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How to Use Your Journal for Self Improvement

With the new year starting, everyone is in the mindset to improve. Whether it’s by setting new health goals, starting on that project you’ve been meaning to get to forever, or focusing on more time for yourself, it’s a time to change for the better.

At Rustico, we’re all about continually improving, and there are so many ways to track your progress and work on yourself using your journal. Try out some of these ideas as you start your new year’s resolutions and let them help you reach your goals.

1. Write down your goals.
It’s been said time and time again that putting your goals on paper will help you achieve them, but it couldn’t be more true. When you write them down, you’re bringing them to life, and making a promise to yourself (and your journal) that you’ll work on them. While you’re at it, make sure you set goals that are “SMART” – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

2. Make journaling one of your goals.
In addition to helping you attain goals, journaling has many benefits, including boosting creativity, strengthening self-discipline, and improving your overall health. Set a goal to start writing your thoughts down every day.

3. Start a gratitude journal.
Writing down something you’re grateful for every day can improve your life in so many ways. Among those are lower stress levels, calmness at night, improved focus, and enhanced self-awareness. How do you do it? Grab a new journal, put it by your bed, and set aside 15 minutes to write in it every night. Your entries can be in list format, paragraph format, or even picture format – they just have to show what you’re grateful for that day.

4. Expand your creativity.
Use your journal as a place to sketch things out, to test out those new watercolors, to visually remember that amazing trip. We all need a creative outlet once in a while, and if writing your experiences isn’t your style, find another way to express them. Artistic journaling has gotten big lately, and it can be an amazing way to release stress.

5. Track your progress.
Each month, or week, check in with your goals and write down how you’re doing on them. Create an action plan of smaller steps that you need to complete to reach your bigger goals – a checklist, a graph, or whatever works for you. Come back to it often and mark down the things you’ve accomplished and reflect on what they meant to you. Keep getting better.

If you need help reminding yourself to keep up your new habit of journaling and goal-setting, download our 365 Days of Writing Prompts to give yourself something to write about every single day! Happy new year!

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