Change your expat life
How to Keep a Journal
Are you wondering what it means to keep a journal? If so, you’re not alone.
So, to get you started, here are some tips to make it happen and get the most out of your journaling practice:
1. Choose the right time of day for you
Journaling at a time of day that feels sustainable is key. This means choosing a time of day that’s right for you!
I like to journal first thing in the morning after the kids have left for school. This is a time I so cherish now that the kids are back at school. When this time is unavailable, though, like over summer break or during home school during the pandemic, I simply carve out time before starting work. This may mean delaying my work a little bit, but I know I will be so much more productive with a clear mind, so it doesn’t matter.
What’s a good time of day for you to journal?
2. Decide whether to journal on paper or on the computer
How you journal is such a personal thing. And sometimes, you need a bit of flexibility too.
Personally, I like writing on paper, but I often go further when I type. It’s somehow easier for me to let my mind wander in the process while I type. But many avid journalists will tell you it’s the exact opposite for them.
The trick? Just find what you feel is right in the moment, and don’t be afraid to mix it up. It’s all about the experience of journaling…not how you do it.
3. How long should you journal for?
Again, this is personal…and not something to overthink.
Some mornings I spend just 10 minutes with my journal, and others I can spend up to 45! It just depends on how much work I need to do on my mind.
As you get in the habit of journaling, you’ll experience this yourself. You’ll learn a lot about yourself—including how long it takes you to explore your thoughts on any given day.
4. Recognize that the process is about you and for you — nobody else
What is the purpose of journaling? Ultimately, the idea is really just to empty your mind and let it run free. There is nothing to be censored, rewritten, changed.
In other words, it’s not about perfection or some external idea about what you “should” focus on while journaling. This practice is really just for you.
It’s about taking the time to explore your mind and identify the thoughts that may be preventing you from achieving what you want or holding you back.
Notice those thoughts and question them! Journaling is nothing if not a process that’s about you and for you.
If you want to know more about how to get the most out of your journaling process, tune in to Episode 1 of the Girafe Coaching Podcast: Unpack Your Thoughts.
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