My last post offered up a few simple tips to consider as you embrace your journaling adventure. Here are three more to keep you moving full steam ahead.
Have a Clear Purpose in Mind
On more than one occasion I have been asked to keep a specific journal – for a class I’ve been taking, or my coach may suggest I journal for a goal I am working towards. In those cases, I might feel more ‘forced’ to write and the quality of what I write often shows that. Ask yourself are you really interested in revealing something about yourself or are you just doing it to meet a course requirement?
If you want to come away with personal insight, then start with your chosen topic but always let your thoughts travel where they need to go. Don’t constrain yourself too much, so you can make discoveries that lead to knowing more about yourself. From my perspective, that is the truest purpose of keeping a journal.
Make it Personal
I believe you get the most from journaling when you do it regularly. Ideally it becomes a habit. But everyone’s habits are unique, so be sure to make your journaling experience personal to you. I’ve mentioned before that I keep more than one journal, some are daily; others are weekly or ad hoc. Maple lets me set a nudge Notification with different frequencies for each.
My gratitude journal is a daily part of my ‘end of day routine’. I sit on the edge of the bed and use my phone or tablet as I reflect on my day. My stress journal gets updated randomly during the day, typically while I am sitting at my desk. (It’s no mystery that this is when I’m most stressed). I’m using my personal journal for the MaJoWriMo adventure and my word of the day can strike at any time. If you keep a dream journal, then first thing in the morning is probably the best time to write there. The point is there is no one best time, or perfect place, or ideal way to journal. Experiment a little then do what works for you.
Something I do frequently is return to my journal. I drop a quick thought or two in there and then come back to it later when I have either more time to capture it or a clearer idea of what I want to say. In Maple, you can set a Reminder flag on a specific journal entry if you feel you haven’t quite finished yet. I use this to bring me back to the things that need attention.
Other times I go back to a journal weeks or months later. This gives me another chance to think on a topic and potentially bring a fresh perspective to it. One of the upsides to online journaling is you can add to prior entries and include new ideas. For me, this look back shows where I am evolving and where my perspectives are consistent. That alone can help me connect the dots. Remember: insight doesn’t have to come only in the moment you write, sometimes it perks and grows with you.
Here is one final thought on suggestions for journaling – if the tips you’ve read aren’t resonating with you, just move on. As you journal you’ll create your own best practices that support and work for you. That is really what is most important. Make the journaling process your own.
We’re midway through November and the MaJoWriMo adventure is going strong. Why not join us? Your adventure is truly your own, it begins whenever you start it. Maybe that’s today. We’re here to offer you encouragement and cheer you on. Because you can do it! Go ahead, Maple something!
#MaJoWriMo #ThisIsWhyWeMaple #MeetMaple #LoveYourJournal
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