Do you keep a little notebook and a pen next to your bed? If not, maybe that's your next step to making over your life… Getting down those first and last thoughts of the day, can really jumpstart your life, creating POSITIVE momentum!
Have a Brand New Life
Journal for gratitude!
Making a daily list of five or more things you are grateful for is a positive exercise that can be challenging at first, especially if you are a glass-half-empty thinker! For others, making a list of people, events, objects, and experiences that give you warm "fuzzies" can help you unwind and relax, especially before bed. Doing this exercise daily can be eye-opening when you look back on the journal days, weeks, and months later. On a particularly challenging day when you are grouchy or stressed, the lists can be revisited and serve as a guideline for turning the day around. For example, calling one of the beloved family members or looking at pictures of an event you listed may help you reset yourself more rapidly. No one wants to spend a whole day stewing or wallowing.
Too easy? You may be able to build up to a whole page of gratitude! How's that for positive thinking?
Write a love letter to yourself!
Many of us feel that we are unloved and unappreciated by others! We want to hear those words, "You are awesome!" We often believe that this validation of our actions can only come from others. The truth is that these golden accolades can just as easily come from our own selves. Write yourself the love letter you have always longed to receive. Sing your own praises! For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed, you are likely a very busy person who has accomplished so much over the last week, month, or year. Why not pat yourself on the back?
Too easy? Gift yourself more than just words. Dedicate one afternoon a week to a guilty pleasure (such as a hot bath, cup of tea, favorite snack, good book, or a spa treatment). Feel absolutely no guilt for taking the time off! These moments recharge your battery and support your wellness and joy.
Make a mindful list of everything you do on your day off!
We are always wishing there was more time! The truth is that while we can't magically make more time, we can align the way we use our time, so that it better represents what we actually care about! Start by making a pie chart… on the chart, write in everything that really matters to you i.e. successful career, being a good parent to my son, managing my money, my health and wellness, spending time with my pets, visiting my mom. You can make the pie pieces larger or smaller to represent your values as accurately as possible.
Next, write down blow by blow everything you do on your day off and examine the list. Maybe even make a pie chart of what you actually spent your time doing. Once you see what is not matching your ideal life, you can make some changes. What mindless habits are you willing to give up to get what you truly want? Can some of the mundane tasks that fill your precious day off be completed by others? Can some be completely given up or done first, so that the rest of the day can focus on the items in your pie chart? This is the ultimate exercise for helping you find a healthy balance in your life.
Keep an accurate budget!
Is it true that money buys happiness? It is a paradoxical question! Not having enough money means debt and that means less freedom to align yourself with what really matters. No one wants to live paycheck to paycheck, spending so much time and energy scrambling to pay the bills on time (or at all). Visit and re-visit how much you think it costs you to live each month! Include everything… rent, food, gas, insurance, gifts, etc. Then, check to see what the truth is for you and your family. Just like the pie chart, prioritize so that your money is supporting you in the ways that matter most. Eliminate expenses that really don't bring you joy if they are not necessities!
Scrawl out your anger on paper and let it go
If you feel at your wits end, don't wait until the end of the day to express that anger. Grab your journal and wear out that writing utensil…In our anger, we have a difficult time processing or problem solving. By writing down your thoughts and feelings while angry, you will be able to read it over later when you are ready for reflection. You may notice that you were a little irrational or that your anger was totally justified. Either way, you have more insight into your shadow side, which you cannot ignore.
Keeping your angry thoughts in a journal can let you see if your anger has a recurring theme or pattern. Reflecting in this manner can also let you see what you are "holding onto" and what you have "let go of" in your life. It is healthy to let go of the past and live in the present moment! When you are ready to move forward, burn the old thoughts in a ceremonial fashion and celebrate your growth.
Make a bucket list and check off what you have accomplished
Life is about living! We all deserve to be happy and excited about all the opportunities in our lives! Keeping a journal serves many purposes as you change your life! Add keeping a journal to your bucket list and keep a bucket list inside your journal. It IS an instrumental tool to discovering an amazing YOU!