Updated: Sep 26, 2022
Journaling changed my life. I have been able to learn more about myself through journaling than any other practice. I am able to see the wild things that are stored in my mind and begin re-writing the story to match the new version of myself that I am stepping into.
It was difficult for me to journal because as a child, I didn't have a safe space to write my private thoughts without them being read.
If you have resistance to journaling, I encourage you to explore where that resistance is coming from.
I started with a planner. In my planner, I documented my daily goals and intentions. Some days it felt super easy. Other times, weeks would go by without any writing. I knew that it was important to document my journey and progress, but the habit wasn't quite developed yet.
It's SO much fun looking back at old planners to see what I was up to in the past!
If you fail to plan, you might as well plan to fail.
I recommend starting simple because if you overwhelm yourself in the beginning, you're more likely to fall off track.
Documenting what you are doing each day is an awesome way to start. Don't worry too much about writing every single thing, grammatical perfection, or profundity. These things take practice, and the smaller the steps the better. Take baby steps until it feels easy and then increase your practice.
Build the Habit
By starting with a planner, you can feed two birds with one scone. You're setting yourself up for success by planning your days and also documenting your journey. Experts say that habits take anywhere from 30-90 days to master. I lean more towards the 60-90 day range.
If I have done a habit for 90-days straight, it feels weird when I don't do it. After 6-months of practicing your habit, you've pretty much got it locked in. Relapse in whatever habit is always possible, but with 6 months of experience, you already know the benefits and you are far less likely to let a bump in the road throw you off track completely.
A few that I use personally are:
Told you, journaling is one of my favorite practices!
This is a form of habit tracking. It's not super wordy or in-depth. It's to the point (pun intended).
There are free printables that you can find online. You can also create your own.
I have used an affirmation journal in a few different ways.
I write one affirmation a day
I write a page of affirmations every day
I like to create my own affirmations because I have been doing this for so long. When I was feeling stuck on what affirmations to use, I looked them up. You can grab my life-changing list of affirmations here: Positive Affirmation Guide 1 | Whitney Sause
In this journal, I write everything I am manifesting. The trick is to be as specific as possible without compromising your belief in achieving it, and write it as if you already have it. Allow yourself to sit with how it feels to already have the thing that you are attracting, and then forget about it. Trust that it's on its way.
I have manifested consistent residual income, $10,000, the perfect RV, living on an island, meeting my divine compliment, and a gorgeous home with large trees to name a few.
Simple. Write your wins every day or when you feel like it's worthy of writing. Pro-tip, everything can be a win if you're looking at it that way. Even your perceived failures can have hidden wins in them. Circle back to this journal when you're having a bad day.
I put all my creative ideas and things that I am learning related to biz in this journal. Even if it seems like a silly idea that won't go anywhere, I document it. It'll be fun to read in the future. It'll be even more fun if it turns into a passion project that creates profit!
This is where I dump everything when I am feeling anxious, overwhelmed, angry, or just need to get something out of my head and onto paper so I can let it go. It's not always appropriate to dump things on my friends or family, so I dump it on my bestie- my journal. Sometimes, I enjoy burning the pages that I am committed to letting go of. It's therapeutic.
This is my secret space. I still have some reservations about writing things on paper. I know that one day I will die. If there is something that I want to be password protected to prevent any emotional damage to my loved ones, I store it in my online journal. Your journals should be a safe space for you to work out your emotions. Some emotions are heavy when you're working through them. Don't let the weight of them prevent you from getting that shit out of your head and on the paper.
I personally believe that pen to paper is more therapeutic. Especially when I am re-reading my writings. But sometimes typing it out can be faster and also more protected.
There are all kinds of retreats. I prefer silent meditation retreats. Truth be told, you're not really supposed to do anything that isn't absolutely necessary while attending these retreats. I TRY to refrain from writing, but that's really difficult for me.
I have filled entire notebooks at retreats before and I'D DO IT AGAIN 🤣 I love reading thoughts from past Whitney. I enjoy seeing how much I have changed. Sometimes these are great reminders that I need in the future as well.
I document my struggles with my meditation practice, insights that I have, and the Dharma teachings.
A travel journal can be tricky! I love being present in the moment when I am traveling. I love having no plan and no requirements. I set the intention to at least document what I did that day so that I have something to spark my memory in the future. "Oh, I remember having that meal!"
Other trips are slower and writing is more accessible. I enjoy slowing down and carving out a bunch of time to allow my pen to create magic. My accountability partner and I have discussed having a girls' weekend where we hide out in a fancy air BNB and write our hearts out.
We have also discussed hosting a retreat where we would open our space to other women! (Let me know if you'd be interested in joining us!
I write a TON because I have been practicing for about 7 years now. Don't try to keep up with me. Start simple! Build the habit and have fun with it. See where it takes you :)
PS I use a .7mm zebra ballpoint pen. I despise writing with anything else unless I am color-coding things.
Where are you in your journaling journey? Have you tried any of these? Am I missing any that I should know about?
Let's keep this convo going in the comments! I'd love to hear where you are and where you want to be!
All my love,
Life Coach & Meditation Teacher