Keeping a diary or writing in a journal seems to be the in thing lately, and truthfully – I am all for it!
I have never written a journal; all of my diaries have always been electronic. By electronic, I mean that I put all of my trust into my much loved iPhone. Religiously, I use calendar, notes & reminders for e v e r y t h i n g! Ranging from inspirational quotes, shopping/to-do lists, places I’d like to visit, what to prepare for lunch tomorrow, which yoga class I’ll be doing… right up to reminding myself just to sit down & put a face mask on!
I decided that it was time to move onto a more manual & meaningful way of writing.
I feel as though sitting, thinking, planning & writing into something is more… whats the word… pure.
Taking some time out of the day to have some ‘you’ time is really important and I love how much I actually enjoy being alone… and that doesn’t necessarily have to mean sitting in padmasana whilst listening to a zen playlist surrounded by floating candles – but purely just appreciating time to yourself. There really is a handful of benefits that emerge once you learn to embrace solitude!
I came across ‘The Happiness Planner‘ online (the undated version) at www.thehappinessplanner.com.au – I think that it really is perfect for ‘journal newbies’ or for anyone in general who wants to incorporate some positive changes into their lifestyle. This can be used for identifying strengths & weaknesses, pinpointing your focus & helping to achieve goals each week, making changes to things that have a negative impact on your routine, incorporating more of the things that make you happy, setting improvement goals, the list goes on…
I am a huge believer in wellbeing, mindfulness, positive thinking, self love… (you get the drift!) and have decided to give the 52-Week Journal a go!
I am not unhappy – but I could definitely work on a few things; I think we could all do with a bit of that right? Self improvement is all about strengthening yourself and being the best possible version of YOU.
I have decided to make small changes in my life. Those small changes mean that it is time to plan & arrange my daily/weekly/monthly tasks, hobbies, regimes and goals – to hopefully bring a more positive outcome and outlook to each week! To flush out any negative thoughts & things which may be effecting me in different ways.
Personally, I find that nothing beats feeling organised & having your sh*t together – so I want to introduce these changes into my life, starting from now.
I want to shift my thinking and thought process in the right direction and get rid of what may be able to get in the way of that.
Firstly; look how pretty she is…
I obviously opted for the clean white, gold & pink colour. They have various colours as well as the choice of silver detailing – but gold just seems to make everything look cuter!
Firstly, the journal comes in a lovely box suited to the journals colour, accompanied by a gold quote encrusted pen, bulldog clips & paperclips which is a nice touch (Although not sure how much use the 3 paperclips will be but I will try my best not to lose them!) It also comes with a selection of A4 size poster/printables to be filled out by yourself, which you can see below…
They’re a nice idea, but I am not sure how much use I will get out of these printables – sadly, I have a feeling these may get forgotten about! However, there is a handy paper pocket in the front of the journal which can store them in for possible use later on!
The first section is all about self-reflection. It’s quite a nice read, & this is time for you to really think about things that you may not usually think about.
Time for you to think about the real reason as to why you purchased this journal in the first place.
It has a weekly overview section which gives you the chance to think about your goals & plan things that you would like to do and achieve over the next week.
It then has a weekly reflection section where you will write about the previous week – what you achieved, the highs, the lows, improvements for next week etc.
My favourite part, is that in the reflection section it has a score board where you rate how you felt throughout that week. (Unhappy-Happy, Stressed-Calm, Unhealthy-Healthy etc.) You score these out of 5 & you do this each week for the 52 weeks… then at the very back of the journal there is a 52-Week Review Improvement Score Board where you will add up your overall totals from each week and this will show whether there has been any improvement within these areas. You need to be honest with your feelings throughout to receive the truest outcome!
Overall, I think the journal is a great idea. Everyone is different, and not everyone may feel the need to write in anything at all – & I was that person once too… but we should never stop improving ourselves!
If there was anything that I would change about the 52-Week Journal, it would probably only be the layout of the self-reflection pages at the start of the journal. In your answers section, it is set out like a notepad – not sectioned or bullet pointed for your different answers. I like things to look organised, so I will probably just adapt it in a way to suit my answering style – but again, this is your own journal, so make it your own.
Recently I moved into a beautiful Sydney apartment with my wonderful partner Rick, I started a job in the most perfect location and I earn a nice amount of money each week – enough to pay the bills, save a good amount, eat out once AND to treat myself to something (A treat for myself would tend to be some bits from The Body Shop, new gym wear, cute clothing, Sephora goodies or Zara Home-ware!)
I honestly have nothing to complain about, yet here I am purchasing a ‘Happiness Planner’ to improve my happiness!
Its crazy isn’t it – just two years ago, I only dreamt of living the life that I am living now; but for some reason I always find myself searching for more.
Aiming for more.
Trying to reach higher.
It is not that I am ungrateful, or perhaps I am a little – but I feel as though once I reach a nice point or goal in my life which I have been aiming for, I instantly want to aim higher for the next milestone. In turn, I start to feel a sense of stress because I haven’t yet reached that unreachable ‘high’ yet.
My goal is to slow down & appreciate the steps that I am taking right now in this moment & feel grateful for the achievements that I have made so far.
“Sometimes in life it is easy to get carried away only looking at what you want, or what you don’t have; instead of realising that everything that you do have is something that you once only dreamt of having.”
So it is time for some changes to come into action.
I am in no way saying that the Happiness Planner is going to totally reform you – because quite frankly it wont, but it is certainly a good place for me, and for others, to start. It allows us to plan, incorporate and maintain these changes into our lifestyles.
I know how easy it is to start a journal/diary & then forget to write in it. I have always seen that as a negative reason to buy any kind of diary/journal, in case it turns out to be a waste of time & money.
Sometimes a journal can feel quite pressuring – as in, you feel quite a negative feeling towards it if you forget to write in it; but I want this one to be different.
If you forget, you forget; it probably just means that we were too busy doing something more important and/or fun – which is a positive… Or it may just mean that we are far too tired – which again, is fine. Just pick up from where you left off.
You can do exactly that with this 52-Week Journal because it is undated, meaning that you can start anywhere that you like – and if we forget, who’s to know?
Rules are there to be broken right!
Let me know your thoughts and if you have had any good or bad experiences with keeping a journal.