Journaling: How to start and stick to it.

As someone who has now been journaling daily for a few months, I can tell you that getting started can be hard.

I can not tell you how many times in the past I have told myself, “I am going to start Journalling I’m going to do this, be that type of person.” But it never worked I’d write for a few days maybe a week if I was lucky and then I’d stop and the habit wouldn’t stick. Which was so frustrating because I was reading and seeing videos and Instagram posts almost daily about why Journalling is so great and everyone should be doing it and blah blah blah. –Which spoiler I do agree, it’s just being able to get to the point of consistent journaling before you will see the benefit.

Journaling is something that can really help open up your mind and your thinking. It can help us work through problems in an easy way by pouring them out onto paper and looking at them from a new angle. It’s a great way to brain dump, vent, or even a place where you can set goals and intentions for yourself.  It can be a place you just write without thought, the point is, it is a place to empty your brain and not necessarily bring ourself clarity but pave the road so you can find it eventually.

So how do you start to become that consistent journal-writing kind of person?

You buy a journal and just start.

Yes, it really is that easy. Too many people get caught up in so many tiny things when it comes to starting to journal. “what one do I buy? do I use a pen or pencil? Should I bullet journal or shadow journal? Just silly in the grand scheme of things doesn’t matter kind of questions. JUST START.

Back in July when I started this journey, I was not consistent, not until about a good third of the month that is. I was so caught up in all the silly little questions the what and how I was “supposed” to be doing it. However, I quickly realized… There is no right way, no perfect way to journal or write out my inner thoughts. Why? Because they are just that. My inner thoughts they aren’t meant to be well worded, written with the elegant flow of a master writer or any of that. It’s just my brain doing what it does and me letting it out on paper instead of trapping it in my mind.

See that’s the big thing about journaling, yes you can have to structure of “I am going to sit down every day and write at X time.” If you follow my Instagram you will see my stories most mornings at basically the same time: my journal and morning coffee. I find that’s what works best for me, I like being able to dump everything out of my brain before my day starts: for the most proactive start to my day. Maybe that would be great for you, or maybe you’re more of the end-of-the-day before-bed person or middle-of-the-day person. You have to find the time that feels best for you.

Don’t get stuck on the how to part.

Structuring it much farther outside of what time of day you are going to write, can eventually be the downfall which makes you stop journalling. Journaling doesn’t need to have strict rules, it doesn’t need perfect parameters for you to meet while writing. After all, this is for you, and your eyes only so who cares how or what you write? How can you truly start to help yourself work through whatever it is you are writing about if you are so worried about the perception it gives off if someone else were to read it? Short answer, you can’t. Or at least not well.

The human thought process is messy, it’s not exactly linear and forever changing. Your journal will more than likely be a reflection of this. THAT IS OKAY. If someone were to peak in my journal they would see spelling mistakes terrible grammar and random just stop-and-go sentences that don’t feel like they fit into what I’m talking about. But, that was the thought process at the time so that’s what went down in the journal because it’s part of the process.

If you have looked into taking up journaling before than there’s a good chance you’ve seen the laundry list of different ways to journal. -Bullet journaling, shadow journaling, mind mapping, reflective journaling, gratitude journaling, dream journaling and so on. So many it never ends.

Which can leave us wondering well which one is right?

There is no one “right style” of journaling.

The amount of different styles alone can be daunting. But honestly, the style in which you choose or don’t doesn’t exactly matter. One person can find just doing a quick bullet journal is what works best for them and another can find they like reflective best. To find out which one (or which combination of them) works for you. You need to try them. Some days all you might need is a few bullet points of things on your mind and others may require pages of word vomit.

Each person as an individual can benefit greatly from one or many different styles. This as can very person to person but can also vary day to day. When things are feeling hopeless and stressful taking time to reflect and focus on gratitude could be helpful. Or even just giving yourself the grace to be able to say “things suck right now and this is why.” Can help bring mental clarity by addressing and acknowledging how and why you are feeling the way you are. After all, acknowledging and giving yourself room to feel the things we need to (bad or good) is all part of the process and necessary for over all mental wellness.

The longer you go the easier it gets.

Sounds silly I know, doesn’t everything work like that? Yes, however. Journaling is one of those things that the more consistent you are with sitting down and doing it. The easier it becomes to sit down and consistently do it. Especially when you give yourself that “no rule and just let it flow out” kind of freedom when it comes to journaling. You will begin to see a desire to write daily. Your brain will begin to crave that action of letting its thought process out. You will also start to see and feel the benefits of daily journaling and how it can help in many more ways than one would assume at first. -That will have to be a post all of its own-

So what are you waiting for, grab a notebook something to write with and just start.

No rules, no trying to be perfect or well-written. Just write.

Just start.

-Ashley Cirka

If you enjoyed todays post I encourage you to subscribe or follow any of my social media to stay up to date with the blog and be notified when a new post comes out. I hope you have a lovely morning, evening or weekend when ever you’re reading.

Published by Ashley Cirka

Hi, I’m a mom of 4 wonderful kids ranging from ages 7 years old to 1 months. Who are sometimes a lot to handle, with a husband who works a less than desired shift. But, we make it work for us. This is a little insight on our life and how we navigate as a family of 6.

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