Sure, you have to take the time to make journaling a habit. Yes, you have to go back and re-read after a period of time (this is the important second part of journaling). If you do write consistently, you can see where you have the most problems in your life and marriage. The journal also can be a great source of inspiration for you too. You will look back through your volumes and say: Wow, I was there five years ago...I still struggle here and here, but it's amazing that we don't fight about this or that anymore! We live life in the fast lane. Journaling is a great place to slow down and process our experiences.
If you plan on having kids, you'll be leaving something behind to help and inspire them.
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Not to get all sentimental or anything, but your kids will probably want to remember you when you are gone. If you’re recording things that are good and bad in a journal (or several) over your lifetime, you’ll be leaving them an invaluable gift. You can continue to give to others and help them long after you are gone by recording your thoughts in an empty book.
Here’s how to start:
1. Go Cheap. I have used the dollar composition notebooks for several journals. Get them on sale after the kids go back to school. After you get started and fill one up, you can then decide what type of empty book you want to journal in. Some people even journal on their mobile devices. (I think pen and paper is best—but hey, to each their own.)
2. Make it a habit. First thing in the morning or last thing at night are two times that are good journaling. Also when you're in a difficult spot or having a conversation that could go south, take some time, while its fresh, to write out your thoughts.
3. Take it with you. If you can’t journal at a set time, take the journal with you so when you have a free minute, don’t text or check the latest article here at YourTango (DOH!), write down your thoughts.
4. Review after a period of time. Set an afternoon to look back over the previous months entries. What patterns do you see, and what can you learn from them? When do you notice you are in a bad mood? What feelings are you expressing about your marriage? What is going well in your relationship?
5. Just Start. There are lots of ways to journal. Don’t get all up in your head and think you have to be a great writer. Just do it. Get your stuff out on the page. It will help you—no one has to see it but you. Here is a great starter question for you, use it to begin your first journal: Why do I need to journal? Write at least one page. GO!
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Do you have a journaling habit? Has it been helpful to you in your life?