At the start of each habit, you need a daily cue to trigger the intended action. This can be a calendar alert or alarm.
- Commit to 30 days of journaling. If you stop your journaling effort after a week, you won’t see any results. But practice a month of reflection and you shall feel the positive effects. Push through the resistance for the first 30 days and every day after that will feel easier. If 30 days of journaling has an impact on your life, imagine what a decade can do. You gain perspective and live with gratitude. You will also increase your clarity and make better decisions.
For many, keeping a journal can be painful and boring. But it doesn’t have to be. You can look forward to your journaling exercise and even complete it in just 15 minutes a day by including these tips. When our days are filled with one thing after another screaming for our attention, a journal helps us slow down and reconnect with ourselves. The harvest we reap is an awareness of ourselves and our circumstances, clarity of thought, and gratitude for life.
What tip should you apply today to cultivate a journaling habit?