One of my best friends and “support team members”, Dawn of www.mentalitywod.com, asked me what I do on those days that I just do not want to journal. You know those days: Those days when you slept through your alarm and you’re pretty sure you may still make it to work on time if you just cut the journaling out of your morning routine. Or those days when you intentionally skipped journaling in the morning with the intention of journaling before bed and now it’s bedtime and you’re pretty sure you’d rather sleep than journal. Or those days when you go to sit down and journal and say, “hello, old friend” to writer’s block and wouldn’t it just be easier to do anything else right now?
On those days, I have learned to ask myself one question:
Am I avoiding journaling because I’m avoiding facing myself or some strong emotion?
If the answer is “No, I’m not avoiding anything”, then this probably means that life is relatively good. I’ve learned, through reading/analyzing my previous journals, that I tend to write less when life is relatively good. This may give me permission to take a day off.
Ironically, this answer can also push me to write a journal entry. The answer confirms that the journaling won’t take very long. I quickly jot down 5 things that happened today for which I am grateful and I check “journaling” off the daily to do list. (Ahhh, happy sigh, the feeling of accomplishment)
If the answer is, “Yes, I’m avoiding something” or “I don’t know…maybe…probably… leave me alone”, then I know I really need to be journaling.
This motivates me to journal because I want to be someone who doesn’t avoid the hard emotions.
Here’s reality, though: Sometimes, after answering this question, I quickly jot down my 5 things and still play the avoidance card. Sometimes, I get to the heart of what I wanted to avoid and I start the healing process. Occasionally, but less often than if I didn’t ask myself the question, I still don’t journal.
So I ask you, what question(s) can you ask yourself which will motivate you to journal on those days where “you just don’t wanna”?