First, why even bother keeping a journal?
Not that I’m such an expert, but I have been around enough successful and insightful people, including my mom, who have told me that keeping a daily journal is really valuable.
For one thing, it brings a level of clarity and relief mentally and emotionally.
There is something about getting thoughts out into some form of record that relieves the burden of having to keep it locked up in your head and body anymore. Those nights when I can’t seem to get to sleep because my brain just won’t shut off — writing it down takes the pressure of remembering it later off of my brain, which then allows sleep to come more easily.
When you journal about your day, it forces you to remember what you did, which can be beneficial for assessing what went well, what didn’t, what was learned, what should be done differently, and one area I always try to remember is what are the blessings/what am I grateful for today.
Recording journal logs daily is 1) not too difficult, and if you don’t wait long periods between journal entries, there’s usually not too much you have to try to remember. 2) It can help improve your overall attitude, feelings, and even health. If you have a record of awesome accomplishments, lessons learned, blessings received, hardships overcome, etc. it creates a way of remembering your own personal history so you don’t have to keep trying to remember it in your head later. It can then be a source for learning and comparing what has worked and what hasn’t, or it can be a source of encouragement when you can’t remember how many steps to your goals you’ve accomplished, forgot about that winning feeling for an award you received, or had a touching moment that made you feel loved and appreciated.
So, bottom line is that there are a lot of great benefits to keeping a daily journal, but despite recognizing these benefits, I’ve always struggled with keeping one consistently. I often write in it for two or three days, then go months or a year before writing in it again.
So, what’s my solution?
Recently, I realized that keeping a journal doesn’t necessarily have to just be in written form. You can write in a notebook or type it into a computer if you want, but I decided to try the method that is clearly adopted by everyone in the future — at least according to Star Trek. A video log entry!
You can just do audio, too, if that floats your boat; I’ve tried that way as well. For me, I think my aversion to writing a journal was my constant state of busy-ness and being distracted or more interested in other things. I didn’t want to write about my day every day, so taking after Star Trek and recording personal “logs” seemed like a more appealing solution for me.
First off, it’s like being in Star Trek; recording your (star) date and giving a synopsis of how your own story or adventure that day has unfolded, which seemed to give it a slightly more fun flavor, for me anyway. Of course, real life “log entries” aren’t always as well formulated or look as good on camera. Some days I look terrible, feel terrible, and am just getting it over with, which you don’t see on Star Trek.
Anyway, secondly, video (or audio) journal entries are a heck of lot faster than writing. I know I can’t write/type faster than I can talk. In this respect, maybe dictation to a document would work for you also, but the video logs seem to be working the best for me so far. I can also see and hear more of what I’m feeling that day (tone, expressions, appearance), which gives a different and deeper level of insight into daily experiences as well.
So, I like video journal entries better because I feel like I can get more depth from seeing and hearing myself, and spend far less time on it than I would if I wrote it out. That equals more content with less effort, which is very appealing to me. The more convenient and easy, the more likely I will do it consistently.
If you’re a writer and you love writing in your journal every day, more power to you! That’s awesome! Writing takes more work for me, so I look for ways to accomplish the same effects while spending less effort.
If you’re a writer who, like me, has had to work at it a bit harder to be consistent, to get into it, and it took more effort to commit to it, I’d love to hear from you!
What tricks do you use to motivate yourself to write consistently? What strategies make it easier for you?
We all agree that writing in any form can be super powerful and beneficial, but it doesn’t come as easily to some as to others. That’s when it’s time to get creative and find other ways to get it done!
Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found it useful.
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NOTE: I am looking for volunteers to help me with my new book by giving feedback on short sections! If you help, I will give you a free e-copy of the book when it’s published! For more information and to sign up, click HERE!
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