5 Simple Steps for Starting (& Maintaining) this Life-Changing Habit
How are you doing today? Stressed out? Well-balanced? Somewhere in the middle?
Wellness is a journey and often some days are better than others. That's okay!
You've heard me talk about my Intentional T.E.N. Method and the importance of my 3 simple steps for a mindful morning over and over by now, because well, it works! But even if you know those 3 steps, sometimes it's still hard to make them happen daily.
That's right, I said daily. But the good news is you only need a maximum of ten minutes to start weaving this habit into your lifestyle. Start simple and give yourself some grace. If you're struggling to fit in, try it for a week or maybe just on weekends in the beginning.
I talk about the G's (gut feelings, gratitudes, and goals) over and over on the podcast, and you probably already know that writing them down daily has been a life-changing habit for me! My anxieties, situational depressions, relationship, or parenting struggles all have a place to go to get sorted out when I journal each morning. It also gives me a chance to time block, understand my priorities, and communicate the to-do list with my family.
You may be thinking, "Okay, it sounds like journaling could do wonders for my mindset or my anxiety, so how do I start?" Or more importantly, "How do I keep it up?"
You've probably already downloaded my Ten-Minute Daily Journal (if not, grab it here), so today I'm sharing 5 simple steps to help you develop, and keep this habit.
1. Get a journal that you love
Don't just write on anything, get something that you love and that inspires you. My husband keeps a simple black book from Green Room that just looks like a plain notebook. He wanted to buy the cheapest thing in the store which was flimsy and ugly, but I encouraged him to get something that he would enjoy opening each morning and could also carry around without feeling like he had a "diary." He's now on his second copy of the same notebook because it gives him the Goldilocks Effect. He likes that it's spiral-bound, lined, and big enough to hold enough thoughts on one page per day. It's not too simple, it's not too fancy, it's just right.
I on the other hand use a Minimalism Art white notebook with plain paper that is large (8.5"x11"). I use it for everything. I journal in the morning in it and then use it throughout the day for my to-do lists, meeting notes, calendar, lettering, and more. I take it with me almost everywhere and that makes it easy for me to stop and journal my thoughts at any time if I need. If you're a pen person like me, check out these lovely Tombow Fudenosuke colored pens that I use for my journaling.
Need a guided journal? I've created a FREE one for you here.
2. Get your household on-board
If you're going to do this regularly and you don't live alone, you need to get your roommates, family, significant other, even pets, on board with this as a daily routine. Let them know that this is important to your self-care and mental wellness and that you will be taking 10 minutes each morning (or evening) to journal. This will help it to become a sacred space, a sterile cockpit, whatever you want to call it, but a time to be uninterrupted. This will help you keep the habit going.
3. Set your alarm ten minutes earlier
Don't try to cram a new habit into your current routines which are probably pretty busy, especially if it's morning. Add ten minutes into your day just for journaling by getting up a few minutes earlier. I enjoy starting my day sitting in my pajamas sipping coffee and journaling. I would much rather get out of bed for this than get out of bed to scramble through my morning routine first.
4. Find a format that works for you
In the beginning, I bought guided journals and customizable notebooks, but nothing really clicked for me, so I eventually moved to a blank notebook and created my own format that works really well (for me). Find a format of journaling that works for you and stick to that. If you need some ideas, you can follow along with my format on both the weekly podcast episodes or you can get download my free Ten-Minute Daily Journal which essentially sets up a guided format for seven days using my Intentional T.E.N. Method. If you like it or find another format that you love, let me know!
5. Keep it simple
This is my biggest tip. I failed at journaling many times in the past because I tried to write my life's narrative. It became too long and exhausting and I couldn't keep it up. Just free flow whatever comes to mind. What's on the agenda today? What did you do yesterday? How are you feeling right now? It can be a one-liner or an entire page, it doesn't matter. Just commit to putting something on the page and you will begin to see that indeed it can be life-changing! (And of course, writing down a gratitude is always a good starter when you're really lost.)
Want help getting started? Download my FREE Ten-Minute Daily Journal: 3 Simple Steps for a Mindful Morning and Successful Day. Don't forget to tag me in Instagram stories when you use to and let me know what you think!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Please know that I only affiliate with products I believe in and highly recommend.