Day 29: Making a Habit

Day 29: A month to a habit.

For the last four weeks, we’ve worked on building a meditation and walking habit. Even if we didn’t do it every day, we did it often enough to build an expectation that we reach for our journal at a certain time of day and add walking meditation (or some other form of meditation) to our day.

Shadow on monsoon papers.

Krystyna learned:  The most important (re)learning for me is the importance of the routine of doing it every day, whatever time, place or method, and without any expectations around it. (Krysytna occasionally writes by sending posts from her iPhone to her blog, when she sees something important to her.)

Marjorie discovered: My immediate response was that I don’t have a routine, but upon reflection I realized I do. I like to do both the writing and walking alone, quiet, and without my glasses. I can see good enough and it symbolizes that I’m not “out in the world” yet.

Wendy found: As I thought about it I realised that my walk is a metaphor for my life. Some days it’s easy and I embrace it, other days it’s just plain hard work and I have to make myself get out and do it, and on mercifully few others, I just want to hole up and hide.

Deb’s practice discovered: I’ve learned that I need to keep the writing up. Don’t stop, just keep writing and eventually the deeper stuff starts to emerge.

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Journaling is an exploration. We don’t write just to put facts down. We write to find answers. Sometimes they come to us, sometimes we have to chase after them. But journaling, when developed into a habit, gives us access to our best selves–the problem solver, the comforter, the dream interpreter.

It’s not easy, it is focused work. And it takes a while to get used to writing every day, particularly when there is work to distract us, or other things that must get done.  And that’s why a month is necessary to build a habit: learning to avoid choosing diversions, learning that journaling is useful work for setting goals, developing steps to get there, and keeping track of accomplishments.

I hope you’ve found that the habit of journaling can see you through the busy times as well as the empty times.That a journal is a good place to keep track of your progress and your ideas.

Coming soon: For those of you who found us in the middle of the journey (and for those of you who enjoyed the whole journey), I’m preparing an ebook that summarizes the 30 days—those ideas we discovered here, and some new information as well—to cover the days I didn’t post specifics. The book is not ready yet–I have some writing to do, and formatting as well. If you are interested,  leave a comment, and I’ll send you an email when it’s on amazon.

Thanks for being along on this exploration, I hope you’ve come through it with new ideas and a fresh place to keep them!

Quinn McDonald is a writer and journal-keeper. She became a creativity coach by exploring the step through coaching.