This post originally appeared on Quora as an answer I wrote for the question, ‘How do I write an easy daily personal dairy even in our busy schedules? How and why to make it a daily habit?.
“Dated 26/06/2017: Today was a good day.”
It is good start to get the habit of daily journaling. The problem is not with the actual journaling but making a habit out of it.
The best way to start any habit for that matter is conceive 3 different key items:
- Start Small
- Build a cue system
- Prepare for contingencies
Aim for writing at the least ‘one sentence’ on to your dairy everyday. That is the idea of starting small.
Find an already established habit/ routine as a trigger to serve as a reminder for diarying. For example, I do my morning journaling after my breakfast before I leave for office. I do my daily freewriting at the end of the day, after my dinner before my reading/ sleeptime. Find your cue.
There are times we will not feel it. It is okay. Just build a system of ‘If-then’ plan (technically called Implementation Intention) to help you overcome those obstacle. I tell myself,
‘If I don’t feel like writing, then I will scribble at least one sentence on my dairy.’
‘If I don’t feel like writing, then at least I will copy a text onto my dairy.’
‘If I don’t find time to write, then I will write at least one sentence.’
Make your own if-then statement, write it down.
I bet this trick could be used to build any type of habit. You will almost definitely win. Some of my friends even use a tracking system (like an HabitBull app or Seinfeld’s ‘Don’t break the chain’ system, or webapp like Joe’s Goal). You decide.
Hope it helps.
I have started my writing habit in September 2015. I have written 145 pages so far with more than 100,000 words in it. Almost most of my blog posts are taken from my 145 pages. It helps.
For more help read on:
- Habit Formation: 4 Proven Strategies to Make Habits Work for You
- On Writing: Why You Should Start Writing, Even If You are Not a Writer