Journaling is one of the greatest tools we have for self-expression, self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-love. Through journaling, we can become more aware of our thoughts and organize them in ways that might be difficult to do if we tried to do it in our heads.

By putting pen to paper on a regular basis, you get to tell your own story and decide how you want the next chapter to be written. Whether you’re a seasoned writer already or a complete beginner who struggles to write even a couple of sentences, you can learn to develop daily journaling habit that serves your personal growth.

Here are five things you can do to start looking forward to journaling on a daily basis.

Pick a Time

While it can be highly effective to grow yourself by picking up your journal and writing in it whenever the urge strikes you, the key to developing consistency is by setting aside as little as five minutes at the same time every day to do your journaling. Mornings and evenings work well since morning journaling gives you the opportunity to be intentional about the day ahead while evening journaling will encourage you to reflect upon the day’s events.

Set a Reminder

During the first few weeks of developing your journaling habit, you may benefit from setting a reminder or an alarm to go off at the same time every day. As an alternative, you can use trigger actions instead. For example, a trigger action could be the steps you take to pour yourself a cup of coffee in the morning or the act of getting under the sheets in your bed at night. Over time, you can teach yourself to use actions like pouring coffee and getting into bed as an automatic trigger (a.k.a. a natural reminder) to pull out your journal.

Start Small

There’s no need to set aside an hour of your time every day to write pages and pages worth of thoughts and feelings. If you consider yourself to struggle with writing, go easy on yourself by trying to get just 1 to 5 sentences down. Even if you don’t feel like journaling and don’t think you have anything useful to say, writing at least something will help you develop your habit so you can improve over time.

Don’t Overthink It

Starting small goes hand in hand with allowing yourself to just simply write what instantly comes to mind. It’s fine to stop for a moment and think about how you might want to put your thoughts or emotions into words, but if you find yourself trying to manipulate your writing too much, you’ve probably gone too far. Don’t hold back, don’t obsess over spelling or grammar, and don’t worry about the quality of your writing. Journaling is not about being perfect—it’s about learning.

Reread Your Entries

One of the best ways you can solidify a consistent journaling habit is by making sure you go back to read your previous entries. Although journaling can be a big help in the moment of writing, it can sometimes be an even bigger help or source of inspiration when you look back a reread it. As you continue journaling, plan to reread yesterday’s journal entry, last week’s journal entry, last month’s journal entry, or last year’s journal entry right after you finished journaling for the day. You’ll be able to step back into a past version of yourself from the perspective of your present self and see how much you’ve grown.

Yogi Surprise subscribers of our Lifestyle Box will receive their very own OM Journal this July for our theme on Freedom. If you’re already a member, these tips will go perfectly with your new journal!