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How to Use Your Journal for Your New Years’ Resolutions

New Years’ Resolutions might seem a little silly, but they really are a great way to narrow down your focus to one or two main goals. They are not meant to be something miraculous and life changing (though they can be), but to take advantage of the new year with a fresh start. Maybe you want to lose weight this year, give up soda, start doing yoga, or stop a bad habit like biting your nails. The options are endless.

When it comes to creating your New Years’ Resolutions, using a journal is one of the best tools at your disposal. It not only helps you decide on the resolutions, but track your progress along the way.

What You Want to Accomplish This Year

Start by writing down everything you would like to accomplish this year. This might end up being a long list, which is totally fine. You are just starting with any idea you have in your head before you make your final decisions. Think of big things and small things, even if you don’t know that they will end up being a resolution. Consider your bad habits, something you want to implement, a goal you want to achieve, healthier lifestyle habits, a change in your routine, a place you want to visit, or a problem you want to solve.

What You Feel Like You Lacked in the Previous Year

To add to your list of possibilities, write down anything you feel like you lacked or fell behind in the previous year. This can help you figure out where you want your focus to be, such as if you struggled with your finances this past year, you might want to look for a new job opportunity or work on your business more.

Flesh Out Your Ideas

Go through and highlight or make a check next to anything that really speaks to you or you believe would make a positive impact in your life. Consider something you can do for the entire year, and doing that will help to make you happy or healthier, or just change your life in a positive way.

Choose 1-2 Resolutions From this list, choose just 1-2 resolutions for the year. That doesn’t mean you won’t accomplish anything else, but you want just one or two main things to focus on. You might have some things that are good to do, but can be done in a shorter period of time, like starting to journal. Instead of that as a resolution, maybe you want to read 20 books.


Journaling Prompt #1

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

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Start Your Journal with a Positive Headspace

Before you open up your journal and start writing, you might first want to spend a few minutes getting into a mindful state and reflecting on your mood and what is going through your mind at this moment. This doesn’t have to be a practice you do when you intend to journal in the form of a brain dump or stream of consciousness, but it can be really useful for other forms of journaling.

Why should you be in a positive headspace for journaling?

While this isn’t necessary every single time, there are definitely some benefits to being in more of a positive mindset as you write in your journal. Try to be mindful of how you feel right now, and turn your negatives into a positive. Are you feeling a bit stressed about your job? You can think positively that you have a job you love, or a job that pays your bills. Get into a place of acceptance, gratitude, and mindfulness, and that is enough positivity for your journaling.

Find Positivity By Expressing Gratitude

When you are grateful and appreciative of the blessings in your life, it boosts your mood, helps you become happier, and you carry that with you through every facet of your life. Write down a few things you are grateful for every time you start a journal entry. Even if the rest of what you journal about isn’t all positive, you can still get into the right frame of mind from the very beginning with the simple act of writing what you are grateful for.

There are a few ways to express gratitude in your journal, but here are some simple options:

Write 3 people you are grateful for that day.

Write about 5-10 things or possessions you are grateful for.

Write a list of things or people in your life in general that you are grateful for.

Tips for Becoming More Positive When You Write

Many people use their journal to write about their feelings and thoughts, which sometimes can be on the negative side. You can definitely use your journal for venting, but there are still ways to add some positivity to those journal entries.

For example, if you had a bad day because your car broke down, then you were late to work, and your boss yelled at you for it, see how you can spin it. Maybe when you took your car in for one issue, they found something even more serious that could have caused a major accident. You just saved yourself from a potentially dangerous situation. Or when you saw how irrational your supervisor was for something you couldn’t control, you got the idea that you want a better job or to start your own business.