What is your goal by creating the journaling habit?

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

I started my first journal when I was sitting on a plane going to the United States for a year. The selection process for this scholarship was as unbelievable as the possibility of the journey itself, and I wanted to capture every minute of this miracle happening in my life. Then I journaled about my equally incredible trip to Liberia and the journaling habit stayed with me.

First, my reason to journal was to capture events and save my memories for the future. Many people see journaling as a way to create an accurate account of their lives’ stories. I also needed this goal to start my first journals, I wasn’t the kid who is crazy about her secret journals ever since mastering the writing skill. There were no other major trips to foreign lands in my past, but I kept on writing. Why?

All of the above wouldn’t have proved to be sufficient to keep me with the journaling habit if I haven’t met great teachers who gave me powerful writing assignments. A new realm opened up for me: beforehand, I thought journaling is exclusively about past events. Through these assignments, I found that this was a very narrow interpretation of this great tool.

For me, journaling is a habit that serves several goals.

#1 Journaling is a mental health habit. My writing is an act of daily mental self-care. I cure my emotional outbursts, anxiety and stress, my doubts and fears, daily concerns and griefs of the past with journaling.

#2 Journaling is a creativity habit. I create giant mind maps of different topics I am currently exploring, brainstorm and dream while I write.

#3 Journaling is a productivity habit. I write yearly and daily plans, to-do lists, make extensive notes on projects I work on, my preparation for speeches is to write them down word for word.

#4 Journaling is a learning habit. My consciousness of my thoughts, emotions, body, intentions, beliefs, motivations, preconceptions evolves constantly. It helps to reflect on my behaviors, values, goals, failures, mistakes, wants. Through writing, I got to know myself better. By rereading my experiences, I incorporated the knowledge gained, learned from mistakes, recognized patterns, clarified long-term dreams.

When I started to write in a journal, I needed a goal to keep me writing. Maybe you need one also, and capturing memories is just not it. All habits serve a purpose, give your journaling habit a purpose, too. What goal is powerful enough for you to start with journaling and make the journaling habit stick?


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