How do you get in the habit of journaling daily?
I journal every night. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. It’s been such an important part of my nighttime routine for the past four months and has a major impact on my mental health (as I’ve shared in a previous post).
But I know how difficult it can be to start a new habit. It takes some dedication to make a new task a part of your daily routine.
There were plenty of times in previous years where I thought to myself “I’ll definitely start journaling more..” only to end up with unused notebooks and discouragement.
But there are a few ways that helped me solidify my daily journaling habit once and for all.
Want to get into the habit of journaling every day? Keep reading:
1. Connect journaling with a never-changing part of your daily routine
Before I learned about this trick, I found it difficult to remember to journal each day. We get so pre-occupied with other things, it’s so easy to forget to sit down and journal.
The fix? Find an aspect of your routine that never changes-
Maybe when you’re eating breakfast in the morning.
Or right when you get home from work.
I began to journal every evening by making this habit an extension of my nighttime routine. After I finish washing my face and brushing my teeth and right before I shut off the lights, I grab my notebook from my nightstand and jot down a few thoughts from my day.
It takes a couple weeks to build the habit, but once you do, it becomes second nature.
2. Bring your journal with you on the go
You’ll be surprised by how often you have opportunities to journal throughout the day.
Think about all the times you find yourself scrolling through social media.
When you’re early to a meeting
Or while you’re eating lunch.
Journaling doesn’t have to be a big time commitment. When you have a small notebook with you, you can pull it out and jot a few thoughts of make a short gratitude list anytime, anywhere.
3. Set a reminder for yourself
Half the problem of starting a new habit is remembering to do it. The first few days you might be thinking “oh yeah, I’m dedicating myself to this change” but after a while, the excitement starts to wear off and you get preoccupied with other things.
An easy way to remind yourself to journal each day is by setting a calendar or alarm reminder on your phone. Think of a certain time of day that you will most likely be available and set a notification to go off each day at that designated time.
4. Use daily journal prompts
Another reason many people have trouble starting the habit of daily journaling is because they don’t know what to write about.
Some find it easy to do a brain dump and just journal about anything and everything, some find it difficult.
Thankfully, there are tons of journal prompts you can find online that can spark some inspiration for you.
You can write the journal prompt question on the top of your page, or mix it up with a few different questions each week.
I often share journal prompt ideas with my email subscribers. Want to get your hands on some? Join here.
5. Set a timer
When you’re trying to add a new healthy habit, like daily journaling, it can often feel like a chore at first. Journaling, in particular, is something that takes a little bit of thinking power, something many of us don’t want to do after a long, stressful day of work. We often prefer to do mindless activities like watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram, and the idea of writing can feel like a daunting task.
If this sounds like you, here is a possible solution:
Set a timer for five minutes, that’s all. Just give yourself five minutes where you’ll sit and write out anything you want. Once the words start flowing, five minutes will seem too short.
Each day you can extend the time a little bit more.
Maybe after a week you can time yourself for 10 minutes. Or 15 minutes.
After a while, this tip will make the act of journaling more natural and easy. Plus you’ll likely find it more enjoyable than looking through Facebook.
How often do you journal? Has it become a habit for you? Let me know in the comments below!