If you want to transform your life, journaling may be the key.
A new year naturally gets you thinking about what you want to achieve in the coming months. Most of us start January with a plan to do better, act better, be better – but, come February, all our good intentions have fallen by the wayside.
And that’s OK. Life is super busy; some days it's enough to get through your to-do list by bedtime. And shooting for the moon might be hella rewarding, but it’s also hard work (anyone who says otherwise is selling something).
When you want to make concrete, lasting changes to your life, a regular journaling practice is the right place to start.
By putting aside a regular time – either when you wake or before bed – to jot down your thoughts, goals and dreams for the day, you’re increasing your self-awareness and allowing yourself to establish small, keystone habits that will spill over into the rest of your life.
Keystone habits, are small changes you make that unlock a cascade of other minor changes in your life – which eventually lead up to complete transformation.
Journaling is one of the most potent keystone habits you can have. Increasing evidence shows journaling has a positive impact on both your physical and mental well-being. It can strengthen your immune cells, decrease symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis and reduce stress by helping you come to terms with challenging events.
Writing routinely in your journal clarifies how you feel about people and situations. It helps you understand what makes you feel happy, healthy and confident. And it can also help you be the change you want to see in the world.
Selfless journaling ideas for welcoming wonder into your life: the strange thing about focusing on and helping others is that it makes you feel great too.
Psychologists call this ‘helper's high', and it's akin to a drug-induced high because performing a selfless act releasing dopamine to create a euphoric effect.
Selfless acts have been proven to help you live longer and healthier, have fewer aches and pains and reduce your chance of serious illness by almost 50% - that's a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or nearly as good for your health as quitting smoking!
Here’s some journal prompt ideas to get you started: