Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Journal Entry A Day Keeps The Cranky Away

VeegMama's journal

Exercise and meditation top the list of daily habits of highly successful and happy people.  May I also suggest keeping a journal?  If you are new to journaling, this is the perfect time of year to reflect on everything in your life that you have to be thankful for, (writing in my gratitude journal is one of my nightly rituals), as well as a perfect time to jot down your "resolutions" or hopes and dreams for the future.  

I have been a journaler for quite some time, starting back in the day when I wrote my heart and soul down in a diary.  My entries have come a long way from that confused, hopeful, and questioning teenager, but I know that writing down my thoughts daily helps me to clear my head, work out things that are causing me anxiety, and dream crazy thoughts.  I also find that my day is a bit brighter and I am much more joyful when I start my day with a journal entry.  I put down my worries and issues on the page, freeing myself to let go and just be for the rest of the day.  Sometimes, I work out the busyness in my head, but often, I am just letting go of whatever "noise" is crowding my head, giving joy and happy space to fill it up instead.  I feel lighter after I journal, as well as more focused and centered on what I aim to accomplish for the day.  

I set intentions in my daily entries.  I make plans with myself for how I want to feel and live.  I set goals for the day.  I talk to myself.  It is liberating.  I urge you to try it.

I teach a writing workshop to elementary school students, in which I encourage them to keep a journal. Below are some of the entry starters I give them to use in case they every feel "stuck" and don't know what to write about.  I share them with you and hope you will try a couple out yourself.  Happy journaling!

1. What are three things in your life that make you very happy?
2. How do you feel today?
3. What would you do today if time, money, and fear didn't hold you back?
4. List 5 things you want.  List five things you need.
5. Describe yourself in third person.
6. What 10 things give you joy?
7. What is the best thing that has happened this week?  The worst?
8. Write a love letter to yourself.
9. What is your favorite quotation?  Write it down.  Why do you love it so much?
10. Have an imaginary conversation with someone about something that is bothering you.
11. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  Why?
12. What is your favorite thing about yourself?  Why?