How to create a habit of writing in a journal

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

Post Updated on April 20, 2020

I’ve kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Back in the day, I spent my time writing about boys who didn’t like me and girls I was jealous of. If only I could read through those old journal entries, I’d be giggling at how naive and trivial my concerns were then.

The truth is that writing has always been my therapy. Whenever I need to get something off my chest, I open up a blank page and let the words flow out.

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

Of course, there are times when journaling feels like a chore. Sometimes I have nothing to write, so why should I bother? (Here’s why you should, by the way).

Over the years, I’ve learned that journaling works best when you make it a habit (and keep writing even when you don’t want to).

Maybe you’re sitting there thinking you have no idea what to fill your journals with (journal hoarders, unite!). Maybe you love the idea of journaling, but you don’t know where to start. Maybe your goal is to make journaling a habit but you get writer’s block whenever you open the page. If you can relate to any of those scenarios, this post is for you!

I’ve put together this mini-guide to journaling to help you make it a habit and reduce writer’s block. Plus, I’ve put together 25 journal prompts to inspire you when you’re stuck!

How To Start a Journaling Practice

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

Let’s get down to the basics of journaling. Whether you’re new to journaling or you’ve been doing it for years, I’ve put together a few tips to help you out:

Step One: Prepare

First things first, you need something to write on. Find a journal, an empty notebook, or a piece of paper. You don’t need a fancy journal to write in, but it helps to have one place that’s dedicated only to your journal entries.

Step Two: Commit

With any habit, you have to get clear on what you’re doing and when you’re going to do it. Think about when you’d like to write, how long you’ll write for, and how often you’ll write. Morning or night? For five minutes or until you’ve written three pages? Every day or once a week? Get clear on this and it’ll make the habit thing a lot easier.

I recently decided to try the Morning Pages method where you write three pages every single morning. Committing to this was easier than I thought because it took the guess-work out of deciding when to write. Read this post to see what I learned from writing Morning Pages for a month.

Step Three: Give Yourself Time

Depending on your writing pace and how much you have to write, you may need to give yourself solid chunk of time to journal. I typically spend 20-30 minutes writing. If you want journaling to become a habit, you need to set aside some time in your schedule every day.

Step Four: Write

Start by writing down whatever’s on your mind. Don’t filter yourself or overthink it. Be honest. Let the thoughts flow. Think about what’s on your mind right now. What are those topics that you’re drawn to? What’s taking up your mental energy. Now read back through what you’ve written. Do you notice any recurring themes or patterns? Has anything become clearer? Do you know what you need to do next?

Step Five: Repeat

To be consistent with journaling, you have to do it often. It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t *need* to write today, but you’ll be surprised what you uncover if you actually decide to write. Try journaling every morning for an entire week to solidify the habit in your schedule.

Dealing with Writer’s Block

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

What happens when you think you have nothing to write? There have been plenty of times when I’ve opened up a blank page only to find I have absolutely no idea what to write. Other times, I have ideas and thoughts in my head, but for some reason they won’t come out onto the pages.

Part of dealing with writer’s block is remembering that nothing has to be perfect the first time. Often we get stumped because we think our writing needs to be cohesive and insightful.

In reality, it’s more therapeutic to write a bunch of nonsense and make sense of it afterward. So much of what I end up writing is complete garbage, but it helps anyway. We often forget that nobody else will read our journals (hopefully, right?), so let go of perfectionism and write whatever comes to mind.

25 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection

Need a little inspiration to get you going? I’ve put together a printable list of 25 journal prompts that you can use the next time you want to write. Just click the button below to get the prompts!

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

Free Journal Prompts for a Better Mindset

Get 25 journaling prompts to clear your head and improve your mindset on a daily basis (even if you don’t know what to write about).

Last Updated: September 15, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Grant Faulkner, MA. Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story, a literary magazine. Grant has published two books on writing and has been published in The New York Times and Writer’s Digest. He co-hosts Write-minded, a weekly podcast on writing and publishing, and has a M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 167,257 times.

Throughout history, people from all walks of life have found it rewarding to keep a journal. You can record your conversations and activities from each day, or you can set down the meta-level thoughts and narratives that run behind your day-to-day existence. You can keep a daily, weekly, monthly, or nonlinear journal. The important thing is that you write your truth. Use your journal to help you understand yourself better.

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

Grant Faulkner, MA
Professional Writer Expert Interview. 8 January 2019. Let the words flow from the top of your head, and do not read over what you’ve just written. [3] X Research source

  • Write about what you did today or what you plan to do tomorrow. Mention the places you went, the conversations you had, the things you learned, and the things that occupied your mind. This is a space to set down any practical details or information that you want to remember. [4] X Research source
  • Write about someone that’s on your mind. Write about the things that are stressing you out or making you excited. Write about your dreams, your plans, your fears, your insecurities.
  • Try acknowledging the fact that you are starting your journal. If you can’t think of anything else to write about, then write about the fact that this is your first journal entry. Write a page about why you’ve decided to keep this journal, what you hope to learn about yourself, and what it feels like to set your thoughts down on paper.

Putting our feelings down on paper can seem intimidating, or even daunting. Here’s how to incorporate the art of journaling into your routine—in a way that feels right for you.

  • By Misa Terral
  • January 26, 2021
  • Daily Practices

How to create a habit of writing in a journalAdobe Stock/mimagephotos

Paying attention is a powerful practice, the key to presence, and the foundation for mindfulness. As we slow down and tune our senses to what we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell, we release thought and find the spaciousness to relax and deepen into the present moment. Combined with the benefits of mindfulness, a journaling practice can make an impact on your mental health and overall well-being.

Journaling is not about being a good writer, or even a prolific one. Whether it’s gratitude journaling, bullet journaling, mindful journaling, creative or expressive journaling, stream of consciousness journaling, or keeping a diary, journaling has been recognized to provide multiple mental, physical, and emotional benefits. Research has suggested that the benefits of journal writing include:

In addition to these benefits, journaling can be a tool to enhance your state of awareness, increase personal wisdom and insight, encourage feelings of gratitude, assist in self-reflection, and boost your creativity. You can journal for three minutes or for 15 minutes, every day or once a week, use pen and paper, or type on a device. For many, journaling serves as a healing practice, a private sanctuary. It’s also a mental compost bin, processing your experiences without judgment, obligation, or expectation.

Starting on the Right Page

To start a journaling practice, you need four things:

  1. Your “why
  2. Your “how
  3. Your “when
  4. Your willingness to let go of perfectionism

Your “why” consists of your goal or purpose with journaling. What do you hope to create or change with a journaling practice? What do you need or want? Do you want more gratitude in your life? More mindfulness? Peace? A mental compost bin? A creative outlet? Do you want to have more personal insight and reflection? A place to jot down personal lists or goals? Paying attention to your “why” will help you keep your practice going.

Your “how” is also important. How will you keep yourself accountable? Do you even need accountability? Maybe you decide to carry a pen and journal with you everywhere, Or maybe setting up a schedule on your smartphone with reminders works well for you. A journaling group or partner can be helpful, so you can check in with each other. For accessibility and portability, you can buy a smaller notebook that fits easily in a purse or backpack to let you jot down thoughts and ideas on the go. Regardless, have a plan, and this includes your “when”.

One of the biggest hindrances to starting and keeping a journaling practice is the idea that it’s a huge time and energy commitment. It doesn’t have to be. Some journals offer more structure, such as prompts, to keep things simple and quick. Or, if you want more time and space for stream-of-thought journaling or self-reflection, choose a time of day that allows that freedom without interruption, such as before bed, during a lunch break, or first thing in the morning. Set a timer if you are limited in time. Decide if you want to make it a daily practice, once a week, or three times a week. Whatever you decide, make sure it works for you and allows for some consistency. Check in with your “why” and your “how” to make sure you are still receiving what you need and that the practice flows in your schedule.

Lastly, the fourth and perhaps the most important, let yourself not “get it right.” Let’s just toss perfection out the window. You don’t need to journal profusely, or even every day. Sticking to your “why,” “how” and “when” only works when you allow yourself to fall off the consistency wagon now and then. Make adjustments where needed, and get back on if the practice is serving you.

One more thing to consider: Is journaling with pen and paper better than typing on the computer? That depends. Some argue yes, especially with regard to mindfulness. Writing on paper allows for unplugging from screens and slowing the senses down. Writing can also take on a meditative feeling. Engaging in the repetitive, kinesthetic, and complex movements of handwriting allows for better retention and memory recall. So, it could be said that by handwriting in a journal, we can make a mindful moment more memorable and last a little bit longer. With that said, the convenience factor of typing may allow for greater consistency. Try both to see which better supports your practice.

Journaling, like mindfulness, can tap into a rewarding state of self-awareness, self-care, self-soothing, and even self-healing. By adding journaling to our arsenal of mindful practices, we increase our chances of slowing down and unplugging, especially in challenging times. Journaling, in all its varieties, offers freedom and opportunity to explore what helps you tune in, pay attention, notice, and take a deep breath. So, go ahead and grab a pen, clear your mind, freely express, and journal your way to wellness.

A sense of accountability is something which differentiates a believer from a non-believer. If we read Surah Al-Qiyamah we feel the dread of the Day of Judgment, the day we will be asked about our lives. The verses clearly reflect the atmosphere on the Day of Judgment. If you read along you will find the following verse: ”Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness, Even if he presents his excuses.” (75:14-15).[Translation from Sahih International].

Before our death catches us lets be accountable and check our deeds every day.At the end of the day we come to bed tired and drowsy but in the last few minutes before we drowse off, a few things will go through our mind, for example, “I talked uselessly too much again, I missed my exercise routine, that book is pending since so many days and I didn’t remember to read it even though I had plenty of free time today. For the last three days I have not gained any useful knowledge, etc.”

As these thoughts swirl in your mind, you slowly slip in your blanket and close your eyes thinking that things will improve, but unless you make an intention and plan to change – you most likely don’t improve and continue to fall into unproductivity.

A journal can be a great tool in managing and controlling your activities.

When I say a journal I mean a personal journal and not the professional one in which you record your important appointments and tasks. A personal journal is generally not shared with anybody in which you express your inner-most thoughts.

What to write:

A personal journal will greatly differ from person to person. It reflects the persona of the writer in its most true form. In a normal journal we get one page for one day which can be fragmented to capture the day in its best, as follows.

  1. Daily Activities: We must write our activities honestly because that is what we want to control and manage. We should always be very honest and truthful in capturing the activities because it will help give you a true picture of where your time goes, and you will come to know the areas you have to work on.
    A daily activity section can take most of the journal page, between 70 to 80 percent. One should write about important events which are worth noting and which taught lessons, about people one met and their good qualities and learning from them, unexpected happenings etc. This will make a day’s experience sink in our mind and after re-reading one would also come to know how productive one is.
    Refrain from writing a personal journal like a professional one, don’t include every small event but rather focus on the lessons you learned.
  2. Development lines: The last three lines should be devoted to personal development. Write what you learned from the day, and your own view on the way you passed your day. This will help you realize where you are heading in terms of your deeds, how you are spending time and how productive you are.
  3. Book list: As Muslims we have improve our knowledge of deen alongside our knowledge of dunya and this makes us read a number of books at a time. Tafseer and a book on seerah should always be on the reading list of a Muslim (in addition to recitation of The Qur’an, of course). Some Islamic books, such as tafseers, are voluminous and may take months to complete.
    Then, there is personal reading, current affairs, any reading required for school or work.
    This makes us read more number of books at a time but when we do this it can be difficult to manage and one may end up forgetting some books and lessons learned.
    To solve this problem I keep a list of books that I am reading in my journal. When I write a journal entry I refer the page and update the list by writing the page numbers where my reading has reached. This gives me an idea of what I am reading and what is the status, where I am lagging and how I can improve.

Conclusion:

A believer should have a motto that with each passing day he/she should grow with respect to his faith, personality, knowledge and productivity. When we go through pages of our journal in the future insha’Allah, it should show a gradual progress as we turn the pages. If it doesn’t, then we must reflect and review our actions and be introspective because we are accountable for our time. If we don’t put time in developing ourselves and others, then where is the time really going?

Putting our feelings down on paper can seem intimidating, or even daunting. Here’s how to incorporate the art of journaling into your routine—in a way that feels right for you.

  • By Misa Terral
  • January 26, 2021
  • Daily Practices

How to create a habit of writing in a journalAdobe Stock/mimagephotos

Paying attention is a powerful practice, the key to presence, and the foundation for mindfulness. As we slow down and tune our senses to what we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell, we release thought and find the spaciousness to relax and deepen into the present moment. Combined with the benefits of mindfulness, a journaling practice can make an impact on your mental health and overall well-being.

Journaling is not about being a good writer, or even a prolific one. Whether it’s gratitude journaling, bullet journaling, mindful journaling, creative or expressive journaling, stream of consciousness journaling, or keeping a diary, journaling has been recognized to provide multiple mental, physical, and emotional benefits. Research has suggested that the benefits of journal writing include:

In addition to these benefits, journaling can be a tool to enhance your state of awareness, increase personal wisdom and insight, encourage feelings of gratitude, assist in self-reflection, and boost your creativity. You can journal for three minutes or for 15 minutes, every day or once a week, use pen and paper, or type on a device. For many, journaling serves as a healing practice, a private sanctuary. It’s also a mental compost bin, processing your experiences without judgment, obligation, or expectation.

Starting on the Right Page

To start a journaling practice, you need four things:

  1. Your “why
  2. Your “how
  3. Your “when
  4. Your willingness to let go of perfectionism

Your “why” consists of your goal or purpose with journaling. What do you hope to create or change with a journaling practice? What do you need or want? Do you want more gratitude in your life? More mindfulness? Peace? A mental compost bin? A creative outlet? Do you want to have more personal insight and reflection? A place to jot down personal lists or goals? Paying attention to your “why” will help you keep your practice going.

Your “how” is also important. How will you keep yourself accountable? Do you even need accountability? Maybe you decide to carry a pen and journal with you everywhere, Or maybe setting up a schedule on your smartphone with reminders works well for you. A journaling group or partner can be helpful, so you can check in with each other. For accessibility and portability, you can buy a smaller notebook that fits easily in a purse or backpack to let you jot down thoughts and ideas on the go. Regardless, have a plan, and this includes your “when”.

One of the biggest hindrances to starting and keeping a journaling practice is the idea that it’s a huge time and energy commitment. It doesn’t have to be. Some journals offer more structure, such as prompts, to keep things simple and quick. Or, if you want more time and space for stream-of-thought journaling or self-reflection, choose a time of day that allows that freedom without interruption, such as before bed, during a lunch break, or first thing in the morning. Set a timer if you are limited in time. Decide if you want to make it a daily practice, once a week, or three times a week. Whatever you decide, make sure it works for you and allows for some consistency. Check in with your “why” and your “how” to make sure you are still receiving what you need and that the practice flows in your schedule.

Lastly, the fourth and perhaps the most important, let yourself not “get it right.” Let’s just toss perfection out the window. You don’t need to journal profusely, or even every day. Sticking to your “why,” “how” and “when” only works when you allow yourself to fall off the consistency wagon now and then. Make adjustments where needed, and get back on if the practice is serving you.

One more thing to consider: Is journaling with pen and paper better than typing on the computer? That depends. Some argue yes, especially with regard to mindfulness. Writing on paper allows for unplugging from screens and slowing the senses down. Writing can also take on a meditative feeling. Engaging in the repetitive, kinesthetic, and complex movements of handwriting allows for better retention and memory recall. So, it could be said that by handwriting in a journal, we can make a mindful moment more memorable and last a little bit longer. With that said, the convenience factor of typing may allow for greater consistency. Try both to see which better supports your practice.

Journaling, like mindfulness, can tap into a rewarding state of self-awareness, self-care, self-soothing, and even self-healing. By adding journaling to our arsenal of mindful practices, we increase our chances of slowing down and unplugging, especially in challenging times. Journaling, in all its varieties, offers freedom and opportunity to explore what helps you tune in, pay attention, notice, and take a deep breath. So, go ahead and grab a pen, clear your mind, freely express, and journal your way to wellness.

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

There is no more universally-accepted principle in the writing world as two simple words: “Writers write.”

No matter what we agree on, or disagree on, the one thing that is never up for debate is that sentence. You can’t be a writer and not be writing. It just doesn’t fit. If you say you’re a writer, that means you are, at some point, putting your fingertips on the keyboard or grabbing the pen and putting words and sentences together.

There’s great beauty and comfort in that. If you want to consider yourself a writer, there is no method of qualifying yourself. There are no gatekeepers to the title of “writer.” You want to be an orthopedic surgeon? You need a bunch of education and licenses, and eventually you can earn the title.

By contrast, you can sit down at your computer, open a Google Doc, and type out, “Jim walked into the pet store, where the unflinching aroma of cat urine seeped into his nose.” Congratulations! You are now a writer.

Because there are no gatekeepers, it’s easy to be a writer. That’s great, but it’s also a roadblock. No gatekeepers means no process.

See, in the process of getting certified to be an orthopedic surgeon, you also learn how to be one. They teach you all the ins and outs of the human anatomy and you take copious tests so that, when you start the job, you will ideally be prepared to the best of your ability.

There are classes out there to learn how to be a writer, but you don’t really learn to be one until you start cranking out words. It’s the ultimate learn-by-doing occupation. so how do you learn to write?

I’ve been a writer of sales letters, marketing materials, and books (both fiction and non-fiction) for 12 years. The best way I’ve learned how to tackle these projects has been to write every day.

Yes, a daily writing habit is one of the best, most useful activities you can master. And there’s good reason for it!

The benefits of a daily writing habit

Some might argue that a daily writing habit simply isn’t necessary to be a great writer. And they’re right – there are no gatekeepers, remember? Someone who writes one piece of prose can lay claim to the title.

But if you want to be a good writer, a daily writing habit really can lead to outsized gains in your ability and talent. Why is that?

  • Practice, practice, practice. Even though it sure seemed like it at the time, Michael Jordan did not come out of the womb knowing how to dunk a basketball. The guy didn’t make varsity in high school at first. That wasn’t because the coach was an idiot. It’s because the Greatest Basketball Player in History (not LeBron, I welcome your hate mail) wasn’t developed yet. He was just a sophomore who was good at basketball but needed more practice. As a writer, you have to put in the reps, too. You have to master the layup and shoot a few thousand free throws before you can expect to be a star player. By creating a daily writing habit, you are creating a framework for you to put in those reps.
  • Build a little momentum. I don’t know about you, but I’m a momentum guy, through and through. When I am working on a particular story, the most important thing I can do is spend at least a little time every day on it. If I take time off, it takes forever for me to get back into the flow. If you prioritize your daily writing, you keep those wheels moving, and forward progress can carry you forward.
  • Develop a body of work – and a voice. You know what makes you really feel like a writer? Having a stash of articles, blog posts, stories, and books stored on your computer somewhere. It’s a tangible result that breeds confidence. And as that body of work grows, so does your unique voice. Everyone has one, but you have to write to get it out.

If you are on the edge of your seat, nodding your head vigorously and waiting for instructions because you’re so eager to start your own daily writing habit, then read on.

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

How to build a daily writing habit

There are no rules when it comes to writing every day – except of course, “No kicks to the groin, home for dinner.”

So you can build a habit however you want. Want to write for an hour? Work on that masterpiece? Rock on! More interested in shorter exercises to develop particular aspects of your writing ability? Go for it. Public or private? Up to you!

Here are a few ideas that you can use for building a daily habit:

  • Write a blog post every day. Post it on Medium or on your own blog. Daily Medium posts have long been considered a great way to build a following from scratch.
  • Write a journal entry every day. This would be more private, but no less effective. Either write what’s on your mind or find a book of writing prompts (there are approximately four billion of them out there).
  • Do ten minutes of freewriting. One of my favorites because I think freewriting is such an underutilized tool in the writer’s arsenal. Stream-of-consciousness writing on a daily basis can be one of the most powerful habits you can build.
  • Write one page of fiction. Struggling to get that novel finished? One page per day can knock out a really solid novel in one year. Small progress breeds success!
  • Write a short story. Back to those writer prompts. Set yourself some parameters to tell an intriguing story in as few words as possible. Heck, many have made a living just by publishing short stories.
  • Make something up. Don’t like these ideas? Come up with your own! The most useful habit is the one you’ll stick to. Just write something every day, and you’ll see your abilities start to flourish.

Oh, and one last tip.

A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

Track it

If you’re not tracking it, you’re not improving it.

Building a habit is hard work, and it’s essential that you make sure your progress is consistent. Missing a day once or twice isn’t a bad thing. You’re only human. But it’s far too easy to let it slide a little bit and wake up one day realizing, “Oh, hey, I haven’t done my daily writing in seven and a half weeks.”

Don’t let it come to that.

For me, the most useful tool has always been a wall calendar with every day of the year in one view. Maybe you’d prefer a habit tracking app or a notebook. It doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that you find a place to record, “Yep, I did my daily writing today!”

Stack those wins, build that momentum, and watch your writing go through the roof.

Sometimes it is hard to recognize your own habits. It has taken me some time to recognize that I pick at my nails when I am nervous and flip my hair when I am talking a lot. These are some more inconsequential habits of mine. Then, there are the habits I’ve attempted to form, the desired and aspired for goals that take time and effort to put into place. Some of these habits for me are meditation, exercise, journaling, full nights of rest, and morning prayer. These are a bit harder because there are easier activities to choose or my schedule fills up or another excuse gets in the way. You must counteract these tendencies, overcome your fears, and put in the effort to establish a habit. The best way to go about forming habits is to track them. This, in turn, motivates, perpetuates, and forms a habit.

What is the Best Way to Track Habits?

With a habit tracker, of course!

A habit tracker can come in many different shapes and sizes. It is different for every person, but also helpful for every person attempting to form a habit. There are apps that offer to track habits. Apps are mobile and easy to use generally but require a charged phone in order to record the activity after you’ve done it. Sometimes your phone isn’t charged. Other websites have similar capabilities in which you enter the habit and simply click if you’ve done it for that day. These can be accessed anywhere you have wifi and your login, but can end up being mindless recordings of the habits. Clicking a button doesn’t have the tangibility of checking a box on a piece of paper.

The last category of habit trackers is physical, typically paper, trackers. There are companies that provide this sort of product, but I believe the best habit tracker for you is one you make yourself. The best part is you can create an epic habit tracker out of any journal.

What is the Format for a Homemade Habit Tracker?

If you make your own habit tracker, you can format it how you like it. However, there are proven structures that function better than others. The commonly agreed upon format is an amalgam of a calendar and a to-do list. Follow these basic steps to create your own epic habit tracker in any journal:

Step 1: Create a grid on a piece of paper. It should be as many spaces across as there are days in the month and as many spaces down as habits you would like to form.

Step 2: Write in the days of the month across the top row.

Step 3: List out the habits you want to develop down the first column.

Step 4: On the days you perform that activity or fulfill the task, you check the box.

This process of creating the habit tracker on your own and marking down your results allows you visibly and physically track your success. You see it. You feel it. You can look back on it to increase your dedication to forming the habit.

Here’s what my habit tracker looks like after setting it up in my OneBook journal.

There is a lot of room for creativity here. It can be colorful or toned down. You could use stars or highlighters to mark the boxes. Your habit tracker should be uniquely made for you in order to encourage the use of it. When you make your own habit tracker, the practice of habit tracking becomes easier, more enjoyable, and more successful. It is personalized for you, your style, your preferences, and your habits.

That is why you can use any journal to create your habit tracker. It will be epic because you put in the effort, you stylize it, and you utilize it in your own way. So grab even just a blank piece of paper, draw some lines, and mark complete your first step towards forming habits.

3 Bonuses to Make your Habit Tracking Even Better

Now that you’ve got the baseline for habit tracking success, there are ways in which you can improve already.

1: Make a habit of habit tracking.

This is easy because all you have to do is mark the box for that habit on that day immediately after you do it. This provides instant gratification for your efforts. If you consistently do this, the habit of habit tracking happens. In addition to that, performing your habit becomes exciting because you want to check it off. It is a win-win.

2: Habit Stacking!

Wouldn’t it be nice to do all of your habits in a day? It is difficult, no doubt, but made simpler by doing more than one in a period of time. For example: if your habits you want to form are wake up at 7, exercise for at least 30 minutes, eat healthily, and call your dad, then you could make all of those a part of your morning routine. It would make tracking them easier and actually doing them a piece of cake.

3: Find the right pen and paper for you.

This goes along with the encouraged and possible customization I mentioned earlier, but I do believe that starting with the right canvas impacts the painting of your habit tracking picture.

This is a lot. I know when I first discovered habit tracking I was overwhelmed and a bit turned off from the idea. But the habit of habit tracking will be beneficial and eventually enjoyable. All it really takes is a journal, a writing utensil, some habits to form, and a bit of good effort. Create your own habit tracker by simply drawing a grid, numbering it, listing your habits, and checking them off. Make habit tracking a part of your daily routine and eventually it will be a habit, alongside the multiple others you have formed in the process. This is the start of self-improvement. It will be epic.

Sharing is caring!

A bullet journal habit tracker is one of the best ways to develop good habits, live the lifestyle you want & keep yourself motivated towards achieving all of your goals!

Well, they’re a great reminder of how much you’ve already achieved & as a result, you’ll feel a burst of enthusiasm to carry on.

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

Great Uses For Habit Trackers

You can use your bullet journal habit tracker to track pretty much anything you want… from your daily tasks, health & fitness, finances & more…

The possibilities are endless but here are a few examples of what you could use a habit tracker for…

  • keep on top of daily tasks
  • bring habits that you don’t notice into your awareness
  • track how often you do certain things
  • to motivate yourself towards reaching for your goals
  • to introduce new healthy habits into your life
  • better time management
  • to help you stay productive on a daily basis

How To Set Up Your Habit Tracker

The great thing about habit trackers (and bullet journals in general) is that you have the creative freedom to set your tracker up however you’d like…

But if this is your first time setting up a habit tracker then follow these simple steps as a guide…

  1. Decide what habits you want to track
  2. Check out Pinterest & Instagram for habit tracker inspiration
  3. Decide which tracker layout is best for you & sketch it out in your journal
  4. Draw up in neat & write in your habits
  5. Check & fill in your tracker every morning & evening (don’t panic if you forget a day or two, it happens to everyone)
  6. Stay motivated by appreciating all your progress, no matter how seemingly small!
  7. Write up inspirational & motivational quotes on your tracker page to keep you motivated to reach your target

So, are you ready to get started on your new habit tracker? Great, let’s do it!

Developing the habit of reflective writing can help you analyze, organize, and improve your teaching.

How to create a habit of writing in a journal

What went right? What could have gone better? Did I meet my goals? These are some of the questions I reflect upon as I write in my journal. Reflective writing is an important practice for all professional educators, rookies, and veterans alike. During my undergraduate studies, most of the professors required us to keep a journal of our experiences and reactions to our learning. Looking back, it was a priceless practice that contributed greatly to my personal development as a teacher. Ten years later, reflective writing is a habit that continues to benefit my teaching.

Recording Our Reflections

Recording our reactions to circumstances and events around us, especially those that affect instruction and the overall learning environment, affords us the opportunity to analyze and think critically about how to remediate various situations. Making reflecting and recording a habit means creating the possibility to improve instruction and management of our classrooms. I have endeavored to propose some different strategies and means for reflective writing that can be used to celebrate, motivate, and remediate my teaching practice.

Creating Reflection Time

Choosing, or finding the time, and the best means for recording one’s thoughts and feelings over the course of a work day is a personal decision. For example, sitting down at your desk after everyone has left the classroom may be an opportune time for you to jot down a few thoughts. Others, like me, may still be pondering the day right after school gets out. Thus, I find that the best time to write down my reflections is at home in the evening. I like to record my thoughts on an old-fashioned legal pad. My reflections may be written in a paragraph format or a list; it all depends on the topic. There are no time or word-limit rules. This is free writing time. Basically, my legal pad functions in the same manner as my pupils’ writer’s notebooks.

Topics of Reflection

There are no rules for reflective writing. Its really simply a discipline to help you to analyze and reflect upon the events and people that you’ve encountered throughout the day. Just as there are no rules for recording reflections, there are also no rules as to the topic of reflections. Writing about a pupil that is struggling may help shed light on strategies and/or resources that have not been utilized. In my own experience, I may look back at several entries about a struggling pupil and discover patterns or trends to certain behaviors. Or perhaps, I will become aware that there are certain environmental factors that I’m not noticing during the school day. Sometimes I write about lessons that didn’t go as planned, or use my reflection time to help organize upcoming lessons and projects. I find this writing time is especially helpful if I am going to try something new. Of course, there are times when a teacher needs to vent, writing is a great avenue for venting. Similarly, it is a great tool for de-stressing.

Benefits of Reflective Writing

As I already mentioned above, reflective writing may help to identify areas of remediation. It will also help you to organize your thinking, and record the things you want to celebrate. Taking a few minutes to record the story of the struggling teen who finally understood how to solve the problem, and the subsequent reactions, will help you to remember moments that are often forgotten along the way. Paraphrase encouraging letters, e-mails, cards, or conversations that you want to remember. Then, sometime later, when you are having a difficult time, you can look back at your writings and find some much-needed motivation and inspiration. Are you inspired to begin recording your reflections? Take a moment to glance below at the additional resources from Lesson Planet.

More Writing Articles:

This is a fabulous article by Alicia Johnson to use as you begin recording your reflections. Specifically, the article will help you analyze the current school year and organize your thoughts in preparation for the next.

Here, you will find writing ideas and organizational strategies. Although the article is geared for pupils, some of the ideas can help writers of any age begin the practice of daily, organized writing.

An article by Cathy Neushul that highlights, inspires, and motivates teachers to create change in the upcoming year, or school year.