I'm a journalling convert! I never got it, people spending hours writing down their feelings and thoughts. I barely had time to think mine let alone write them down. I'd dabbled in journalling a few times over the years, mostly because I love pretty notebooks and it was an excuse to buy them but also because so many people swear by it. Just sit with yourself and let the feelings come or meditate and then just write whatever comes afterwards. Pieces of advice I'd been given on 'how to journal' that never made sense to me or never worked for me.

So I decided to set myself a challenge, the challenge to write in my journal every day for the month of December. 31 days, it's not forever, completely do-able right? But still I didn't know where to start. I read some articles and blogs that told me to sit with myself for an hour, write down my innermost thoughts, goals, reflections, but still something was stuck. Still I couldn't open up and quite frankly I didn't have an hour (now this may seem like an excuse but it isn't, pinky promise!)

But, we're now at the end of December and as promised I have written in my journal every day since mid November! Here's some tips and tricks I've picked up over the last few weeks that taken the pressure off the perfectionism around journalling and actually made it an enjoyable positive experience

1) Start small. It doesn't have to be a novel a day. Try starting with 3 things you are grateful for that day and one positive thing to come out of the day. I started this way and soon fund that this [practice alone lead to be embellishing more and writing more

2) Don't time yourself. If you only have 5 minutes to commit today to writing in your journal you haven't failed. Just because you haven't written pages and pages for an hour doesn't mean the entry is any less worthy

3) Buy a new notebook/diary and dedicate this as your journalling space. Having fresh uncluttered pages with a pretty cover is extra inspiration and it makes your journal precious and special.

4) Collect things. Cinema tickets, magazine cuttings, recipes, anything goes. Slot them into pages, dates, times, or glue them in. Mark those specials times and occasions. It changes the aesthetic of your journal and it's an instant mood lifter when you're flicking through.

5) Makes lists. This month I've listed my personal goals for 2019, my fitness goals for 2019, affirmations, new moon manifestations, things I'm grateful for..... Lists are great for getting your juices flowing as you think of more to add plus they don't expire so you can always come back to them. I put tabs on my lists pages and come back to them every couple of days to add to them to alter them slightly

6) Keep your journal somewhere where you will see it daily. For me this is next o my bed. When I rise in the morning I take it downstairs with me as I like to journal first thing. If this doesn't happen for one reason or another, if I have an early meeting or very demanding kids, I pop it on my desk as a reminder for later in the day. All too often in the past I've started a journal and lost it , lost the momentum and abandoned the practice altogether

7) This is your space. There are no rules. Your journal will be different to mine, mine is different to the next persons. Thats what makes it so special and unique. There are no rights or wrongs. This was the biggest game changer for me. Why I buy a journal with blank pages as opposed to pre filled prompts. Sure pre filled can be great if you are really struggling but I found more often than not I just wanted to write I didn't want to fill in the blanks every day. It may work for you though

I really hope these tips were useful for you. This is my experience and what I have found over a really short time of daily journalling. over the last 15 years I've tried to create a daily journal practice and it wasn't until now that I've finally been able to by being myself.

I'd love to hear your stories and tips if you have any.