Some hints to journaling:

  1. Start at the beginning of the book and progress – don’t skip around, there’s no need. The bound pages keep your ideas in relative chronological order. Sometimes I add dates to remember when I had an idea.
  2. Questions are fantastic but make sure you ask the right questions: If you have negative self-talk you may ask destructive questions such as: “Why do I mess up in school?” You will find a MILLION reasons for failure.
    Instead ask yourself a non-judgmental question such as:
    “How do I succeed in school?” This question may yield answers like “I should study more”.
    Based on that, ask yourself “How can I study more?” or “What keeps me from studying?”
    Your answers may be “my room is noisy” or “I get distracted by my computer or the internet”.
    Ask yourself for solutions – ‘turn off your phone and turn off the internet when you study’. Or better yet, if all your material is on paper – try to do work without touching technology.
  3. Once in a while, ask yourself a positive question or write down positive thoughts.
    What do I like about myself?
    What was the best thing that happened this day? week? month?
    Why do I think this will work?
  4. Whichever way you choose to journal, just start. And know where the book you are using is and always have it handy. You may stop and pick up the habit of writing several times but that’s life. Keep at it.
  5. Personally, I use both a bound book as a journal and Microsoft OneNote on the computer. I recommend a paper journal because writing produces a different emotional response than typing. Find a system that works for you but make sure it’s simple and it’s something you use.

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