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4 Tips for Journaling and Staying on Top of It

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.

Gracie Flach

American '24

Gracie is a sophomore studying Business Administration. She recently transferred to American from Loyola Maryland and joined HCAU's eboard as an editor. Her interests include sewing/embroidery(anything fashion-related), exploring DC especially the museums, and gardening.
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