Time. It’s the biggest challenge when you want to journal every day. Oftentimes I find myself getting lost in my writing, looking up at the clock only to realize I should have started cooking dinner. Then I end in the middle of a thought–sometimes even mid-sentence–to go do what needs to be done. My journal is full of unfinished entries. Until I discovered that using a timer is a huge relief.
Have you ever thought of a timer as a freedom device?
It’s a device that sets you free because you know that the time on that timer is dedicated for you to do something. You can watch your favorite show until the timer alerts you take the chicken out of the oven. While it’s ticking away, you are free to get lost in whatever you want to do.
Now take that timer and use it to set aside some journaling time.
Keeping a Daily Journal
If your goal is to journal daily like me, then it’s a very difficult goal to keep when you aren’t designating a specific amount of time to do it. In other words, it’s easier when the goal is: Spend 20 minutes writing in my journal every morning. NOT: Write in my journal every day.
Be specific with your goal. Then visualize your morning (or evening) routine that incorporates this activity.
Focusing on Important Events
Think of the timer as a way to give yourself piece of mind. For the next 20 minutes, you can focus on reliving your most important stories, feelings, and events. What happened in the past 24 hours that you never want to forget? What made you smile? Start with the most important bits and then expand, like a newspaper article.
When the timer goes off, finish your thought and close your journal. Don’t feel pressure to include every thought that’s in your head right now. You can add another 20-minute block of time later in the day, or jot a note to yourself to start with that thought tomorrow.
A timer is a great way for you to designate a certain amount of time to journaling and still stay on track with your schedule. You will feel more relaxed knowing that once the timer goes off, you can get back to your routine. You haven’t spent too much (or too little) time journaling. It might take a few tries to find the right amount of time for you, but I assure you it’s worth the effort.
If you have a journaling tip, leave it in the comments below. We’d love to hear it and others would, too!