A TDS reader recently emailed me with this question, "Mike, how do I get in the habit of journaling?" I thought it was a great question and responded with the following pointers:
1. Get one. I use the 1.00 legal kind. Anything will do. You should like its feel and portability.
2. Write every morning or evening. Find a time of day and stick with it. I listen to the daily Mass readings but any passage from a sacred text will do. This puts you in the right mindset.
3. Customize it. I cut things out, tape them in and find that customizing a journal makes it more fun and a place to gather all sorts of inspiration. I insert quotes, photos, whatever!
4. Keep track of it. I bring my journal with me to work and when I'm home, I know where it is at all times. You never know when inspiration may strike.
So how about the issue of whether or not to read back over what you've written in past journals? I never do and yet I do keep them archived. I'm not sure why I just figure that they're a piece of me and have some value. Maybe my kids will find them helpful one day?
Journaling has so many benefits. I find it a grounding experience which is profound and connects with my faith on some level. I also find that it taps into my inner-GTD, getting ideas out of my head and onto paper.
For those who already journal: reflect on your own habit of journaling. Recommit to its value on a deeper level.
For those who struggle with getting started: choose one thing within the next 24 hours that will bring you closer to a habit of journaling.