Journaling is a healthy exercise to chronicle your life, reduce stress and work out your issues by doing a little free-flow writing. But lack of time, motivation and fear that your kids will peek at your most intimate thoughts can stop you. There’s no doubt that journaling is good for the soul and filling one book before starting another (chances are you have more than one journal on the go) is the ultimate goal. The key is to keep the momentum going once you get started.
Here are some ideas to start you on the road to journaling success!
Pen & Paper – they matter
Set aside some time to shop for the perfect journal and writing tool. Select a pretty design, flip through the pages, see what features the journal has that will make you want to write in it. Equally important is a good pen that feels comfortable in your hand with ink that flows quickly and smoothly enough to catch all your rapid-fire thoughts and ah-ha moments!
Your quiet place
It can be difficult to find a quiet place to write when you have young children, but when there’s a will, there’s a way. It doesn’t matter if you can’t write at the same time every day but it’s important to have uninterrupted time while you’re writing. Getting up 20 minutes earlier than your regular time will allow you to tap into what’s on your mind first thing in the morning. Staying up a little later after everyone’s in bed can give you some valuable reflection time. The more you write, the easier it is to hone in on your thoughts. Keeping your journal with you as you go about your day will give you some opportunities to spend a few minutes jotting down your thoughts while you wait in the doctor’s office or before you pick the kids up from school.
You’re wrapped up in your favourite blanket and have a steaming cup of tea by your side. You open your journal, pick up your pen…and nothing. Not to worry, this will happen from time to time. I like to write prompts or quotes on top of my pages that I know will trigger a stream of consciousness. One of my favourite sources is Danielle LaPorte’s Truthbombs (daniellelaporte.com) You can subscribe to the site and get a new Truthbomb in your inbox every day. Some will resonate with you more than others but they definitely get the journaling juices flowing.
Inspirational quotes or even meditating on a word that stirs up strong feelings are also good starting points if you’re stuck.
There are more ways to express your creativity in your journal than with written words. Using stickers, different coloured pens and decorative washi tape can bring your pages to life and reflect the mood of your entries.
If you want make sure your journal entries are for your eyes only, consider downloading one of these apps for your phone or iPad that you can lock and keep private. Most feature a daily calendar for entries, pass codes, photo upload capabilities and customizable fonts and backgrounds. Virtual journals are also a great way to keep track of your thoughts and experiences while traveling!
Day One (dayoneapp.com)