What Journaling Continuously For 460 Days Has Taught Me
The immense productivity that journaling daily bestows upon us
I have always struggled when it comes to commitment, especially when it comes to developing productive habits. It was a random day in May 2020 when I decided to pick one habit at a time- starting with daily journaling.
I hate to admit it, but I use an app to journal my daily thoughts (and not on real paper) for good reasons. On the brighter side, it makes me pat my back that I have been able to keep up the journaling for more than a year now.
To be honest, there are pros and cons of journaling too, but the pros overpower the cons when it comes to personal development.
So, how was I able to maintain this journaling streak for more than 460 days? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss a single day. Of course, I did! But I was able to compensate for it the next day.
It was hard in the beginning, like usual. There were days when I woke up in the middle of the night randomly, only to write the journal and sleep again. There were days when I was too exhausted to write. There were days when I didn’t have my phone. There were days when I slept unknowingly. There were days when I felt like my journaling habit has increased my cellphone usage.
Despite everything, I am proud of the decision I took a year ago. It has done loads of good to me. If you haven’t already started journaling, let me tell you why you should go for it totally!
Keeps the record
You can’t always trust your memory. This is why journaling helps you in keeping a record of the incidents that happened in your life. I personally use the premium version of an app called Journey that lets me write my diary entries. The best thing about this app is that it keeps a record of my mood, sends me throwback diary entries from a month or a year ago.
Builds good habits
How do people make big changes in their lives? I asked this question to my senior, and he said it takes small changes to make big ones. I thought it was a pretty generic answer but little did I know its meaning back then. Only when I started journaling, I realized the actual meaning of it.
I am not saying I have totally changed or whatever; my point is, one good habit leads to another. After picking up journaling, I picked other hobbies that I wanted to do for a long time but never had the courage to start; like learning a new language or painting.
If you are into creativity, journaling is a must-try. When you start writing everything that happened in your life on a daily basis, creative juices start flowing. If you want to improve your creative writing skills, you should definitely try journaling.
Helps in scaling progress
Before journaling, I used to keep everything in my head. And honestly, it was all blurry- from the failures and the progress to the normal moments in my life. These days, I smile when I read what was going on in my mind a year ago, and how much I have changed since then. There’s this voice in my head that gives me hope every time I seemingly hit rock bottom, which says- you’re gonna laugh about it in a few months. And I think it’s kinda cute.
Helps you cope up with stress
Studies reveal that jotting down the chaos running inside your mind prevents mental illnesses like stress, anxiety, and whatnot. I knew writing always helped me whenever I wasn’t at my best. But I didn’t know what extent of a difference it would make if I started doing it regularly. Personally, journaling has helped me channelize the chaos inside me into creativity.
What should you choose- an app or real paper?
To be honest, both paper and digital platforms are great. You can choose whatever feels right to you. I personally selected a digital platform for the following reasons-
1. Saving paper- I am not looking forward to quitting journaling anytime soon. It means I will be writing every day for as long as I live, and I would want as much paper for it.
2. Easy to carry - I have the app on my phone and I take it almost everywhere I go. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about finding a pen or paper to write my heart out before sleeping.
3. Easy accessibility to previous entries- One of the best things about an app journal is- I can look into my previous entries anytime I want. I don’t have to go through multiple pages or journals to find the entry I am looking for.
4. Privacy- Let’s face it- I am careless; too careless to protect my personal journal from my cunning sister who finds one way or another to read my stuff. It is sad, right? This is the very reason I selected the app in the first place.
What’s stopping you from journaling?
If you have come this far, here is a question- when are you going to start journaling, if you haven’t already?
It only takes 5 minutes to write a gist of everything that happened in a day and what you learned from it. I know it sounds simple and it is. Please try it and see the positive changes in your life.