A good way to track your year and maintain some self-accountability is to journal. Journaling can be a great way to express emotions, keep up with memories, discuss dreams, or maintain goals. No matter how you want to journal if you never have before it can be daunting. For every first-time journal keeper, Dee from Vanilla Pages has these tips for you!
Break Normal Journaling Expectations
Journaling can look different for every person, and that is okay. However, there are some stereotypical journaling expectations and practices that some people might think are the rules of journaling. Good news: Dee has many tips that reveal that this is not true. For starters, you do not have to keep a paper journal, if digital is what works for you–go digital!
You also do not have to write first thing in the morning. Journal when you have time not when you think you need to. Journal as messily and with as much personality as you want. No matter what your handwriting looks like or if you are doodling in it, what matters is that your journal reflects you not an aesthetic.
How to Keep Up Journaling
Have accountability, whether that is a writers club or a friend that is also journaling. You should also start with small, realistic expectations since you are beginning a new habit. Rome was not built in a day, and neither is a masterpiece of a journal and the habit to match it. Dee suggests that when you reach a block, you journal gratitude to help your brain flow.
What can also help is scheduling a time to journal every day. Keep this time consistent, so choose one that is not typically busy. Plus, you can track your journaling habits and this can work as accountability.
Keep Journaling Fresh
Some people do not journal because they think that it will be boring and the same old thing every day. For days when you need to mix it up or do not know what to say, use some prompts. Also, journal for yourself only. This will alleviate any pressure for it to be perfect or to fit an ideal and should hopefully be new every day.
Make journaling a fun experience, this can be done by using creatine pens or a pretty journal. Or you can ensure that every day is different by using different journaling techniques or by trying to journal in a new environment. Whatever you can to make journaling exciting.
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Being Nice to Yourself
As you start this new habit, be nice to yourself. New habits take time, as does finding your rhythm. When you have hard days or days where you are not happy with your journal, give yourself some grace and a kind word. You are only just beginning.
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