The second most common excuse I hear about why someone “can’t” journal has to do with the preconceived notions of how journaling must be completed.

When people think of journaling, they imagine a young girl with her diary writing out by hand all of her personal thoughts, feelings, and uncensored gossip that she has collected over a period of time.  This is how the “Burn Book” from the movie Mean Girls originally started, right?

For obvious and good reasons this may turn many people off from journaling.  But that is only one representation of journaling.  Here is a quick list of a variety of ways that journaling can be done.  If you have been using this as an excuse not to journal in the past, I encourage you to check out this list and see if there is an option that you can see yourself trying.  If you’ve been journaling through the same means for quite some time, I encourage you to review this list and choose another way just to add some extra spice to your journaling routine.

– open Microsoft Word or a Apple Pages or a similar program and start typing
– go to the app store and find a journaling app
– take pictures that express how you are feeling
– use pinterest or a similar service and create a personal group of photographs that express how you’re feeling
– while you are exercising, ask yourself a personal question and answer it – find a way to get create something tangible out of the answer(s) you come up with
– record a video of yourself talking.  This could be to yourself, or you can choose to direct the conversation to a specific person.  Do this in the car for privacy.  Notice later how often you yell at other drivers.
– think about how you’re feeling or look at a journal prompt and paint your answer
– or draw your answer
– or color your answer with crayons
– create something using whatever arts and crafts supplies may be around
– write song lyrics or a poem
– record above song or recite said poem
– think about how you’re feeling and create a playlist in I-tunes, spotify, pandora, or whatever music service you use these days to either highlight that emotion or to try to counteract that emotion
– create a list, you can write it down or use one of thousands of computer and phone apps that have been created to make list making easy
– create a photo album, either a physical or an online album
– At dinner, ask your dinner partner(s) to say one thing that was important about their day.  Be sure you also answer the question.

As you can see, the options are in some ways limitless.  If the idea of traditional journaling is unappealing – find a way that you do find appealing.  Journaling is something that you can fit into your daily schedule.

You’ll notice that in almost every case I suggest creating something tangible – even if electronic – that you can refer back to at a later date.  I do this because I believe that the “act of journaling” is actually a two fold activity – the first fold is the act of creating the journal.  The second fold is the act of “reading” it.  Therefore, while it is great to complete the act of journaling while you are exercising at the gym, unless your answers get recorded in some way, the final “act” of “reading” the journal later cannot be completed.

Some might argue that the final option doesn’t create something tangible.  When you share with your dinner partner’s what is going on in your life and they share what is going on in theirs, the dual fold process of journaling is being completed almost immediately.  When you share, your dinner partner’s reflect back to you what you are sharing. Through this act of sharing, something very deep, meaning, and tangible is being created.  What is being created here is a deeper friendship.