In Part 1 I shared a simple method to get you started with your journaling practice.
In Part 2 I shared two key strategies for sustaining your practice: commitment (rather than intention), and connecting your practice with something else you are already doing on a daily basis.
But you may be wondering, “How do I put it all together?”
There is a lot more to know when it comes to creating a sustainable journaling habit that serves you in a deep, life-changing way. Journaling is like a trusted confidante, and it’s so empowering to know that you can create that for yourself!
There are 5 key components for starting and sustaining a journaling practice:
1. The Tools
Believe it or not, sometimes the tools you choose for journaling—the type of pen or notebook, for example—will completely sabotage your journaling practice. This has happened to me, and what I discovered is that having the most ordinary and enjoyable tools were the most supportive of me and my practice.
But it’s different for everyone, and that is what you’ll need to discover.
Getting off on the right foot with the tools that fit YOU will mean experimenting with a variety of tools and methods of journaling. If you’re not aware that this is a process, you may give up too soon.
2. The Timing
The truth about getting anything done is that most of the tasks in our life that aren’t on auto-pilot or are not on our calendars simply don’t get done.
Ideally, your journaling practice needs to happen around the same time every day. Or, it needs to happen immediately before or after something that you do every single day (think: eating, brushing your teeth, taking your children to school, etc.).
3. The Place
To feel comfortable, relaxed, and spacious while exploring your innermost thoughts and feelings, you must have a place that feels private and safe for you.
There is no right or wrong, good or bad here. You may feel most comfortable in your car, and that’s okay.
And once you find your place, stick to it.
4. The Practices
To begin and sustain a journaling practice, you need at least 2-3 go-to methods of journaling that you can use from the very beginning.
When you have options about how you’re going to approach writing time, your practice will be more enjoyable and fruitful, especially when you’re feeling stuck or you’re not sure what to do.
5. Support for your new journaling habit
Anytime you start a new habit or practice, it is imperative to have support.
Support can look like being your own cheerleader as you put a beautiful checkmark next to “journal” on your list of tasks completed for the day.
Or, it could look like buddying up with a friend you can check in with daily or weekly.
Or, you could join a community of support whose sole focus is on helping you get started with your powerful, sustainable journaling practice.
Journaling has become an indispensable and highly reliable tool for me to gain clarity, seek guidance, and process the difficult thoughts and emotions that are inevitable on this amazing and unpredictable journey.
And I know from experience with my clients that with some effort and guidance, journaling can do this for you too.
Here’s what Lynn, a blog reader, shared about her experience of timed writing:
I did my first one-minute journaling, amazing! The permission to only write for one minute helped me get out a thought that is an affirmation I am on the right path to recovery, Thank you Victoria.
When you have a trusted method for exploring and working through life’s problems—all without needing to wait for your next coaching or therapy session—it’s a game-changer.
© Victoria Tidwell Palmer (2022)