The best way to make a change to your life is to make it habitual. Habits work on autopilot. We do them automatically, because they’re so ingrained within our routines. If there’s something you want to change in your life, fitting it into regular routines can lead to real change.
Journaling can transform your life and develop your skills. The best journaling habits help you to analyse your mind and organise your thoughts, whilst journaling specifically in a daily planner combines organisational skills with self-discovery and gratitude. Here are 5 Journaling Habits to Change Your Life.
Write consistently without constraints
All too often we’re taught to write and live to certain rules. These can be helpful at times, but they can also hinder our creativity.
When journaling in a daily planner, write without constraints. Don’t worry about grammar, don’t even think about spelling - simply write. Write about nonsense, write about what you had for lunch, write about that worry hanging in the back of your mind. Just write, and then write some more.
Write consistently in sessions of at least 10 minutes a day. Writing without constraints is one of the best journaling habits, because it can help to free your mind
Write for anxiety and sadness
Another one of the best journaling habits that can change your life is writing to soothe your mind when you experience anxiety, stress, anger or sadness. Journaling is a private activity to write out your unconscious thoughts without holding back, and can be very cathartic for managing emotions.
Writing about your worries and fears can help you to identify exactly what is bothering you, and discover solutions. Writing about your anger calms your mind and develops more rational responses. Writing about your sadness can be therapeutic, and uncovers positives in your life.
Write to micro-manage
When you’re working towards goals in your daily planner, one of the best journaling habits to change your life is micro-management. Too many goals fall flat and fail to motivate, because they’re just too vague. They don’t have any impact on the here and now.
One of the best journaling habits you can learn is how to split your aims into manageable micro-goals. If your monthly goal is to clean your home, that needs to be split into several smaller weekly goals, such as ‘tidy the bedroom’ and ‘clean out the bins’. Weekly goals can be split down even further to daily goals, like ‘sort out clothes’, ‘dust the desk’, ‘change the duvet cover’, etc. Suddenly, that big monthly goal doesn’t seem so out of reach.
Write to understand yourself
As the hero of our own story, we all have challenges and conflicts to overcome. Sometimes we churn over important decisions in our minds, without a clear answer in sight. Writing in a daily planner helps you analyse your choices, whether buying a new house or applying for a job. In your daily planner, write a list of pros and cons, arguments for and against, and follow your train of thought to discover what feels right for you.
There might also be situations where you don’t know why you feel afraid about something. One of the best journaling habits to change your life is being able to analyse your thoughts and fears.
Write a mind map to plot out your thoughts. Start by circling the negative thought in the middle of the page, then build outwards with smaller circles around your feelings, responses and thoughts. Develop positive mind maps of strategies to help you feel relaxed and calm.
Write for gratitude and positive mindset
Journaling in a daily planner isn’t just about problem solving and micro-management, it’s also about positivity. If you’re not a morning person, you probably feel groggy before that first coffee. If you start your day with a motivated mindset, you power through the day on a whole other level.
Before setting your goals in your daily planner, write three things you feel grateful for. Gratitude journaling might seem strange at first, but it can transform the way you manage your day. If your mind is focused on the positives in the morning, you put that positive energy into each of your tasks throughout the day.
Fitting journaling habits into your daily life doesn’t have to be complicated. You can do it for hours, or for a few minutes each day. What counts is consistency.
Journaling has a domino effect. You plan out your day in your journaling sessions, and you gradually become more organised through the process. Journaling habits have the ability to change your life through transforming your ways of working, living and thinking.