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Journaling,  Living Well

When to Start a Journal

When pondering when to start a journal, or starting a new project or habit, I think we tend to think in terms of milestone moments, or an obvious break in the calendar.

I’ll start Monday. I’ll start on the first of next Month. I’ll start January 1. I’ll start on my birthday. I’ll start on my wedding day. It’s easy to build in a delay, a time buffer into our idea of starting something new.

Building in a delay is not a great way to get started. It is, however, a great way to start procrastinating.

Why do you wait?

Are you questioning how much you really want to do it?

Is it the idea of starting fresh on a new week, month, or year? Fresh starts are not limited to certain time frames. You can have a fresh start right now. Right this minute, you can take a deep breath, draw a line through the air, and say I’m starting fresh right now.

Sure, you’re still in the same place, the same situation. You still have dishes and laundry to do, you still have the same deadlines, problems, and habits, but something is different. When you change your approach, everything else changes.

Don’t give in to perfectionism

Sometimes we wait because we want to make it perfect. I have to have the perfect journal. I have to start on the first because then I can set it up to cover the month perfectly. That’s a recipe for avoiding your journal any time you feel less than perfect. 

Your journal is not a place for perfection. It’s a safe place, where you can be you any time of day or night. Any day of the week, month, or year.

If you delay starting your journal till a certain date, it increases the pressure on what you decide to put in the journal. There’s an increased sense of having to write about things you deem important – the big events in your life. But life happens in the in-between moments. It’s those moments that make up the bulk of our time that determine who we are and how we live – the hours and days, as well as the weeks, months, and years.

When to start a journal is when you’re ready

You decide when you are ready to start a journal. Don’t let the calendar tell you how to run your life. It’s your journal. 

Whenever you want to start your journal is the perfect time to get started. As I write this post, it’s 7:40 pm on a Thursday and a perfectly acceptable time to start writing. So is tomorrow. Or the next day.

If you want to write, then write. Pick up a pen or pencil and a notebook, or even open a new document on your computer. Then write. It only matters that you write. Everything else is just ornamental.

Seattle writer, Judy Schwartz Haley, blogs about raising a toddler while battling cancer, finishing a degree, and fending off ninjas. Also, she needs more coffee.

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