Celebrate milestone moments - even the small ones

Did you take your first family trip to the beach last year? That’s something to celebrate.

“Let’s go around the table and share one thing that made us happy in 2016,” my mother stated at dinner on New Year’s Eve. We all stopped to think. There was a lot that happened in the past year, and a lot that made us smile. My husband and I celebrated our first year of marriage, we became an Uncle and Aunt (shout out to baby Della!), and we both had our own individual accomplishments as well. These milestone moments mix together to create the memory of 2016. You should celebrate your small milestones, too.

Ask your family members

Ask your spouse, parents, and children for what made them happy in 2016. Phrasing it in this way makes us focus on the good things that happened. I’m not suggesting we forget the bad things; only suggesting that it’s best for us to focus on the positive events in life. It helps us move forward.

Everyone has a different perspective and asking family members about their memories will likely conjure up some events that you likely forgot. You’ll also gain valuable insight as to how they think. Keep Reading

It’s the New Year once again and you are planning your resolutions. It may seem daunting if you think about past failures, but this year WILL be different. Studies show that nearly 50 percent of people who make resolutions are successful. You can be one of them!

With a few helpful tips in place, you can go a long way to seeing your resolutions become a reality this year.

  1. Write them down. When you write down your goals, you become more committed to making them a reality. Take a few minutes to write your resolutions in your JRNL. You might want to create a new JRNL where you can start with your goals and report on daily progress.
  2. Don’t overdo it. With an overdose of enthusiasm, it’s easy to get carried away. Make sure that whatever you decide to do is achievable. And you should probably limit yourself to 3-5 resolutions for the year.
  3. Break it up. It’s easy to give up when overwhelmed by the enormity of your resolution. By breaking it into bite-sized chunks, you will find it easier to accomplish your goals one step at a time.
  4. Set a time. Once you’ve set smaller goals for yourself, the next step is to set time boundaries. Look over the whole year and have set times to complete each of your smaller goals. It will give you something to celebrate as you tick off each goal throughout the year.
  5. Find tools. There are many apps and websites to help you accomplish your resolutions. Before you get started in the new year, do some research to find tools to help you accomplish your goals. By having these things ready to go, you won’t use them to procrastinate once you are ready to get started.
  6. Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is a resolution killer. Make a decision, before you start, to accomplish your goals in a timely manner. If you are a natural procrastinator, make an effort to finish goals early, that way you should finish them on time.
  7. Don’t give up. One of the most important aspects of avoiding failure is to not give yourself the option of giving up. It’s natural to want to quit something you are doing over a long period of time, so make sure you don’t have that option. When you feel you want to give up, you can tell yourself you have no choice but to keep going.

With all of this in mind, you have a good head start to seeing your resolution completed this year.  Don’t let another year go by without making a fresh effort to see your dreams come true.

For more tips on achieving your goals by keeping a journal, download our free eBook.

 

We often don’t realize (or appreciate) how much things change in a year until we take the time to deliberately think about all the things we’ve experienced. What was new or unknown in January might be something we now take for granted. Take a few minutes and write in your journal about your year. Here is a list of journal writing prompts to help you reflect. Keep Reading

‘Tis the season! The holidays have arrived which means it’s time for that rush of mass crowds and stressful situations. Keeping calm during this chaotic time can be quite the mental game, so we’ve created a list of seven ways to keep calm during the holiday rush to help you get through. Keep Reading

Gathering your family history can be quite a project but it’s worth the time. Luckily there are many websites and apps that can help you collect, share, and use information about your family tree. We’ve compiled a list of 8 resources to help you get started.

Have one to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section.

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Time. It’s the biggest challenge when you want to journal every day. Oftentimes I find myself getting lost in my writing, looking up at the clock only to realize I should have started cooking dinner. Then I end in the middle of a thought–sometimes even mid-sentence–to go do what needs to be done. My journal is full of unfinished entries. Until I discovered that using a timer is a huge relief. Keep Reading

8 Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Did you know that according to some research, a five-minute daily gratitude journaling session can increase your long-term well-being and happiness by more than 10 percent? That’s the same impact as doubling your income!

With November being the month set aside for expressing thoughts of gratitude and thanksgiving, taking time to reflect and journal about the various things you’re thankful for has never been more seasonally appropriate. But we’re not just doing this to “stay up” with the season. Nope! We’re challenging each of you to adopt the habit of gratitude journaling to bring about the following eight life benefits.

  1. Lifted spirits on bad days. Having one of “those” days? We all do! But by reflecting back on your gratitude journal, you open the doors for an attitude adjustment. Not to mention, reflecting on all of the good things, awesome people, and great experiences you’ve had previously will essentially bring you comfort and motivate you to snap out of it, and look forward to better days ahead.
  2. A designated safe zone. Your gratitude journal is just that – yours! Be confident in knowing that you can express the experiences that you’re grateful for without judgment from others or the possibility of anyone else finding out what’s important to you.
  3. Longer and better sleep. If this benefit doesn’t win you over and get you that “nudge” to start a gratitude journal, we don’t know what will! Research has shown that those who spent just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed helped them to sleep better and even rake in some extra Zzz’s. Yes, please!
  4. Increased mental strength. Not only does gratitude and the recording of it reduce stress, but it’s said to play a major role in overcoming trauma. By having a documented record of all you have to be thankful for, even in the worst times of your life, you can ultimately foster resilience.
  5. Increased clarity. By jotting down the things that you’re grateful for, you are essentially selecting those things, people, or experiences that you deem as important, valuable, or enriching. This subconscious selection process simply helps you to gain clarity on what you can eliminate in your life and what you want more of.
  6. Reduced materialistic and needy attitude. This one is simple. When you focus on and document the things you have, you lose sight of the things you “lack”. This isn’t to say that there is a problem with wanting more, but by shifting your focus, you gain an increased ability to appreciate what you already have and move forward with more momentum and motivation to progress.
  7. Reduced doctor visits. Bear with us on this one because it’s quite mind-blowing, and yet, it’s actually simple and completely understandable. It is common knowledge that positive emotion improves health. Thankfulness is a positive emotion. With that, some recent science shows that those who engage in gratitude practices (such as gratitude journaling) have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder.
  8. Enhanced romantic relationships. It’s no question that many romantic relationships start to suffer when passion fizzles, appreciation decreases, resentments grow, and nagging skyrockets. When you take time to think about what you’re grateful for in your partner, you are choosing to support, encourage, and express appreciation. You are choosing to find the good amongst the inevitable “annoying crimes” your partner may commit – ultimately generating positive thoughts and expressions.

There you have it! Eight life benefits of possessing a grateful heart and documenting it using a gratitude journal. In our opinion, there’s really no valid excuse to NOT keep a gratitude journal, especially with all of these benefits at your beck-and-call. So with that – get to it with JRNL!

Research Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-jessen/gratitude-journal_b_7745854.html

http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

This post is written by guest blogger Rachael Mollison-Read. She’s a Canadian writer; born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Check out her website at rsmollisonread.com or follow her on Twitter at @rsmollisonread.

For a long time, I did not keep a journal. Oh, I would start them often, write for a few weeks, and then I would go back, read one of the entries, and be so horrified by what I had written (and usually how poorly I had written it), that I would vow never to keep a journal again.

In the last several years, however, I have found keeping a journal to be very beneficial for a number of reasons. Journaling allows me to have a thorough record of all of my thoughts and ideas. This is so helpful for my writing because even passing thoughts can spark creativity. I’ve also found journaling to be very therapeutic; allowing me to get thoughts out of my head and down on paper. It is helpful for me to review my previous entries, and remember how I felt or thought about a certain event. Keep Reading

Most of you know by now the multiple ways to use JRNL to capture life’s moments. With features like email to JRNL, importing from Instagram, share extensions and replying to your reminder email, there are multiple ways to make sure you are capturing all of life’s “JRNL-worthy” moments. But what about the JRNL-worthy moments of a family member who isn’t interested in opening a JRNL account and doesn’t keep any sort of journal? How do you record and preserve those stories?

Keep Reading

We all have a different purpose for writing in a journal. Your motivation might be to better understand your life, preserve your stories for future generations, or simply to find the joy in every day. Whatever your goal, it’s easy to find a journal style that’s right for you.

Here are ten fun, focused, and fast journals you can try for yourself. You might end up doing a combination of styles. Keep in mind this isn’t a complete list, so if we’ve missed anything please leave us a comment below the post. Enjoy! Keep Reading

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