We often receive requests to add a spell check to JRNL. The good news is, you already have the capability to spell check your entries! There are a few ways to make sure your writing is error-free. (Keep in mind, we don’t think you should worry too much about spelling. Part of the charm of your journal is that it’s your voice; your writing style. The most important thing is to capture those meaningful moments. Everything else is secondary. This post is for those JRNLers who want to do it.) Keep Reading

Every new year we make resolutions. Although making the list of resolutions may be easy, implementing them can be difficult. So, we’ve created a list of 17 ways to help make your New Year’s resolutions stick.

  1. Make Your New Years Resolutions StickWrite them down. You may have a pretty clear idea of what you would like to accomplish this year, but actually writing it down will help solidify your resolution. In your journal, write down the resolutions you have and look back at them from time to time to remind yourself what you’re working toward.  
  2. Ease into them. Rather than telling yourself that you can no longer have sweets, determine that you will only have sweets on one day of the week. It will be much easier to ease into cutting back on your sugar intake if you give yourself some leeway.
  3. One at a time. Sometimes we can get carried away with our resolutions. Sure, there are many things we can improve on, but if we focus on too many at once, it will be very difficult to make our resolutions stick. So, decide on a couple resolutions, and then as you get into the habit of following through with them, throw a few more into the mix.
  4. Positivity. When we are in a good mood we are more likely to follow through with our resolutions. Surround yourself with positive people that will cheer you on. Also, watch positive movies and read books with happy endings. You’ll find that the positivity in your life will help motivate you to stick with your resolutions.
  5. Lift your spirits. It’s easy to feel discouraged if we only remind ourselves of the things we don’t do very well. So, remember your strengths. Remind yourself of the things you accomplish every day to help motivate you into following through with your resolutions.
  6. Do good. Make it a goal to be kind to the people around you. By being kind to others you’re more likely to be kind to yourself. Also, by being kind to others they will be kind to you. If your spirits are high, working on your resolutions won’t be as difficult.
  7. Reminders. Place reminders of what your resolutions are in places you’ll see every day. If you’re hoping to save enough money for a vacation to Hawaii, put a picture of Hawaii in your wallet so every time you open it you’ll remember to be cautious about spending money.
  8. Track your progress. Write down the progress you are making in your journal. You will feel more motivated to continue with your resolutions and you will be able to look back and see how well you are doing.
  9. Share with your loved ones. Tell your friends what your resolutions are. That way, when you see them, you can tell them how you are doing with your resolutions. With their support, you are more likely to be successful with your resolutions.
  10. Get rid of temptation. If one of your resolutions is to stop drinking soda, then get rid of all the soda in your house. You can’t get rid of all the soda in the world, but in the environments you can control make it easier on yourself.
  11. Replace bad with good. It’s always a good idea to replace your bad habits with good ones. The likelihood that you’ll follow through with your resolutions will be much higher. So in place of having soda, drink water.
  12. Keep track of time. It takes 30 days to create a new habit. So, within the first 30 days of working on your resolution, do your best to stick with it. After that, you’ll find it easier to follow with your resolution.
  13. Always remember why. From the very beginning, you should know why you are working on the specific resolution you made. That way, when you’re having a tough time following through, you can remember why you wanted to do it in the first place. That may be the motivation you need to keep up the good work.
  14. Think yes you can. Don’t leave any room for doubt. Make your resolution and think in your mind that you are going to do it. Remember mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
  15. Reward yourself. We are motivated by rewards. If you find you are doing a great job keeping up with your resolution, reward yourself. It will motivate you to keep going.
  16. Be consistent. Some days will be tough. But remember, you can do it! Consistency is key when you’re trying to create new habits, or follow through your resolutions. So, just remember to do it even when the going gets tough.
  17. It’s a process. As you work on your resolutions, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. You’ll learn what you’re capable of. Remember that any step working toward your resolution is a step forward.

Happy New Year! We wish you the best of luck as you work toward your New Year’s resolutions.

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.

Keep Reading

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

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