Healthy Lifestyle Routine: Journaling

Happy December lovelies! I cannot believe we are in the last month of 2016 already! Time really does fly!

For December I am going to be featuring a series of posts revolving around healthy lifestyle routines. My intent is to arm you with some simple things you can implement in your daily life that will help you achieve your wellness goals. Why? Well, creating healthy habits are the foundation for a well balanced life. Routines ground you and keep you on track with your goals. The repetition of routine, after a period of time, makes a new habit stick and allows it to become second nature. Why do you brush your teeth 2x a day? Because you created that routine as a child (I hope). Creating a routine is so important when transitioning into a new lifestyle or trying to adopt a new way of living. It can be hard at first, but once you establish a routine and stick to it, it will become habit and you'll be more likely to reach your goals! 

Are you ready for the best year of your life?

With 2017 on the horizon, the majority of the population will be establishing new goals and resolutions for themselves. They will pledge to eat healthier, exercise more, stress less, work harder and do all the things they know they should be doing. What I have found is that all the resolutions in the world mean nothing if you there is no plan in place and no form of accountability. 

I don't know what the exact statistic is but, I would wager to guess that 'getting in shape' is at the top of most peoples' lists!

Come January, you'll be rocking your new Lululemon leggings from Santa, armed with a shiny new gym or studio membership; and be super excited to use your new healthy cookbook your Mom got you. The only thing is, after a month of this excitement, it fizzles. You're sore, your leggings are dirty, you're to freakin sore to bend over to load the washer and you're positively too tired to cook tonight. So, you fall back into old habits and your cookbook starts to collect dust, you order pizza, the membership goes unused and your leggings become your Netflix marathon uniform. 

So what happened, why didn't you follow through? What was your goal in the first place?

Accountability is so important when you establish your new goals. This can come in the form of a family member or friend who is not afraid to call you out when you are slacking off. Or it's a matter of  tracking your progress, writing it down and celebrating your small victories! 

Everyday I'm Journalin' 

Keeping a journal may seem like something only pre-teen girls do, but it can be a really powerful tool and routine to establish. I journal everyday in the morning and sometimes at night and there are a few different ways that I journal. You could do one or all of these, it completely depends on what you are working towards! 

Food Journal

I keep a food journal to hold myself accountable for how I am fueling my body. I struggle with cravings and emotional eating just like anyone else, but writing it down makes me accountable. By just jotting down what I ate at the end of the day or the next morning, I can't trick myself into thinking I've been eating great. When in reality I've had nothing but carbs for 3 days in a row.

"Is butter a carb?" "Yes!" (I love me some Mean Girls)

The purpose of a food journal is not to victimize food it's to increase awareness and to celebrate victories! I love using it to look back and see the progress I've made!! Meet yourself where you are and do not expect perfection! Celebrate small victories!

If you keep it up, in a short time you will start to see patterns and the "whys" for how you've been eating and feeling. Were you stressed or celebrating? Did you feel bad after eating the same thing a few time in a row? This can also be helpful in identifying food sensitivities (eggs, dairy and gluten are the most common). So many people live life with symptoms from what they are eating. When you are keeping a food journal also make note of when you don't feel great and see if a pattern emerges. This will help you plan and make informed decisions moving forward.

So if you are trying to clean up your diet I highly recommend keeping a food journal! Grab a pretty notebook from HomeGoods (I have a hard time not buying a new one every time I'm there) and keep it next to your bed. It doesn't have to be super detailed just make a short list each night of what you ate that day. Make a note of anything else you feel is worth noting as well. Take a look back at the end of the week/month/year and celebrate your victories and make decisions about changes you need to make. 

Heart & Head Journal

Every morning I get up and write in my journal. I call it a brain dump because I do not think, I just write. I put everything that's on my heart and in my head down on paper, so it is no longer festering inside of me. This helps me release any negative thoughts that are weighing on me. It also helps to clarify how I'm really feeling. You know how something builds up inside you and when you finally say it out loud it sounds so silly. Well a heart and head journal is just like that; it allows you to release thoughts and emotions that are holding you back or keeping you from moving forward. Feel like you just have so much going on in your head? Write it down and release it. Find a time that works best for you and do it every day. It doesn't matter what your write, just be honest with yourself. 

It can be a lot or just a few simple sentences! The important thing is you let it out! 

Goal Journal

This is newish to me, but I have already found it to be super powerful! I've had plenty of goals throughout my life, but I never really tracked them. I would think about them and after they inevitably burned out I would forget about them. A goal journal encourages you to make make a plan of actionable steps that will get you to your goal! It breaks things down in to more bit size pieces and then encourages you to reflect on your journey at different intervals.

For this I use a Passion Planner. It's like a goal journal and daily planner combined into one really useful tool. You do not necessarily need a fancy planner, a blank notebook will do.

Or maybe you like a pretty printable like this one you can download for free!!

Acknowledging what you are working towards some place other than your head is so powerful and adds a layer of accountability. 


I heard a really amazing quote the other day from John Maxwell he said:

"You need to make a commitment to intentionally grow." 

How powerful is that? I really connected with this and will be keeping that in my mind as I make plans to intentionally grow! If this resonated with you I really encourage you to do the work, create the routine that is going to help your reach your goals! Maybe that is jorunaling; give it a try. 

I'd love to hear from you!

Have you tried incorporating journaling into your daily routine? How do you hold yourself accountable as you work towards your goals?