Yet another January has drawn to a close and as always the tattered remains of many a New Years Resolution lays by the wayside.
For those of you whom wanted to start a diary or journal, but struggled with the execution, the time, the challenge of being insightful (despite the fact the journal is only for you to read and re-read), worry not. We’ve come up with some sure fire ways to help you get stuck in and make journaling a habit that will last a lifetime.
Choosing a format
There’s a few great ideas out there for formatting your diary a little differently, which will be a great intro to journaling. Once you’re more established you can either continue the format that got you hooked or try something new.
LINE A DAY
These are great as you don’t get bogged down in details. Simply write a single line about your day each day. Either sum up the feelings or the activities. We think these are great as there isn’t any excuse for not having time. It’s just 1 line after all.
You can even expand on the theme and use the same notebook or diary to log a line a day for a number of years. This helps you look back and is a quick reminder of your daily life through time.
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Home-made Some Lines a Day Diary[/caption]
Or expand the number of lines to ‘some’ lines a day.
Whilst there are manufacturers who make these we think you can make a great one from pretty much any notebook. We favour the Moleskine Large Soft Cover
because the size is perfect for a multi-year line a day (or some lines a day) diary. Plus, the soft cover opens easily, folding flat to help writing.
It doesn’t take much to create your own line a day journal. Choose how many years you want your journal to cover, divide the page into that many rows. Title the page with the date eg. February 20th and then title each row with a year.
Et Voila a very simple and fantastic way to get into journaling.
A gratitude journal is simply that. A journal of your gratitude.
What you are thankful for. These are great to help you take some time to get in tune with everything that goes on in your life.
Our PR Guru, Lucie, uses her own version of a gratitude journal. She writes a line in the morning and a line in the evening of what she is thankful for. It can be specific to the day or it can be more general, like being thankful for her friends and family.
“I find it really helps puts things into perspective, especially as we are all too hung up on the things
we don’t have, rather than enjoying the things we do have.”
– Lucie, Pen Heaven PR
Again there are many manufacturers that make ‘Gratitude Journals’ in one form or another, but you can just as easily use a notebook
TIME OF DAY
Choose a time of day that suits you. You’re much more likely to stick with your new journaling hobby and make it a habit if you can find a time which you can use to journal every day.
For some people this is just before bed. They can have a brain dump, getting everything out onto paper and clearing their head. Many say this helps with a restful night’s sleep.
It could be first thing in the morning, it could be lunch time. Just make sure it suits your life.
Give yourself a time limit. Be it 5 minutes or 15 minutes setting a time limit will help ensure that you stick to your guns and keep writing.
Make sure it’s short enough that you can never talk yourself out of writing due to not having time, but long enough that you can really get into your journaling for the day. Some people find they spend the first 10 minutes of their allotted 15 minute journal time just to ponder their day before writing.
Be creative with your journaling and you could find that it’ll become your favourite part of the day. You’re little bit of you time in the chaos of a hectic day.
The use of colour can really bring your journal to life. You can use a different coloured ink each day
to break up the journal or you can colour code depending on your mood or the subject of your writing.
If you go somewhere, do something, find something pretty that piques your fancy, then collect it.
A ticket, a flyer, a photo. Then stick it in. You can use it as background or a reminder.
This helps your journal become a really great scrapbook of your life. Full of joy and memories.
Ultimately don’t worry about how it looks, just do it. Have some fun. Get writing