At this time of year people tend to start talking about their goals and aspirations for the year ahead and whilst I agree that’s a very positive thing to do, I think it’s something we should try to do on a regular basis all year long. I find pausing to think about where I’m headed and what I want to achieve next feeds creativity and gives a feeling of positivity and purpose.
If you’re feeling stuck, unsure of what you want your goals to be, or a particular aspect of life is troubling you, journaling is a great way of working out your thoughts and feelings and once you are clearer on the things you want to change or achieve and why, it’s much easier to work out what you need your specific goals to be and map out a route to achieve them.
Journaling also helps you to offload and clear your mind in a similar way that talking to a friend does. I trained in mental health for three years and as part of that process was made to keep a private, weekly journal and found that making a note of your feelings about situations not only gets you to let off some steam, it allows you to more objectively reflect upon them at a later date.
Something else I believe has a positive impact on day to day life is creating a calmer and more organised routine in general, giving yourself more headspace which you can use for other things. Whether that is keeping on top of housework or using time more efficiently at work, being organised and having a structure to your day and week can not only save you time but establish a healthier, less stressed mindset which allows time and space for other things!
There are a host of great Planners, Diaries and Journals designed to help you map out your work and home life and create more equilibrium -some of which are specifically designed to motivate and reinforce positive thinking at the same time.
I use a weekly desk planner and swear by it – but something else I’ve recently discovered is a book called ‘52 Lists for Happiness’ which is a journaling book that gets you to complete a different list each week to think about various aspects of your life:
It apparently makes you focus on things such as what makes you happy, which are the best choices you have made in your life so far, what things you would like to say no to in the future etc….
…and generally gets you to focus upon the people, activities and elements of life that make you the happiest.
You can then prioritise those things going forward.
One thing which struck me is if you took a whole year to fully complete the 52 lists, that’s a long time to have to wait to affect changes to your life! However, reading through the different sections of the book, I think it’s more about making you consciously focus on the positives in life day-to-day and week-to-week, rather than bringing about some big transformation.
I have no doubt whatsoever that our specific thoughts affect how we feel i.e thinking “I’m not good enough” = that thought can make you feel sad, worthless or depressed.
Our feelings then affect our behaviour i.e feeling depressed = not getting dressed or wanting to meet friends ….
So therefore, having our attention drawn to and regularly reflecting on the positive things in our lives can only be a good thing for enjoyment of life and mental wellbeing!
The blurb…. Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy: “This beautiful, undated hardcover journal with 52 listing prompts encourages readers to reflect, acknowledge, and invest in themselves, and ultimately transform their lives by figuring out exactly what makes them happy”
So I’m going to give this book a go and see what positive results it brings about in a few weeks time….
If you think you would benefit from some more organisation, here are a couple of popular planners – PLUS at the bottom of this blog you will find a link to a FREE printable download which looks really helpful if you want to pause for a minute to assess where you are at and get you thinking about what you would like for 2017 – I’m certainly going to!
There is a choice of an annual workbook which keeps all your dates, to do’s, projects, contacts and finances in one place or a weekly A4 planner pad with a to-do-list, notes area, weekly overview and goal list.
They also do cute matching notebooks, cards and pencils with inspirational messages on them.
The blurb….. “With the daily planner, you have everything that’s important during the day right in front of you! With a meal planner, a to-do list, a list for your daily goals, a meeting/event overview, space for your notes and a little reminder to stay hydrated, this little planner is the perfect organizer for every day!”
This journal is more of a general lifestyle tool and apparently encourages you to set goals that will maximise your happiness, get you to self-reflect so you understand yourself better and plan your life around things and people who truly matter to you. It has inspiring daily thoughts and encourages you to be healthier by reminding you to drink water, exercise and eat healthily!
The blurb…..“The Happiness Planner is a planner like no other. Instead of focusing on productivity, it focuses on “your happiness”……. incorporates the practices of positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development….. focuses on positive thinking and personal progress, with spaces for reflection and goal-setting”
There are hard backed, one-off journals or a leather binder option which allows you to just buy a new insert each year.