What if a small daily habit could lead to a happier, healthier, and loner life. Would you try like crazy to fit it into your day?
I would think most of us would add this somewhere in our days because it makes sense to do things that are beneficial, but we all know the deal with common sense—it’s not all that common. Darn it!
People tend to get hung up about getting started on the journaling habit. But why?
Maybe because they are holding some beliefs about the practice. If that is the case, then let’s examine some possible road blocks and some ideas for getting around them so the habit can take hold.
10 ROAD BLOCKS TO JOURNALING ……………. 10 ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF THINKING
- Don’t like physical writing……our brains work better with the writing process but you could type it. Something is better than nothing. However, think back to the days of taking a tiny index card into one of your classes that you would be able to use on the exam for that class and then never even use it. That is because you processed the material so well that you didn’t even look at the card. Our brains are wired better through the physical process of pen to paper and we tend to remember it way better than the typing method. For me, if I am needing to go grocery shopping, I usually write myself a list. Sometimes I remember to actually take that list with me, but on those occasions that I forget it in a rush I can pretty much recall the list and manage to get 95-100% of the list. Not bad right? I could type it in my phone which I take along but: A. I don’t pull out the phone while pushing the cart and pulling things off the shelves because I don’t like being that person in the aisle who is blocking the path to the cereal and B. I pretty much have a more difficult time recalling what the heck I typed so that is useless for me. You might be different and in that case please go for it.
- Had an LA teacher who made you reflect on everything so you think you are burned out……Get over it because that LA teacher probably taught you a valuable skill and you are not in school any longer so you can reflect on what you want, you can write yourself a permission slip now because you don’t have to listen to them.
- Have a sinking feeling that you won’t stick to this new habit……..… If you don’t start it won’t matter as Zig Ziglar says here so well, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
- Feel as if you need just the perfect journal and pen…..I know I am particular about the pen because if it doesn’t flow well then ugh! I want to just give up and throw it against the wall, but that is not the greatest idea. My favorite pen right now is the Acroball by Pilot-thanks to my good friend, Jen gave me a pack for my birthday last year. I tell you this in case you wanted a nice smooth pen that doesn’t smear. Now for the journal, well, I have one I use as a journal/planner that I picked up at an outlet store on a trip I really didn’t want to even go on, so that was a bonus find to me. (I am not a shopper except out of necessity) It has 192 pages in a sturdy spiral and I have used it throughout the year. I also have another journal for gratitude that is a soft leather cover and has the acid free paper as a long lasting benefit, think legacy here. And finally, I have a plain spiral in which I do my SAVERS when I am monitoring those morning habits. Here is an idea I have used in the past. Take a spiral of the size you prefer and then cut out a bunch of pictures that would be on a vision board and glue those down. Take some boxing tape and laminate the cover by putting strips of tape over it and get in the groove by looking at it before you begin journaling. (Benefit here: Part of the SAVERS). If you want a nice classic moleskine notebook for posterity then maybe pick up this one up, 240 pages and a nice size and a hard cover. There are others available with all kinds of cool covers.
- Don’t know what to write……set a timer and write for 5 minutes about whatever is in your brain or on your mind even if it is a rant about all the things you might need to do today. You could use a sentence starter of I don’t know what to write today so I am just going to……..Maybe write one complex sentence at the end of the day about how your day went and what made it that way. If it didn’t go the way you wish, then you could process how it could have been better and how. Throw some thoughts of gratitude in there and Bam! You are on a roll. STILL don’t know what to write…..Find a premade journal that has writing prompts in them.
- Have a specific part of your life you to journal about like exercise, eating, dreams, or goals you want to reach………. GREAT, start small and KEEP it SIMPLE. Need ideas send me an email and I will help you out.
- Think you don’t have time to journal……..Um, start small and work your way up. We all have the same 168 hours in a week and 35minutes to 2.5 hours is not much. Make this part of a morning routine like SAVERS or an evening of Gratitude/end of day Reflection.
- Worry journaling is therapy……..who gives a 3h!T. Stop worrying about what others think, instead worry about how you feel. Besides EVERYONE could benefit from therapy and journaling is an inexpensive method.
- Worry someone would read it…….They might, but if you have clear boundaries then you will have less chance of this ever occurring. You might consider getting over what others think and just for fun you could post a warning like this: Look OUT! Something rotten will soon happen to you if your eyes are in this journal without permission because Karma is just like that.
- Worried someone would not read it…….Maybe you want to leave a legacy. Write it so those who you believe would take the time to get to know you this way will learn about the REAL you. You have to be You, no choice. Leave them something to smile and talk about.
The BENEFITS tied to the process of Journaling, a downward spiral effect of benefits
-Processing past hurts can free up that negative space to be filled with more positive emotions.
-More attention to the NOW in your life, only thing you can deal with.
-Decreases stress which can strengthen your immune system.
-Decreases depression while increasing more positive emotions.
-Time for you=you making your emotional health a priority.
-If gratitude is included as a practice, then lots of positive outcomes will emerge and you will be closer to a happier, healthier, and longer life.
Please try to internalize these thoughts: You don’t have to be perfect to be perfectly happy and what you concentrate or focus on, you get more of. Therefore, we might want to process those negative thoughts and move on to more pleasant, positive thoughts.
The bottom line is by adding the habit to your life, it’s possible to increase your happiness which could lead to a healthier life and in turn, lead to a longer life. With all the potential I hope you get started soon.
So, if you understand this is a positive habit of successful people and you want to be more successful at life, then you may already be including this habit. In that case-GREAT!
If you want to do something really good for your sense of inner peace, then give journaling a try.
If you are still on the fence about this habit, then please give journaling a try for 30 days and see how you feel.
If you hate all suggestions for improving your life, then you are probably not reading this and that is just fine. Just keep all that stuff in your head and see how helpful that is.
Until next post,
Be aware of yourself, not critical of yourself and Journal on!