Keeping a journal safe can be quite a challenge.
Not keeping it private, but keeping it alive. The struggles to keep to journaling can be a real battle.
The time can pass by so quick, and it’s so easy to just say “screw it”. Energy levels aren’t the only threat however.
In my experience, these are the most dangerous threats to your journal.
Energy ( Or Lack Thereof )
In the beginning, you’ve haven’t yet experienced how energising a journal really is. Because of this it can feel like you’re being wasteful by keeping a journal.
You come home tired, or you got up on the wrong end of the bed, regardless it just feels like the journal weighs 1000 pounds.
The solution: understanding that in the long run you are saving energy.
Over time as you write down your thoughts you are unloading your brain and saving it from carrying scattered, incoherent thoughts. This leads to much better well being and focused thinking.
Consciously understanding this of course is not enough, so try these tips:
- Write smaller, but more meaningful entries
- Set a timer, keep your time spent writing at about 10 minutes or less
- Grab a simple, easy to answer prompt
Lack Of Inspiration
This one is a tough one, equivalent to writers block. You’re sitting there, staring at the page, frozen by blank page syndrome.
Journaling isn’t a smooth experience anymore, it’s rigid. It has to be right. We don’t want to mess up and taint this representation of ourselves.
The solution: Relax, and simply write about why you started journaling in the first place.
Don’t be afraid of writing the same thing every day ( otherwise known as focus prompts ), this keeps your mind on a path that you set, and allows you to relax as you focus on your journal.
These tips can help you overcome a lack of inspiration:
- If you don’t know what to write about, write about what you think you should be writing about ( sounds silly, but it works )
- Draw a silly doodle if your journal is open to it
- Have a set of daily prompts that you use everyday
Fear of Messing Up
This can be the most daunting one of all, because just look at what journaling is promoted to be:
These are beautiful journals, and it would be awesome to make our journals look like this! So we take our time with the inks, the pencils and the markers. We make it colourful and creative…
Then we slip.
Bam, our masterpiece has a flaw that we will see every time we look at the page.
The solution: Don’t stress about making things “perfect”
The real value in your journal isn’t how pretty it is, it’s how it supports your brain in thinking better. Designs that are promoted like this are wonderful, and the people who make them are very talented people.
For most of us though, this level of artistic investment just isn’t practical. And that’s okay.
Stick to content and getting value from your journal, or if you want to keep things pretty stickers/tape might be a good way to dress up your journal without too much energy.
These tips can help you alleviate the stress of a journal.
- Stick to consistent, daily prompts so you’re doing the same thing every day
- Understand that the “slip ups” are part of the quirk of your journal, and that it’s the activity, not the result, the makes the journal yours
- Learn that your unique look is special to you, and deserves your appreciation
In closing, your journal is going to be threatened by many things. There are a lot of temptations out there that will make you want to put your journal down.
But stick to it! Even in as little as a month of journaling you will find great results.