When you don't know where, why or how to start with your journaling practice you might like to try these 6 things...
1. Set aside time that feels good to you.
When it comes to journaling, there's no special frequency formula for best results. Perhaps the start of every week or the end of the month works better than a daily commitment for you...
It doesn't have to be an all or nothing method; it's simply determined by what feels manageable and beneficial for you.
Like any new habit that is stretching you beyond your comfort zone and re-wiring your programming, it may take a little effort to implement and then integrate what comes up, so be patient with yourself but remain intentional with how you get there.
Don't give up before you've really begun.
2. Create an environment that supports deep reflection.
You can have the best intentions with carving out time to get deep in your thoughts, but your environment to do so within, is just as important.
Make a quiet space in your home or leave the house to remove distractions, so that you can fully commit to your you-time like the rest of your world depends on it, because it does.
Never underestimate the power in a change of scenery for any form of self-development.
3. Avoid overthinking the process or becoming so intent on editing that it's no longer your immediate and innermost thoughts.
You are your only audience when you journal, so trying to plan, frame and edit your writing only takes away from the purpose it's meant to serve in this context and will leave you frustrated trying to achieve elusive perfection.
There's a time and place for polished work but it's not here, instead let this be where your unfiltered writing and thoughts have the opportunity to live, to form new realisations and create better self-expression when all laid out.
In the surrender is where it will become perfect, you'll see.
4. Write down your thoughts from the day, current feelings, things that have happened in your day/week, things you're hopeful for in the future.
When you feel there isn't anything meaningful to write about, start with the basics and remember that: you create the meaning.
Lean into your intuition, pay attention to the situations you find yourself in and most importantly your responses to them. When you do this, consider any patterns you may have missed or a golden opportunity you can't see... until you peel back the layers.
Notice how you feel when you write to release and when you write to put the wheels in motion on something.
5. Experiment with freestyle writing and journal prompts.
The most important part is getting to know yourself. Some days it may look like asking questions and trusting your answers and other days it'll look like a brain dump (ie: the slide before). Both are powerful and both have their place in this practice.
A common misconception is, if you don't have it all figured out in your head it'll just inhibit your ability to figure it out on paper, but that couldn't be further from the truth...
Think about it: you can't build a lego structure while it's still in the box, sooner or later you need to remove the pieces and organise them so you can actually create something to marvel at. Treat your mind the same way.
6. Wrap it up on a positive note, or with an important lesson.
Whenever your thoughts and words become heavy, let it be an opportunity to recognise your own range of emotions and begin moving through them.
Regardless of your motivation to begin writing, trust it's inching you closer to meeting yourself through a new lens, and usually always a version that can see the silver lining or a fresh perspective in a situation, a determination previously lost and the endless ideas that only you can give life to. Focus on this magic.
Get comfortable with being a work in progress, and treat your journal time as something to always be continued too, where you leave space for things to develop, lessons to reveal themselves and gratitude to grow.
I hope this has helped you find your flow.
This is your bright life.