It may seem
intimidating to develop a personal journal-keeping habit,
and you may be thinking defeatist thoughts already, such
as I don't know how many times a week I'll really remember,
and so on. However, if you really try, you can commit to
keeping your journal if you shorten the time of your commitment
and promise yourself you will not judge your journaling
efforts, but just write whatever comes to your mind.
If you are already keeping a journal,
you might commit to using the ideas below sprinkled in among
your regular entries to elaborate on your entries. It isn’t
fair to judge what you journal because it is a personal
memoir, not something that should have to stand the test
of time as judged by someone else.
Make a personal commitment to write something
for a month. For example, tell yourself that for this month
you can make an entry every day or every other day or perhaps
on weekends or on Mondays and Fridays. Whatever feels like
a stretch, but a comfortable one for you – remember,
no one is watching or judging this, including you!. Write
your commitment down in your journal, and then, whatever
you decided, make sure you write at least that often. You
might want to start the month off with an entry that describes
why you created the system you did and why you bought the
notebooks and pens or pencils or made the files or why you
committed the particular amount of time that you did.
At the end of the month, use your final
entry to evaluate how your journaling system worked for
you. Decide in your last of the month entry whether you
want to stick with your original system for another month,
make some alterations to it, or move on to a different system.
After you write that last entry for the month, reread your
very first entry. How do your end-of-the-month thoughts
about journal-keeping compare to those you wrote down at
the beginning of your month? Where are you personally from
the beginning of the month to the end of the month? You
might want to write about the comparison and make some observations
about the changes (or lack of changes)..
Next, make a commitment to the same system
or to a new journal-tracking system for an additional month.
Write this commitment down in your journal and then keep
your entries going for another month. Do this month by month
until keeping a journal is a habit. You’ll notice
the difference along the way