The Lazy Person’s Guide to Journaling

woman journaling

New Year, new healthy habits. We know the drill.

But as much as you want break out your watercolors and fancy pens when you see one of those elaborate bullet journals on Pinterest, you might be lacking in two vital areas: time and energy (trust us — we know you hustle).

But journaling doesn’t have to be an all-consuming project . You can actually get your ideas down on paper in just a few minutes each day, and achieve that new-habit glow we’re all craving this January. Here are our best hacks to get you started.

If You Lack Motivation…

Use the Best Utensils

journaling materials

There’s nothing better than the oh-so-satisfying sensation of writing with an A+ pen. You know the ones — when the ink is dark and really flows out. If you’re trying to make journaling a daily venture, don’t skimp on quality. Buy a nice pen, a bright set of colored pencils, and anything else you need to get going.

Set a Timer

Can’t think of anything to write about? Here’s a trick: set a timer (it doesn’t have to last long at all — 10 minutes will do), sit down and write. Move your pen across the paper and don’t get caught up in your technique or your word choice — this is for you after all, not an audience. Keep writing until your time is up, and do it again the next day, and the next, and the next. Soon journaling will feel like brushing your teeth. Only more creative.

Make a List and Go Minimalist

Flip to a blank page in your journal, then number each line for every day in the week or month ahead of you. You’ve just created an easy bullet journal spread, ready for your ideas. Tackle just one line every day with a brief sentence about something that inspires you or a brief summary of your day. By the end of the month, you’ll have completed an entire page — and built the motivation to do it again next month!

If You’re Tired After a Long Day…

Commit to One Word

woman journaling

Think journaling requires you to write page after page about your life? Think again — committing to just one word each day is enough to get started. Simply distill the day down to one word, perhaps an emotion, color or the first name of a loved one. This is a super low-maintenance technique and can get you in the habit of journaling daily, even if you just have 10 seconds available. And I bet you do.

Find Gratitude at Night

Before you hit the hay, break out your journal and record one thing for which you’re grateful. It might be something as simple as a smooth commute home from work, or a deeper sentiment about a particular joy in your life. This practice has even been shown to boost happiness! And once you finish your journal, you’ll have an entire book about the things you appreciate the most. Talk about uplifting!

If You Need a Hack for On-The-Go…

Write It on a Post-It

You never know when an idea might strike. But since carrying around your journal all the time might not be practical, stash a stack of Post-It notes in your pocket or purse. Jot down anything that comes to mind throughout the day on a Post-It, then stick the notes in your journal when you get home. There’s something fun about having a journal that flutters with colorful squares every time you open it, and this way you can make journaling fit your busy schedule.
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