Writing in a journal is something I have always enjoyed doing but I have always struggled with writing regularly. I would usually sit down for an hour every three months and write an update about all that was happening and promise to write more. Another three to six months would go by and then I'd feel like I should write again. And it would leave me frustrated because felt like I spent so much time just writing a catch up instead of how I felt or what was really happening in my day-to-day. It became something that weighed on my mind as something I should do but never prioritized. That was until I started implementing these three tips:

  1. Write at the same time each day (and make an optimal time)
  2. Be honest
  3. Don't judge yourself (thoughts, spelling, handwriting, etc.)

1) Write at the same time each day (and make an optimal time).

I always tried to write before bed and found that I valued sleep above writing in my journal. I would always think, I'll do it tomorrow, and tomorrow I would be tired again. You can see how 3 months would go by quickly. I would end up writing my catchup entries in the morning and I found that worked the very best but for some reason, I would still try to convince myself to write in the evening. It wasn't until I decided to add journalling as part of my morning routine that I found my optimal time. I discovered that by writing at the same time each morning, I was able keep up the habit and by writing at an optimal time, I never stressed about getting to sleep or prioritized other things. 

2) Be honest

Another big hindrance in my writing was that I always stuck to the facts and didn't honestly write what I was feeling. I kept thinking that someone would read it and it would cause problems, so I held back. And in my opinion, journaling is pointless if you can't be honest with yourself. You can't learn and grow through the exercise of writing if you can't be honest. By being honest and confiding in my journal like a friend, I've found that I now crave writing in my journal... which helps me keep the practice up regularly. 

3) Don't judge yourself. 

Write honestly what you need to write and don't judge yourself for writing that your co-worker is a jerk.  Don't judge yourself for spelling mistakes and don't judge your handwriting. Journaling is a safe space for you to be you, judgment-free. When you judge, you won't want to write and you won't keep up a regular habit. So don't judge yourself for what you write or how you write it. 


Tune into Happiness Abound, The Podcast (Episode 164) for the audio reading of this blog article as well as to hear additional color commentary on the inspiration for this topic, the details of my journal writing experiences, and more. 

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Photo by Emmanuel Maceda on Unsplash