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Today I wanted to speak a bit about journaling and share some writing ideas to promote happiness in your life. Many people don’t journal because they think it means you have to free hand write and they “don’t know what to write”. I love to do free hand writing, but I also think that it can be good to mix it up and create lists to promote happiness, keep track of some highlights in life, and change your perspective on life. So, I encourage you to try out some of these journaling ideas the next time you are feeling low or want to mix-up your writing practice.
1. SELF LOVE LIST
This is the perfect list to create to develop greater self-love and confidence in yourself. This list is simple, all you need to do is simply write out the things that you love about yourself. But, instead of keeping it very surface level I want you to go deep. Look at the parts that you don’t necessarily love about yourself (physical appearance or personality wise) and try to see the redeeming quality in these parts of yourself. For example, maybe you don’t love the way your arms look, but instead of holding onto this negativity towards your arms, instead say “I love my arms and all that they can do for me throughout my day”. Try to compile a nice long list of at least 30 things that you love about yourself. This may seem like a lot, but once you take “the negatives” and flip them as a positive it becomes much easier.
2. WORLD LOVE LIST
This list is very similar, but instead of looking at what you love about yourself, you will be looking at what you love about the world. This is the perfect list to make when you are feeling pessimistic or feeling like not a lot is going right in your life or the world as a collective. This list can be long or short, it can speak about the little moments in life that you love, like maybe a cup of tea, or the big things in life you love, like going on a vacation. Overall, this list can be a great exercise to do to cultivate greater gratitude. But, it can also be a list you return to and reread when you are feeling down.
3. BUCKET LIST
This is a pretty standard list, but a great exercise to go through if you haven’t done it before. By creating a bucket list you are allowing yourself to dream and think big about your future. This is also a moment where you could work on manifestation. By writing out some of your biggest dreams, you are putting it out into the universe, and working on your dreams becoming a reality. Create a bucket list full of things you want to do, places you want to visit, and goals you want to achieve. But, be sure you revisit this list at least once a year to see how you are progressing. Don’t wait until it is too late to start ticking things off your bucket list, try to at least get one done each year.
4. TOP VALUES LIST
Values, we all have them, but, when is the last time you actually sat down and made a list of what is really important to you. I encourage you to take a half-hour and really brainstorm the values that you hold close to your heart. After this, write down your top 5 values, why they are important to you, and how you can express this value in your life everyday. Below is a list of values that can help to get your brainstorming started.
5. IDEAL DAY
Another great journaling exercise would be to write out your ideal day and all of the items that it includes. Think about from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Here are a few questions to ask yourself throughout this process:
- How does your morning routine look? What elements/activities does it include?
- How are you moving your body and exercising your mind?
- When are you spending time alone and with others?
- What does your night routine look like?
- Are you including elements that you love doing?
Once you have this ideal day written out see how you can modify your current routines and day-to-day to make it look more like your ideal day. The point of this exercise is not to be hard on yourself and see how off-base your everyday is from your ideal day. Rather, it is done to become aware of what you love and want to include in your day so that you can make changes to improve your current life routines.
6. MEMORIES LIST
Another great exercise to do is reflect on your year thus far and make a list of memories. Over the past 5 years I have kept a memory list in Google Keep and I update the list every few weeks with new memories. Then at the end of the year I have a full list of memories. This exercise is great to do frequently so you don’t let the smaller moments slip away. I highly suggest doing this list because it makes for a great memory saver to look back on in the future, but it also is a great way to raise your spirits and see how many great moments your life is filled with, even if they do seem small and mundane.
7. FAVORITE THINGS
This is a great list to make in order to remind yourself of all the things you love. Make a list of all of your favorite things including your favorite places, books, movies, songs, activities, hobbies, places to eat, recipes, and more. You can make one giant list for this, or subdivide it as you wish. This is also a great resource for you to return to when you are going through a difficult day or season of life. You can return here to find some comfort and get some ideas on things that spark joy in your life.
8. LIFE AFFIRMATIONS
This is a great list to compile overtime of your favorite life affirmations and quotes. Make a list full of inspiring quotes from others or from yourself. This is another great list for you to have to return back to when you need a pick-me-up or a reminder for how to make it through tough moments. If you find it helpful, you can also write a brief paragraph about why the quote/affirmation means so much to you and when you find it most applicable.
9. LOVE LIST (about others)
This is another valuable list to create to boost your mood, reflect on the amazing people in your life, and cultivate more gratitude in your life. Take the time to create a list of all the things you love about some people in your life. This is a good list to create about your partner, family members, parents, or friends. By taking the time to make a long list of all the things you love about the person you are boosting your mood, but you are also sending love out into the world. This would also be a great list to share with that person to lift up their mood and show how much you care about them.
10. LIFE AGREEMENTS
Similarly, to the life values list, this list is meant as a point of reflection. For a day or two, keep track of the thoughts or agreements that continue to pop up. Try not to judge these thoughts, rather get curious and write them down. After you have compiled your list, go through these thoughts and agreements and look at them. How are these thoughts serving you? Do they help to move you to a place with more happiness and joy, or do they limit you and hold you back?
Really think about each of these agreements/thoughts and see how they serve you. Once you have done this reflection, think of ways that you can replace some of the negative thoughts and agreements. How can you change the agreement to make it more positive? How can you change the thought into something that serves you in your ideal life? Write down these new agreements and keep them close. Don’t get discouraged if the negative thoughts or agreements pop-up again, because they will. Remember that this process takes time so be patient with yourself, and remember that you are not your mind.
Those are 10 lists that you can create to boost your happiness, cultivate more self-love, and bring more gratitude to your life. If you want to learn more about the benefits of journaling and get more resources for journaling for self-love, check out the post below.
QUESTION: DO YOU JOURNAL? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STYLE OF WRITING?
Leave your thoughts in the comments down below or on my latest Instagram post.
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Your trusty, gutsy gal,