A GUIDE TO JOURNALING
Over the years I've tried journaling a number of times, and yet as hard as I'd fling myself into it, the idea and habit never stuck around for long.
Mostly (if I'm honest) I'd just wonder... "Am I doing it right?!"
Because by the end I'd feel... Nothing.
Yet for the last three or so months I've found myself journaling (most) mornings, in a different more structured approach that seems to working.
Because while this feels like a bold statement to make, in just these few short weeks, I feel the most grounded, calm and sure I've possibly ever felt, and for someone who lives with and manages anxiety on the day to day, they're the most blissful, freeing feelings in the world.
So here I'm sharing my daily journaling ROUTINE.
Please feel free to try it and experiment with it too, and hopefully it'll bring some of the same calmness (and clarity) that it has to me.
ONE // VISION
I journal for a few minutes before I get out of bed in the morning. I find it not only eases me awake and into my day, but it keeps me from reaching for my phone while I'm in bed - a habit I've been wanting to break up with for a while so double bonus points.
I begin by writing about all the things I want to be and do and have in life in the present tense.
So instead of writing 'one day I'd like to...', I visualise and write as though I already have those things, and how it feels to have them/have achieved them.
For example, for years I've said 'one day I'd love to write a book...', and yet it's remained this distant daydream of an idea. However since journaling (and one of the things I've visualised is seeing myself with a number of books), I've almost finished writing my first book.
I have no set time or length for writing all of the things above, I simply do it until it feels good and like everything is out.
TWO // (BITESIZE) GOALS
When I've finished the above, I write a (super short) list of goals underneath.
Usually there are two or three.
I look at the things I most want to be and do and have from the above, and break it down into the smallest, next step of a (bitesize) goal I can, and set that as my focus to achieve that day (or achieve in the next day or two).
For example, with my goal/vision to write a book, instead of having the goal to be 'write a book', it's often 'write 500 words' or 'write one chapter' - something that feels real and doable to achieve that day.
The next day I'd also then set the goal to 'write 500 words' or 'write one chapter' - and so on and so on...
Each of these bitesize goals then naturally stack up on top of each other (without keeping me in that overwhelming state of 'need to write a whole book') until the book is complete.
THREE // GRATITUDE
While both of the above I do in the morning, this last part I do at the end of the day, usually when I'm back in bed just before going to sleep.
I went through a stage where life simply sucked, and while I knew there had to still be good stuff as well as the (heart crushing) no good stuff, I just couldn't see it - so I made myself add time for some gratitude in my day.
And side note: Yes at the start, I literally had to 'make myself' write a list.
For me I've found it easier if I asked myself what (beautiful things) I've noticed or experienced that day, it doesn't matter how big or small, and then I aim to write a list of three of those things.
Sometimes (even now) I find even three challenging, yet I stick with it until I have them, because I've found even on the most challenging of days, there's always something.
Other days however I find myself writing ten or more with ease, and again I simply stop when it feels good and complete for the day.
With love, Ruth xo