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  • Writer's pictureLily Burns

Daily journaling as a motivator


What is journaling? If you haven't already answered this for yourself; 1. where have you been? 2. we likely have different social media feeds. Journaling is all over my Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok at least once a month. It's like they're trying to tell me something... or the algorithm is just so good it knows that I'm a sucker for aesthetic self-care of all sorts. Caught.

Journaling is really whatever you want it to be. I know people who draw in their journals more than writing, and honestly if I was half as talented as them I would be doing the same exact thing. Some do a scrapbook-type of diary, others do regular old "Dear Diary" or use prompts to guide them (my favorite!). Journaling for some is also their planner and it's quite impressive often. You can journal online or in a notebook. I get the feeling you're one of those people who buys notebooks all the time and maybe uses them for a week (I am also one of those people. If I see a pretty notebook on sale, I really can't resist). Put 'em to use now!!

Journaling has become so popular recently for these uses, but also for self help and discovery. Which is awesome. There are prompts all over the internet as well as journals made for specific reasons, like anxiety. Some believe it helps with mental health and shadow work, overall just getting to understand yourself better and help yourself to be a better you. It's all about how you use it. It is not, however, always the answer or going to solve everything (god, I wish it would!). Please reach out for help if you need it. There a lot of resources out there now, like this website that helps you to find guidance centers in your area or even online therapy. I can't vouch for any specific place, but it's worth checking out your options if therapy is something you want to do.

Something else journaling can help with is motivation. How amazing because I struggle with motivation to do anything aside from eat and watch YouTube! Not a terrible life, really, but I do have other ambitions and work I would like to dedicate more time to. You know that endless cycle of I have a fantastic idea, I want to do this thing, I want to perform well in school (or whatever it is for you) to starting it off strong (sometimes), then letting it die out because you're really hooked on this show you're watching right now, to eventually think to yourself "wow I am a piece of shit and waste of space." Just me? I doubt it. I really hope not. That'd be awkward lol...

I'm probably not the only one who goes through this. I get so mad at myself when I don't follow through with these things I get so excited about and I know following through will make me upset but I do it anyway!!

what is motivation? how can journaling help us to be motivated?

Motivation is the reasoning behind what you do. If you don't have a convincing reason or a reason at all for doing something, there's a good chance you'll be less likely to follow through with it. Okay, a little bit of technical words coming at ya. Motivation can be intrinsic, meaning it's coming from within. For example, personal gratification for accomplishing something can be your motivation. I find this one much harder to follow through on. Then there's extrinsic motivation which is coming from outside of yourself. This could be money or social validation or praise. If someone was paying me to work out, I might finally understand what people say when they talk about exercise causing endorphins (I'm not much of an athlete, but I'm trying. And no one is paying me too. If you'd like to please email me right away).

What does journaling have to do with all this? Well, I am so happy that you asked otherwise I should just stop writing now. Journaling, like noted before, can help us to better understand ourselves- our intentions, actions, hopes, dreams, and all that jazz. Once we are able to get a better understanding of ourselves, we can get to the bottom of why we aren't giving our passion projects (or whatever it may be) our all. Like we said before, motivation is the why and answering prompts and writing out our thoughts helps us understand why we do what we do (have I repeated myself enough?).

the process: using journaling as a motivator

First thing we need to do is some shadow work, inner healing, deep dive into our minds, better get to know ourselves, whatever you want to call it. This isn't totally necessary nor do you have to get real intense with it. Do be honest with yourself, though. And definitely spend a bit of time trying to get to know yourself better. Here are some prompts to help you through this first part. Feel free to do all, find your own (they're all over the internet), or just do some.

Then, we can begin to express our goals. It's easier to know your goals when yourself. What is it you want to accomplish. This can be long-term or short-term, whatever time frame you're working on right now. Make your goals clear and specific and dive deep into why you want to accomplish these goals. What's your endgame? Is it success? Money? Self-gratification? Once you understand your goals and why you want to accomplish them, it's important to make actionable plans to achieve these goals. Writing it down isn't enough!! Though it is something, I think we've all heard we're more likely to get things done when they're written down. If you write down an action plan for it as well, I'd say you're odds of doing it are looking pretty good!! Incorporate these action plans into your daily or weekly routines and keep track of your progress. Keeping track of your progress will allow you to make changes when necessary (things change sometimes and that's totally okay!) and give yourself credit when it's due. Journaling about your accomplishments and expressing gratitude is such an important part of keeping yourself motivated. I often find it hard to acknowledge when my work has been paying off, and in this very fast-paced society I think many people feel the same and don't give themselves a moment to reflect on just how fantastic they are.

It's also helpful to check in with your goals often. This can be through writing them out, or your smaller goals, in your daily morning journaling session, reading them over in the morning or evening, etc. Whatever works for you!

I think the most important part of all of this is knowing that writing it down will only get yourself so far. I want you to try to get into that high of planning it all out on the paper and then immediately following through on it before you can talk yourself out of it. The hardest part is usually starting, so, as cliché as it sounds, just do it. Just get started.

a video i found helpful

Journaling is hard to be consistent with and sometimes to get started with. Here's a video from one of my absolute favorite content creators about starting journaling to help heal yourself and be consistent with it. I love Leah's videos, they're so inspiring and calming. Watching them feels like you're hanging out with an old friend, so definitely check her out!


May you accomplish everything your beautiful heart desires <3 You got it :)


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