When I was a kid I had several of those journals with a little lock and key. I aspired to keep a regular record of my thoughts and feelings but could never seem to stick with it. I so wish I had because the entries I did keep hilarious to look back on! As an adult I did revisit it and have kept some form of a journal regularly for the last ten years. I have have expanded my practice recently to include habit tracking as well and I have experienced many benefits, from making progress toward my goals to improvements to my mental health and well-being.Here are some tips for cultivating an easy journaling practice that will help you stay sane and organized:
1. Start small - Author Greg McKeown advises you start a journaling practice by writing just one sentence a day. Setting a small and doable goal like this makes it easy to stick with it, and you will likely extend your daily writing once the habit is formed. I have been using a five-year journal like this one to record a brief daily synopsis and the limited space per day makes the practice so simple. Also, because you record five years of entries on each page you can easily review what you did on the same date in previous years. I have gained a lot of insights into how I’ve changed over the years and I’ve noticed unhealthy patterns from using this style of journal.
2. Track the things you want to improve - “That which is measured, improves.” The source of this quote is debatable but the sentiment is clear: if you want to make positive changes in your life, keep track of your behavior. I take a few minutes each night before bed to write down how I’m feeling physically and emotionally, as well as to record my exercise and food intake for the day. Just the act of writing these things down has had a great impact on my health. I like to include habit trackers to check off each day of the month I’ve completed a healthy habit, I find it’s super motivating!
3. Cultivate gratitude - Gratitude journals are very trendy - Oprah’s been singing their praises for years - but for good reason. The simple act of writing down things you are thankful for each day has a powerful effect in making you pay attention to the good in your life, instead of always focusing on the negatives. I record three things I’m grateful for daily, and they often take the form of a moment I really appreciated, such as a great conversation or time spent outdoors. Paying attention to these things has brought me greater enjoyment every day.
4. Celebrate progress - As a recovering perfectionist I’ve also recently started recording a daily win in my journal. This can be something I accomplished or a step outside of my comfort zone. I’m often hard on myself for the uncompleted tasks on my to do list, and this small act allows me to see I am actually making progress toward my goals. found these tips helpful be sure to subscribe to the Pretty Neat
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