I have a slight love-hate thing with journaling.
I love that it gives me an outlet for relieving stress—that it gives me a way to remember something I may otherwise forget (small memories, like things my daughter says…).
I also love that journaling allows me to use my brain to think about my words and how I choose to write them down and share them.
And now more than ever, I find that I rarely get the chance to put pen to paper and be creative. The world is almost completely digital; it’s too easy to let go of something as simple as physically writing down your thoughts.
The things I don’t like about journaling actually have nothing to do with journaling.
Rather, some of my personal traits that I’m not fond of make journaling hard.
For instance, I have a hard time being consistent with things like journaling. It always seems to fall by the wayside and then just fall off.
It’s hard to remember most days to stop and dedicate time to something I need.
Time flies by so quickly when you’re just trying to get a grasp on the day-to-day “stuff.”
The truth though is that I make excuses and do not keep my promises to myself to actually stick to it.
So this time I told myself I would at least set a goal of one week. If I could make it that far, then maybe I could take it another week, and then another week, and then…
There were a couple of times I had to do my journal pages on the go, because I almost forgot! But I forgave myself, because it’s a learning process and it doesn’t help to indulge negative inner dialogue.
I began reading The Artist’s Way last year, and what I really liked about that book was the assignment in the first chapter to dedicate yourself to writing three solid pages of thoughts first thing in the morning.
It seemed like a great idea to me as I often have a million things running through my mind as soon as I wake: my to-do list, how to route my day via driving, time, checking for any appointments I have that day, thinking about any phone calls I need to make, bills I need to pay, etc.
It can add up pretty quickly. And all of those things are not even what is in my subconscious that is actually stressing me out or preoccupying valuable brain space and energy.
I started journaling last year, but alas, it fell by the wayside. However, I knew I enjoyed it, and that fact made me feel like I could succeed at it. I remember that it gave me a sense of relief to just get thoughts out. And sometimes I would fill pages without even realizing how much I needed to say. I find that this journaling method helps me feel like I’m not being forced to write about my day, but rather just kind of allowing my mind to sigh on paper, if that makes sense?
It’s like taking a deep breath or meditating at the start of your day.
This way of journaling creates space for your creative juices to start flowing and gives your inner dialogue a place to land.
If you are looking for a little something different to get you started with journaling, I suggest trying this one. There are no real rules, no guidelines—just that it’s three pages.
You just write whatever comes to mind without judgement. If your grocery list sneaks on the page, so what? Flow with it!
Our minds need a place to stretch and release. It’s kind of like yoga for your brain!
Give yourself about 10 minutes in the morning to write those three pages and just see what happens after a week.
Most importantly, just create space for yourself.