Why You Believe You are a Journal-Writing Failure
You really want to be diligent with journal writing, but maybe the same happens to you that happened to me year after year.
As a new year begins, you do Google search after Google search to find a journal writing approach that will stick – this time.
For the first week you are on top it by following the steps you find in your search.
Heck, you may even last a good month or two before it happens – again.
You slow down with the journal writing and, before you know it, the end of the year comes back around with very little journaling on your part.
And yet again you feel like a journal writing failure.
Leave in the post comments why you believe you fail when it comes to journal writing.
Here are a couple of reasons why you may be believe you are a failure when it comes to journaling.
Two years ago I happened upon an app called DayOne Journal. I believed it was the perfect solution because I could use it across devices. For me that included my laptop, iPhone, and iPad.
It also allows you to use what is called markup language. That means that, with some user friendly code, you can bold and italicize text, create number and bullet lists, and add headlines to your text. With markup you can also create clickable links.
Other features I like about the DayOne Journal app is that you can add tags to your journal entries. It also has a search feature. Cool, right?
Well, not so much.
For me those bells and whistles were a distraction. They distracted me from focusing on what was important – the journal entry.
Instead of focusing on writing (typing) I focused on making the entries pretty and organized.
The next thing you know I was consuming valuable time on formatting and less on the commitment of writing.
Where I failed using DayOne was getting caught up in the features. Have you done the same?
2. Failing at Some Else's System
After striking out on my own, the following year I went in search of a journal writing system. I decided to stick with the DayOne Journal, but the goal was to be consistent with updating my journal.
My search led me to Michael Hyatt's post, How to Become More Consistent in Your Daily Journaling.
He goes as far as to share his template.
Well, that is what I thought until I reached month two of journaling.
The template was divided into sections: Yesterday, Now, and Today. Within each of those sections are subsections.
Having the sections and subsections told my mind that those sections HAD to be filled in for the journal to be effective.
I found that some days I did not have anything to fill in or if I did, I was simply repeating what I wrote the day before.
There was something about the system that felt rigid. I am one for routines, but for my journal, that system was not working out for me.
From that experience I realized that one size does not fit all. So if you have taken the approach to journaling you did not fail at journaling. You failed at implementing what someone prescribed for you what works for them.
How then do we become successful and committed to our journal writing?
Believe You Really Are Not a Journal Writing Failure
Get this right first. You are not a journal writing failure.
More and more I am coming to realize that we cannot follow the exact model of someone else's life. We can take bits and pieces, but we are fooling ourselves to believe what worked EXACTLY for someone else will work for us.
We are all unique. Thus, to accomplish anything in life we should focus on what works for our individual selves.
Do not think for one moment that we cannot learn from the experiences of others. We can. We simply have to learn how to make what others have done work for us. Michael Hyatt's template did not work for me, but I have managed to develop a template that does work for me, which come in the form of my blog posts to you.
Also, we need to know our strengths and weaknesses. I know, for example, what distracts me. Therefore, it is important that I know how to eliminate distractions. It is also important that I keep in mind what is important and give that focus.
Keep the above in mind as you work to journal consistently. Below are ways you can do that.
Pay attention to where you are consistent and use that – There has to be something in your life that you do consistently. Pay attention to what that is. What about it helps you to be consistent? Why do you make sure to be consistent with that? Whatever answers you come to, use them to frame a journalling system for you.
See journal writing in more than one form – When you think of a journal, what is the first form that comes to you? Is it an object like a book or an app like DayOne? Get this. I realized that for me I make sure to get out a blog post each week. My blog posts are to help you, but they help me too. These posts are my journal. Often times they are a reflection of my current thoughts. So, see, a journal can take on different forms. Here are examples off the top of my head:
- Record videos
- Take photos and save them to an album
- Write songs or poetry that depict your thoughts and feelings
- Record your thoughts and feelings and have them transcribed
Do not limit yourself. Find what works for you, what you will call your journal source and you will be able to journal consistently, this time.