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New Year, New Journal

Cultivate a regular journaling habit in 2020.

Make this promise to yourself.

I love lists! And I’m a big fan of personal growth.

Yet, I don’t bother making a list of New Years Resolutions. I know that changing patterns of behaviour has very little to do with what day of the year it is and a lot to do with where the motivation to change is coming from, the readiness to pursue that change, and the ability to keep it realistic and stay focused. It’s a lot more complex than making a list of goals and starting based on a date on the calendar.

I do have a running list of inspiration and ideas for personal development that I work on throughout the year. I’m often looking at my life and thinking about what I could add, learn, or take away to enhance it. That said, after the holiday season I am recognizing a need to slow down, clean up my diet, and start reflecting on where this new year will take me.

The big energy of a new year (and a new decade!) could compel me to say “yes!” to everything on my to-do list, but I know that won’t work. It would be totally overwhelming, scatter my energy and my focus, and -its just not in alignment with the nature of the season. The winter is a Yin time, calling for us to take rest, go inward, reflect and contemplate.

“Gaining new insights, clarifying values and needs; these are the root mechanisms that will allow me to plan and realize so many of the other items on my ever expanding list..."

Why Journal This New Year?

Journaling is in perfect alignment with the winter season. It’s all about reflection and contemplation. It's a great way of becoming conscious of thought patterns and beliefs -the whole inner landscape. Gaining new insight, clarifying values and needs; these are the root mechanisms that will allow me to plan and realize so many of the other items on my ever expanding list of things I want to learn and ways I'd like to grow.

It’s fairly low commitment. I'll start by promising myself that I will put pen to paper for just 5-10 minutes a day, and more if I feel like it.

It’s low barrier. Journaling is super accessible. It doesn’t take a ton of energy or willpower. I don’t need to be in any special environment or state of mind.

There’s a lot of freedom. I can use a structured format or I can choose to free write. Prompts are great for any time I’m feeling stuck, disinterested, or like I have nothing much to say. There are so many to choose from out there. My favourite source of journaling inspiration is to pull an oracle or tarot card and write about how the card relates to me currently. That could include how I’d like to integrate the lessons, or how I might shift / release the energy of the card as it relates to my life. Its a great way to become more familiar with a deck and to establish a more personal understanding of the cards.

Journaling can be an amazing creative outlet. Until recently, I had no idea that there are so many styles of journaling! Artistic and keepsake journaling, short stories, and poems are all totally valid methods of self expression and within my journaling habit - a safe place to learn, experiment and practice. There’s no pressure. I don’t have to show anyone if I don't want to. (This works well for the scorpio aspects of nature!)

Getting Started…

  • Make the promise.

  • Create a reminder.

  • Find Inspiration (follow journaling hashtags). Learn about and embrace different styles.

  • Release self judgement. It's about expression so try to leave comparison and evaluation out of it.

  • Choose a general style and allow freedom to deviate from it. Play, experiment, have fun.

  • Have some journaling cues or ideas ready to combat blockages and boredom.

Do you have a regular journaling habit? What styles of journaling do you most gravitate towards? Which ones are your favourites and why? What new styles of journaling are you excited to try this year?

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