Journaling is really difficult. I’ve asked countless friends and acquaintances if they journal and the most common reply is “Well… I have a journal, but I’m finding it difficult to stay on top of it.”
I won’t lie to you, journaling is really difficult to stay on top of, especially if your schedule is hectic and during the free time that you do have – you spend it doing something else.
Personally, I find myself saying the same thing sometimes but I’m going to share a few tips that helped me stay on top of my journaling:
- Scheduling time or making it a habit.
I have found that if I keep my journal near my bed, I end up writing before I go to bed. Although it doesn’t always produce the clearest thoughts, I still get the chance to talk about my day and write down any lingering thoughts without feeling pressure to quickly write everything down.
- Find little things to love about journaling.
Personally, I am a super creative person and love art so to make my journaling more enjoyable, I incorporate gel pens and markers. Ever since I started journaling in my freshman year of high school, I put little doodles at the end of the page and to this day I still do. I think this kind of gives me a little time when I am putting my thoughts onto the page to de-stress and let my creativity out.
- Separate forced journaling from free journaling.
Not all journaling has to be regimented and all about one thing. I think journaling gets so stressful and not fun for people because it feels forced and almost like a job. For me, I don’t always talk about my day unless it was especially crazy. I like to write down my goals, where I want to see myself in 10 or 20 years, pitch ideas for Her Campus pieces, and so much more. When I first started journaling, I did get caught up in feeling bound by only writing about each day but slowly I began to let my mind wander and talk about what I’m feeling and thinking. With this mindset, I have found that journaling is fun and an activity in which I can de-stress.
- Understand that it’s there when you need it and when you don’t, no need to worry.
I used to think that journaling had to be a daily thing where I absolutely had to write in it every day or else I’d be lost and I wouldn’t be able to look back and see what I was like in the past. It’s actually the opposite: the more I started to think about it, the more I realized that if I were to look back and read about how sad and overwhelmed I was with my journaling, I wouldn’t even want to read it. I want to look back on the good times and even if I do look back on the bad times, I want to remember the lessons I learned. The point is, I found that if I felt like it was important to journal about, it was and if I didn’t think it was important enough, it was not written about.