I have used a journal before to track items like meal planning, dreams, etc. However I knew this year in particular was going to be eventful. I wanted to document each moment of not only opening my first Etsy shop but also my journey into yoga teacher training (which starts this coming Friday). I found a journal on Amazon (they also have a direct website) called InnerGuide. I purchased the Yearly Planner. I decided that I would not use it as a planner to track my to do lists and appointments. Meaning I would skip past the calendar portion. I would instead use it to track my thoughts whenever I wanted to write. I found that there is a huge difference to me thinking about my day vs actually writing it down and seeing my answers laid out.
- Being Honest with Myself = I first opened the journal end of January and started to write. Wow! The flood gates really opened! I was inspired by the questions and sections they have per week and also at the end of the month. I took about 30 minutes and reflected on what I accomplished, ideas I had and what I was really feeling. I did not think too much about what I was writing, I just let it flow. I did not judge what I was writing. I did not edit myself. It felt fantastic to write it all out. I felt lighter. I was very honest about how I was not taking great care of me. I was working for hours at a time on my Etsy shop and not taking breaks. I was disappointed that photo editing was taking me so long. I was worried I would not be able to show the quality in the jewelry I was creating. I was nervous about yoga training and about the hours I was going to be in the classroom. Not knowing how exhausted I would be and how much I would miss being with my husband at home.
- Found Patterns = I was trying to get too much done during a single day instead of spreading out the tasks evenly across the week. I noticed I did not ask for help with errands or chores. I thought there was more glory in getting it all done and all alone. What I listed as an accomplishment was anything I could check off a list. Installed closet organization system, launched my Etsy shop, signed up for yoga workshops, joined Pilates studio, etc. I did not list an accomplishment of giving myself a break, taking time to do something fun, being present in the moment, watching a show that made me laugh, etc. I had to face reality that I needed to change how I structured my day and what was reasonable to get done. I was going to be limited on free time this year and I needed to start to accept it that things would need to change.
- Open Feelings = Knowing that I was going to be the only one reading it, I was free to write down everything and anything. I know this year with yoga teacher training will make me notice not only how my body feels in poses, but internal observations as well. Feelings and emotions will come bubbling up to the surface. Instead of forcing them back down, I will face them one final time in order to let them go.
- Documentation of Successes = I am aware of how I currently define success and failure. I also am aware that my definition will be dramatically altered this year. I already have a feeling that I will no longer see anything as a failure. I know I do my best in all avenues of my life. I know that I need to give myself a break because I am human and make mistakes. Holding myself back from trying something new would be the only thing that would be considered a failure. Failure would be allowing fear to rule me instead of meeting it head on and being bold and brave. I am in a current lifestyle that I never could have imagined. I am grateful for the opportunity to try new things and I am even more grateful to be able to learn from my mistakes and move past them with grace. I am successful because I try. I said to my husband the other day that it is super easy not to do things that scare me. Super easy to avoid things that make me a little unsure or uncomfortable. However that is not a great way to live. I am glad I am putting myself out there and seeing where 2018 takes me. I know for sure I will have a personal documented journey that I can read and smile.
Here are some of the items the planner has for the monthly reflection to give you an idea in case you want one too…they also have a section at the start of the month and each week.
- What are the greatest insights you have gained?
- In which areas of your life do you wish you had spent more or less time?
- How did you support your Mind, Body and Spirit?
- How was the quality of this month?
- Space for creative notes