I have been journaling for years. It’s an invaluable tool that has helped me gain clarity, process feelings and set a path for my future both short term and long. I consider my journal to be the best way to coach myself.
And while I know that journaling isn’t for everyone, I want to address some reasons people have shared with me as to why journaling doesn’t work for them, and provide another perspective. Here are some common limiting beliefs about journaling.
Journaling Takes Too Much Time
Journaling is a time commitment, but many people overestimate both how much time it takes and how difficult it is to find the time needed to make journaling a regular habit. Five minutes in the morning is all it takes to get you started. Starting you day with gratitude is a great way to set your energy in a positive direction.
Many people find journaling right before bed to be a calming way to both recap their day and set their intention for the next one. Consider using journaling as a way to unwind after a long day. Again, it only needs to take minutes…not hours.
I Don’t Have Anything to Write About
Journaling is a creative task, but don’t use the “I’m not creative” excuse to avoid regular journaling. Think about some of the most basic journaling questions or techniques. Consider a gratitude journal: What made you grateful during the day?
You can find full books with journal prompts or buy a journal with the prompts on each page. I’ve found when I have an intention of capturing something about my day I stay more open. So having a joy journal, or unexpected moment journal can have you on the lookout for specific content.
One of the best ways I’ve used my journal is to start with a how or what question about a metal area I’m stuck in. For instance, “What can I get excited about today?” and then think through my day and build some anticipation about what might happen.
I’m Not Good at Writing or I Hate Writing
Your journal isn’t about showing off perfect grammar; it’s about writing down what’s in your head so you can get it out of your mind and onto the page. It’s not for an audience, it’s for you.
If you’re stuck on the story that you’re not a great writer, lists can be helpful. Think about starting up a list of your goals or dreams you can update over time. One exercise I’ve often suggested to my clients are the Three Big Questions: 1) What do you want to experience, 2) What do you want to learn, 3) How do you want to contribute to your family, work or community?
You can start these lists as a blueprint for your life and add and mark things off as you move forward creating a living document.
There’s a Right and Wrong Way to Journal
Following a specific method of journaling can be great for getting started, and you may find a particular type of journaling is perfect for you. However, any time you spend collecting your thoughts and committing them to paper is time well spent, and even scratching down a few notes you’re unlikely to read through again helps organize your thoughts and sets you up for future success. Find out what works for you.
Journaling is an invaluable habit, you can tap into your own wisdom and put the jumbled up thoughts in your head down on the page often lessening uncertainty and anxiety.
I’ve got an online course to help you get started launching soon! Can’t wait to share it with you.