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Navigating The New Year With My Journal

In this blog post I share some of my tried and tested journaling techniques to help cope with the challenges of starting a year anew!

The sense of hope that comes as a new year dawns has been difficult to cling to as 2021 begins. The coronavirus pandemic is still dominating our lives here in the UK, and last night we found out that the UK would once again be going into a full national lockdown. On the one hand, this hasn't affected me hugely. I am grateful and lucky to be living in a beautiful home, with my boyfriend and cat for company, and to be safe and well. I also work from home anyway, so this hasn't affected my working routine. The feeling that we are so far from any kind of normality in our lives, however, so far from having a big party, or hugging my friends, or seeing my family whenever I'd like, or cuddling my friend's new baby, weighs on me very heavily indeed. For this reason, my journal has become a vehicle for mental self care, for organising my muddled feelings, for recognising the positivity still to be found each day, and for giving me a gentle cuddle when I struggle to see it.

I usually use my bullet journal to organise my time in quite a simple way, laying out a week's schedule onto one page, known as a 'weekly spread'. But because I have needed a little more space to write more lengthily about the goings on of my day or the way that I am feeling, I have turned to an old notebook to write some daily entries. I use a scrapbooking style on these pages, which is a little less pressured than the illustrative style I use in my bullet journal, and allows me to spend quality time writing and reflecting in a more detailed way. See below for an example of one of my entries:

Daily Journal Entry with candle and picture of girl drinking tea

Of course, with the new year, comes the pressure to make new year's resolutions. This year will be my first full year working full time on my business and as such I thought it was important to write a long list of targets to motivate me throughout the coming months. These are my focus, rather than any arbitrary new year's resolutions which, let's face it, one rarely sticks to! I have written out these targets on a 'goals' page. When you run your own one-woman business you don't have anyone to hold you accountable or to report to, so self-motivation and setting out clear goals for yourself is one way to keep yourself enthused and focused, but it can be applied to any aspect in your life if you're not in the small business world too!

Goals page bullet journal
To try and tackle the bleak state of the world I have injected positivity into my journal through the use of bright colours! My January monthly spread has become a bit cluttered and chaotic, but I thought I'd share it anyway as it's bold style makes me smile, and I am currently using it to track some of my healthy habits, including a new daily exercise program I have started with the fabulous mpwrldn  - a fantastic personal trainer who focuses on the feel good factor and body positivity, and who is really helping me nurture a better relationship with exercise (my thighs are killing me today though!). I have also put in weekly goals in relation to my business, to make sure that I feel I have accomplished something at the end of my 9-5 working week. Once I've posted this blog post I will have already hit my key targets for the week and it's only Tuesday (no big deal).
January Monthly Calendar spread with bold yellow pink and green circles
I also cut out some illustrations that I love from an old magazine. I have copies of 'Oh' Magazine (formerly Oh Comely) coming out of my ears! It is such a wholesome magazine and I always feel relaxed when I sit down to read it. I have been a subscriber for three years now and I really recommend it. I recently read an article featuring the below illustrations, encouraging you to let go of stresses that are not within your control, or as they put it, 'your business'. I am going to try and continue to fill my journal with uplifting and motivational content such as this.
Positive Motivational Images of Woman watering plants

So there you have it! These are some of the techniques I have implemented in order to promote health and happinness through 2021, and to declutter the negative thoughts that are difficult to bat away throughout this challenging time. I hope that some people find them helpful. Wishing everyone peace and prosperity this year! Let's do this!

Meg x

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