When I was nine, I received a diary as a birthday gift.
I remember this diary well. The pages were parchment-thin, the gold lines so close together that my rather large, bubbly handwriting took up two lines instead of one.
I wrote about my day on its pages – what happened at school, who I was mad at, which boy I had a crush on. Important things like that.
When I was done writing, I would close the diary and carefully click the tiny padlock into place, then hide the diary in my underwear drawer. Little did I know, but that tiny padlock did absolutely nothing to keep nosy cousins out, nor did stashing it in my underwear drawer serve as a good hiding place. (Apparently, this was where a lot of nine-year-old girls hid their diaries.) You can only imagine the lessons I learned from this.
Now that I am an adult, my daily writing is no longer just a description of my day, nor does it get locked up with a tiny padlock or hidden away in a drawer. I no longer worry about people snooping over what I wrote because quite honestly, my family sees me writing so often that there’s no way they could keep up.
Just as I have grown and matured, so has my journaling practice. My journaling has become more introspective than descriptive. I will write about my day, but I include my thoughts and feelings about it too.
If you are looking to embrace an adult-style journaling habit, you may not know where to begin.
Here are some tips I give my coaching clients to help them get started that may help you too:
The easiest way to begin journaling is to just write what you are thinking. All of it. Don’t censor yourself.
Don’t worry about your grammar, punctuation, or anything that might get crossed out with a red pen.
Your inner critic does not need to be invited to your journaling practice. When it tells you that you are a terrible writer, thank it for its concern then keep writing.
Let your journaling practice be whatever you need it to be. You can be inspired by others, but try not to compare yourself to them.
Habits are best formed when they are done at the same time every day. Set a time for writing and then write. For me, this comes right after I pour my first cup of coffee in the morning and before I reach for the second cup.
You don’t always have to write in sentences. Sometimes, the best way I get ideas out of my head is to create a list or a doodle.
You decide what works best for you. You are the boss of your own journaling practice.
Want to learn more about journaling and how it can help you live your best life? Sign up for my email list below to be the first to get all the goodies, including first notification of upcoming workshops.