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Everyone and their mother is talking about habits. How to break bad habits… How to set up systems for good habits… 10,000 habits you need to start right now …
We went into the last year with Atomic Habits and we ended up on the sofa playing Animal Crossings and Dreamlight Valley. We’re pretty sure trading shells for Bells was not the habit we thought we would start in 2020.
So this year we are taking a different approach to things, especially habits.
Instead of giving you a mile long list of habits you should start, we are only going to give you one.
This one habit is the only habit you need to start in 2023. It doesn’t matter your age, where you are in life, or even where you want to go.
Seriously this habit is so universal, I recommend it to everyone.
Are you ready? Do you have a guess?
No, it’s not meditation (though that is a good habit).
It’s journaling. Now before you roll your eyes or click out of this to check Facebook, just hear me out.
I’m not talking about a diary. No doodles with I Heart ❤️ Justin. It doesn’t have to be a minute-by-minute of your day either. If you want to recount your life like a Jane Austen novel, that’s fine, but not mandatory.
You may be wondering why journaling is so great. Don’t worry, I will explain all of the benefits of journaling next.
Related reading: How To Do More Of What’s Worthwhile
The Benefits of Journaling
I believe that it is a truly life-changing habit. But if you can’t take my word for it, there is a pile of scientific research that proves the benefits of journaling.
- Reduces stress: Journaling is an incredible stress management tool, that lessens the impact of physical stressors on your health. Specifically, this study linked expressive writing over the course of four months to lower blood pressure. Plus, writing about stressful experiences can help you manage them in a healthy way.
- Improves Immune Function: Yes, you read that right. Expressive writing and journaling can strengthen your immunity and decrease your risk of illness.
- Keeps Memory Sharp: Journaling helps keep your brain in tip-top shape. Not only does it boost memory and comprehension, but it also increases working memory capacity (which is important for problem-solving).
- Boosts Mood: Journaling can improve your mood and give you a greater sense of overall emotional well-being and happiness
- It Sets The Stage For Emotional Growth
The first four are reasons enough to start a journaling habit. Who doesn’t want to be less stressed, remember more, be happier, and be healthier?
Benefit number five might seem like small potatoes at first glance, but it explains why I feel journaling is a foundational habit.
Why Is Journaling A Foundational Habit
As journaling habits are developed, benefits become long-term, meaning that people who journal become more in tune with their health, inner needs, and inner desires.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Starting the habit of journaling is a foundational habit because it will provide you with a roadmap.
Journaling will help you know what you truly want from life. It will help you identify your strengths and help you find areas of improvement.
And since you made journaling a habit, you have the muscle memory necessary to introduce new habits when it is time.
Related reading: Make Meditation Your New Habit
How To Get Started
The great news is that journaling isn’t difficult, doesn’t take a lot of time, and requires very few things.
All you really need is a pen and a notebook.
If you want to keep things digital, that’s fine too.
The only requirement is that it is written and saved so you can refer back to your entries.
You get to decide what to write about and you get to decide how much you write.
You can write three pages worth or only three sentences.
Everything is up to you.
If this still feels overwhelming, that’s understandable. To help you feel more at ease, we are going to share some tips and tricks to make journaling easier and more enjoyable.
Tips & Tricks
To make the habit of journaling easier, we recommend upgrading to a pretty notebook that will bring you joy when you use it.
And while you don’t need a ton of stuff to start journaling, if you chose to use colored pens, markers, or washi tape to decorate your journal, you’ll want to keep all of your supplies together.
If you still feel stuck, grab our journaling prompts to help you get started.