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  • Writer's pictureModern Hippie

Starting the New Year Right

At the end of each year many of us like to reflect back on our successes and failures of the past year. Some, like myself, tend to be more reflective and find it useful to read through the year's journals, make notes and lists of goals met or fallen short, while others prefer to focus their attentions on looking forward and setting new goals. What ever your preference, it seems only natural to want to start each year fresh.

Though many scoff at the idea of making resolutions, there is certainly benefit in taking advantage of the mental new start and motivational momentum that comes to our culture with each new year.

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

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I am a journaler. It's something I've done as long as I can remember, and I still have the journals of my former 12 yr old self, hidden deep in storage, in all their cringy, boy-crazed glory. Perhaps someone will find great entertainment in them long after I am capable of embarrassment. That being said, I'm not sure my current journals are any less cringe-worthy, thought (thankfully) the boy-craziness has passed.

I journal because I do a lot of self-reflection and attempted personal growth, but my memory for life lessons isn't the greatest (human nature), so I like to write down the insights I receive in order to reflect on them repeatedly so that they make stick. It seems to work decently, as I look back each year on where I started to where I've come and do make progress, though often it's in the form of 2 steps forward, one step back. C'est la vie, you won't find any self-pity from me. Even the failures are life lessons to be learned from!

For this next year I've decided to format my journal slightly differently. Usually I make a simple list of my goals, choose my OneWord365 (more on this below), a few Bible verses to support my word, and the rest is more of a free-form style of writing down my thoughts, struggles, insights, and encouragements as they come to me. This year I'm much more Intentional (my OneWord365 from last year!) on the format, and while it took a bit of time to set up, will be much easier to track my progress, keep me accountable and organized, and is just more fun!

I started out by committing to my OneWord365. If you aren't familiar with this concept, it's a movement that started almost a decade ago, where you select a word to be your theme or focus for the coming year. There is a growing community of folks on social media that also participate and you can register your word online to find others in your tribe, share your word, your inspirations, and your goals if you want to. It's a very optimistic and supportive community, and I always enjoy participating. I've taken it a little further than simply choosing a word to focus on and usually start at the end of November and through December with praying for divine guidance in selecting my OneWord, and while I'm often surprised at the word that God gives me for the year, I always experience tremendous growth through my OneWord.

After I have my OneWord, I like to write down synonyms and definitions, as well as Bible verses, quotes, and other notes having to do with my word. I continue this throughout the year as well. The great thing about doing this with a community or accountability partner is that you can send each other support and encouragement.

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Next in my journal setup are my Goals, which I've broken down into Areas as follows:

1. External goals such as books I want to read this year.

2. Physical goals like weight loss, fitness, health.

3. Mental/Emotional goals like increased patience, decreased anxiety, peace.

4. Spiritual goals like increased charity, fasting with my church in January, daily prayer, devotionals.

5. Relationship goals like weekly date nights with husband.

6. Business goals like scheduled blogging and social media posts.

7. Financial goals like monthly budgeting, tithing all income.

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Each Goal Area has specific goals listed under it, and below the individual goals are listed the supporting details, for example:

Mental/Emotional Goals

□ Decreased Anxiety

○ Prayer

○ Journaling

○ Planning

○ Mindfulness

○ Communication

○ Exercise

○ Diet and Supplements

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie
DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

After my goals are set, I have a page just for Successes. I think it's really important to track and celebrate successes throughout the year, and while checking off goals is great, having these successes listed in one place can be really motivational to keep going about 3 months in when most of us reach our first wall.

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Following this list are my monthly trackers. This is where I keep accountable of my goals in a monthly format, with tallys listed at the bottom for easy review at the end of next year.

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Additionally, I have a few daily goals that I need help sticking with initially, so I've setup a first month page for that accountability as well.

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Lastly for the initial setup are my first month specific goals. Here I like to use definite numbers, like exercise 23 days, finish 1 book, post 5 blog posts.

DIY Organizer Journal | Musings of a Modern Hippie

The rest of the journal (which is nothing fancy itself, a simple dollar store journal works just fine) will include free form thoughts as usual and OneWord notes, interspersed with the remaining monthly format trackers.

I'm excited for this new format and looking forward to the great strides and personal growth that will be made in the coming year.

Do you journal? What is your favorite format?

Looking for more ways to help you start the new year right? Check out this post:

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