How to Start Journaling Daily (A Beginners Guide to the Journaling Habit)

If you want to know how to start journaling daily, you’ve landed in the right place. There are many things I am not consistent with, but journaling daily is not one of them. It’s basically the only form of writing I’ve done without fail in the last twenty years, and there are so many good reasons for you to pick up the habit yourself.

What is journaling?

In order to start journaling daily, you should know what journaling is. Simply put, journaling is the act of recording your thoughts, feelings, actions, or anything else deemed worthy, in some form of writing- be it pen and paper or electronically. Some people even maintain blogs just for the journaling aspect it provides. Taking it a step further, journaling is a way to explore your life, engage in self-discovery, and really be able to honestly evaluate your heart and mind in a healthy, non-judgmental format.

How do I start journaling daily with a busy schedule?

Set a time of day or create a routine.

If you already have a morning routine, adding in the daily habit of journaling shouldn’t be overly complicated. Or, if it suits your schedule better, keep your journal by your bedside and be sure to jot in a few lines before zonking out for the night. By linking it to something you already do, each day, it’ll trigger the memory to ensure you stick with it.

Set a timer for however many minutes you can spare.

If you only have ten extra minutes, start a timer and write until the timer goes off. Many writers attest to the power of writing to “beat the alarm”. Even if you don’t think you have anything to write about, set it and you may surprise yourself.

Keep your journaling tools handy and easily accessible.

If your journal is pretty and your pen is right there with it, you’ll naturally be drawn to pick it up. If you see it every time you enter an oft visited room, you’ll never be able to fall back on the “I forgot” excuse. For moms, especially, sneaking in those quick few minutes of writing is key if your journal is always on the ready.

What are the benefits of journaling?

  • mental clarity- When your mind is a hamster wheel always spinning, or a never ending rabbit trail of thought, writing things out and being able to see them right in front of you, is key in being able to focus.
  • emotional therapy- We all deal with hurt feelings or complicated emotions, and often times, the act of writing them down and really delving deep into why you feel what you feel, or where the trigger came from, is wildly therapeutic.
  • reenforced discipline mindset- Journaling is a relatively simple habit that can be as long or short as you want, so it makes sense to discipline yourself to do it each day in order to wrack up those daily wins and boost your confidence in your ability to see things through.
  • gets your creative juices flowing- If you’re a writer, you need to be writing daily. Period. Creativity is a river and your lack of a journaling habit is the dam.
  • developing your values– Journaling daily enhances your self awareness and makes it easier to discover your core values, what matters most to you for yourself and your family, and allows you to see how your life aligns with your values…or not.
  • developing your voice as a writer– Not only does it foster creativity, but another benefit of journaling is that it helps you find your true writing voice.
  • connecting with God- I can’t tell you how many times the Lord spoke straight to my heart through the words I wrote in my journaling notebook. He knows you inside and out, and he knows where to find you to get your attention. How many messages might I have missed if I didn’t know how to start journaling daily?!
  • keeping record of your life- You can totally “dear diary” your journals and just keep track of your day to day, your nutrition, your exercise, your anything and everything. It’s your journal, your daily habit, your choice.
  • answered prayer tracker- I love re-reading older journals and seeing, in writing, just how many prayers God was faithful to answer and how far along I’ve come on my life journey.

Tips to start journaling:

  • Know your journaling method– What are you journaling and will it be with pen and paper or with a computer.
  • Lower your expectations- You don’t have to do it for three hours a day to make it a daily journaling habit, and there’s no one to impress with how well you write.
  • Keep it simple- a lined notebook, a good pen, a few lines of thought, a moment in the day that made you smile. You already know how to start journaling daily, you just have to remember you can write anything you want.
  • Leave the judgement at the door- There’s no need to edit, no need to critique, no need to criticize yourself over what you write or how you write.
  • Incorporate it into an established habit or routine- If journaling daily is on your priority list, then this is an invaluable tip to make sure it happens!
  • Pray first, pray during, pray after- If you don’t know what to write, stop and pray. If you run out of words, use it as a sign to pray. If you don’t feel more peaceful at the end, it’s a good time to pray.
  • Scour the web for journaling ideas- with google at your fingertips, there’s no way to run out of good journaling ideas to prompt your daily writing habit.

To start journaling daily, start journaling daily.

This isn’t a learned skill until it’s practiced. This can’t become a daily habit until it’s done each and every day. There’s no way to work your way into it, you just pick up the pen, or open your laptop, and begin!

Once you learn how to start journaling daily, you’ll likely not know how to stop.

Starting is the easy part. It’s trying to get through a day when you haven’t made it a priority, that’s hard.

How did you start journaling daily?


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