Tips for How to Journal Consistently

Starting at around age fifteen, journaling regularly was one of those things that I constantly wrote down as a goal but never ended up sticking with. I would go through phases where I would write every night, and then not at all for months at a time. In the past year, however, I’ve finally gotten into the habit of writing in a journal, and it’s become one of the most important practices in my life. Here are some tips to help you get consistent with journaling. 

bullet journal Estée Janssens

1. Remind yourself that you don’t need to record everything

I used to think about picking up my journal and get overwhelmed because I felt that I needed to “catch up” with myself about everything. Because I wasn’t journaling regularly to begin with, this mindset made getting started seem pretty intimidating. When I realized that using journaling as a tool to relieve stress and sort through my thoughts was more practical than attempting to write down everything that happened within a certain period of time, it became a much more sustainable part of my routine. 

2. Start by setting a timer 

This really goes along with my first tip in the sense that they both help alleviate unnecessary pressure by making writing in a journal feel like less of a time commitment. When I started journaling more regularly, I would give myself a set amount of time and write down whatever was on my mind, which allowed me to discover how rewarding the practice was and motivated me to continue. It’s amazing how much of a difference spending thirty minutes to reflect and let your emotions out can have on your wellbeing and ability to view your life with clarity. 

3. Plan when you’re going to write

It’s not about journaling every single day, but when you’re getting started it’s important to schedule time when you’re going to do so. Forming new habits ultimately comes down to repetition, so setting aside time to write on a regular basis is crucial. Now, I don’t always journal on a set schedule, and even find that writing more spontaneously can sometimes be particularly beneficial, but planning ahead was a necessary part of it becoming a consistent practice for me. 

fountain pen on a letter Alvaro Serrano

In moments that I’m feeling particularly stressed or low, or even excited, writing in my journal is a way to acknowledge and express my emotions in a productive and therapeutic manner. Journaling allows you to sort through and evaluate your thoughts and actions, and adjust them accordingly, which is incredibly beneficial in all aspects of life, including relationships and personal goals. Throughout this past year, I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth, and journaling played a small but significant role in that process. Hopefully, these tips help you get consistent with the valuable and rewarding practice of journaling!