A man sitting at a desk writing in a diary

Form A Journaling Habit In 21 Days

Why is daily journaling a good habit?

Daily journaling is a great practice for mindfulness and general well-being. Keeping a journal can help improve your writing skills. It can also be a great way to remind yourself of those happy occasions. We discuss the benefits further in our piece about keeping a journal, check it out here.

How can Forever Diary help you form a daily journaling habit?

Forever Diary was designed to build and maintain a daily journaling habit. It's easy to use, sends a regular reminder at the time of your choosing and is always convenient wherever you are.

Why 21 days?

The 21-day rule is a belief that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. It was popularised by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon. He noticed that his patients took about 21 days to adjust to their new appearance after surgery.

The 21-day rule is popular because it's a short period and it's easy to remember. A study about habit formation refuted the 21-day rule. According to the study, it's more common for habits to take anywhere from 66 to 254 days.

We still believe that it's possible with a few tips and tricks.

A futuristic man sitting at a desk writing in a diary

Start small

Don't try too much at once. An easy first step to journaling daily could be as simple as writing a single sentence in the evening. It could summarise your day or outline your feelings. Write down a task that you accomplished or a goal that you reached.

Or flip it around. First thing in the morning, write one thing that you want to achieve throughout the day.

Imagine you're trying to get into an exercise habit. You don't decide one day to go to the gym for 2 hours after years of doing nothing. Instead, a simple first step would be a 5 minute exercise routine at home, or a quick 10-minute walk.

Building up from simple beginnings makes it easier to get started because it you don't need much motivation.

Make it easy on yourself

Reduce the barriers to entry. Once you establish your exercise routine, you might lay out your gym clothes and trainers the night before.

For journaling, this means always having the diary on hand whenever it comes the time to make your daily entry. Keep a bookmark of Forever Diary on your phone or laptop browser for quick access. Bookmarking "https://foreverdiary.online/today" will open the diary to the current day. Could it get any easier?

Be consistent

The key to forming a new habit is to do it consistently. Even if you can only do it for a few minutes each day, make sure to do it every day.

Popular language website Duolingo uses streaks to incentivise its users. Complete at least one lesson every day to extend the streak. (We're working on a similar feature right now, let us know here if that's something you'd like.)

A journal entry can be a couple of paragraphs and takes a few minutes. When you're in the habit of writing daily, keep it up. Configure an email reminder so that you never forget to login and write.

Track your progress

Keep track of your progress so that you can see how far you have come. This can help you to stay motivated and on track.

Forever Diary's easy navigation means you can flick between dates to view your previous entries. Check back to your entries last week, last month, or ever last year to see what you were doing and how you were feeling.

Reward yourself

When you reach a milestone, reward yourself with something that you enjoy. This associates the habit with positive feelings and make it more likely that you will stick with it.

Been journaling every day for a month? Treat yourself to your favourite guilty pleasure. Whatever you enjoy doing or consuming. Rewarding yourself for your progress will cement the new habit.

It is important to remember that everyone is different and it may take you more or less than 21 days to form a new habit. The most important thing is to be consistent and to keep working at it.

More tips that may help you to form a habit in 21 days

Stack your habits

Link your new habit to an existing habit. If you want to start journaling, you could link it to your habit of brushing your teeth at night. After you brush your teeth, take a few minutes to write in your journal.

Or combine it with going to bed. Make it part of your evening routine. Dim the lights when you climb into bed and open Forever Diary to update your entry.

The most important thing to remember is to integrate it into your daily routine.

Create a habit cue

A habit cue is a trigger that reminds you to do your new habit. Set an email reminder to nudge you to complete your daily entry at the same time every day.

Find an accountability partner

Having an accountability partner can help you to stay on track and motivated. Find someone who is also trying to form a new journaling habit and support each other along the way.

This can be a partner or a close friend. You can discuss your daily update or remind each other to take a few minutes to write down your thoughts.

A bizarre-looking woman sitting at a desk with a laptop

How to use Forever Diary to form a daily journaling habit

Create your account at the sign up page - it takes two minutes. Then you'll be ready to start journaling straight away.

Configure a daily reminder to receive a prompt to enter your daily journal entry.

Review your journal entries by flicking back through previous days. See how you're getting on by tracking how many days in a row you have made an entry.

Feel free to get in touch to share any questions or feedback that you have. We love hearing from our community, so don't hesitate to reach out.