There are no hard-set rules for keeping a journal. How often you write, time you spend, and how rigorously you maintain a regular journaling schedule are matters of personal choice and circumstance. Therefore, it is important to find what works for you. Having a regular journaling time builds routine and discipline. Journaling isn't necessarily about what you write; it's about just getting your thoughts and emotions out on paper. Find a time that feels good for you. Return at this time as often as possible even if you don't think you have anything to say, you're tired, or not quite awake. Start by just recording something special, an event or a quote you heard on that day. The process only requires a starting place. The rest will flow naturally.
- Set your Space up for Success-You might prefer your environment to be quiet, specific music or certain writing materials. A favorite blanket or other personal item may be at hand when thinking through personal stuff.
- Develop a Centering Ritual-Associate journaling with another pleasurable habit, you can strengthen your journal practice and create an atmosphere of self-nurturing. Maybe meditation, deep breathing exercises, or prayer centers you. Start with one that feels right for you.
- Begin with a “Prompt” -Maybe you want to focus on particular type of personal development change, event, etc. For instance, "What am I feeling right now?" or "What's been on mind? “.
- Journaling is a Big Benefit to you- Don't allow journaling to become an obligation. Allow the experience to been seen as possible no matter what pours onto the page. Don't demand more of yourself. If you miss a day or several days, accept that journaling, like life, is imperfect, and goes on. Begin again when do have a chance. Beating yourself up for not journaling isn't going to help you. No one is grading you. No one is measuring and tracking. Remember, there are no rules. You own your journal.
- Emphasize the Process and not the Product- An important purpose of journal writing is simply expressing and recording your thoughts and feelings. Focus on the thinking process. Keep the words flowing and stop being concerned about the result. If your journaling is about something specific, re-read. Allow room for editing if you choose, This is all part of the thinking process. Use your journal as the raw material processing for more polished thinking.
- Learn from your experiences. Set up a time to re-read your entries. - It's good to see how far you've grown in your thinking. It re-enforces how you've changed and grown. It's a wonderful, personal way to pat you on the back from life. When you reread your material, look for patterns and correlations. What improved? What stayed the same? Learning from you is much gentler on self-esteem. Use objectivity to see a new perspective or hindsight lesson.
- Relax, have fun, and laugh! Journal writing is its own reward- Once you get started, your journal will become a good friend. It's available whenever you need it. Day, night, home, in the car, or in a coffee shop or in Malawi Africa … It's a 24/7 friend and is always ready to love you back if you let it.