by Diana Raab
One of the many beautiful things about the New Year is that it can be an inspiration for change and new ways. A New Year can be viewed as a chance to reflect on the past or embark on a new path in your life. It might be the time to be more mindful of the offerings around you and to figure out how to avail yourself of them.
If you believe in New Years’ resolutions, it’s fun to make them, but very often they tend to get broken. One way to increase the chance of them not being broken and improve success is to write some of your resolutions or intentions in a journal.
It would also be a good idea to keep your journal in a place where you can frequently review your musings over the course of the year and perhaps add or delete as your thoughts evolve with the circumstances of your life.
You can always journal on your own by doing some stream-of-consciousness writing, but here are some prompts to jumpstart your writing in 2016.
- Write a letter to yourself. In this letter reflect on 2015. How did it go for you? What would you and what you might do differently to make things that better for you in 2016? Discuss your challenges, hurdles, accomplishments and concerns.
- Be mindful of your inspirations. Write about what situation or person/s inspire you and make you feel good?
- Practice mindfulness. Take about 30 minutes to just sit quietly with your eyes closed. Do not talk to anyone or interact with any technological devices. Think about yourself, your environment and the people you regularly interact with. Now open your journal and write about the experience of your stillness. What did you notice? What thoughts were rummaging around your mind? Did you focus on one thing or did your mind wander to different aspects of your life?
- Nurture yourself. Write about what you will do to nurture yourself in 2016. Think about what brings solace to your body, mind and spirit. It’s easy to take on the energies of those who around us. Sometimes we have a choice who those people will be, but at other times we don’t. If you could choose who was around you and who makes you feel good, which people would you surround yourself with?
- In Chinese astrology, 2016 is the year of monkey. Monkeys are known for being smart and sharp. Those born in the year of the monkey tend to be witty, quick learners, good at practical jokes, love people-watching, prefer urban living, and have magnetic personalities, and they tend to be creative. If you were to choose one of these characteristics to develop in 2016, which would it be? Write in your journal what it would be like to be that person.
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. The journal is a good place to express your gratitude for all the good things in your life. Many of us tend to journal when things aren’t going so well, But, when you make a habit of noticing the positive and good parts of your life, then you bring light, instead of darkness into your life, and into the lives of those around you. As Shatki Gawain says, “The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.” Expressing gratitude also offers hope and brings smiles on our faces. Write about the small things, from a pair of shoes you love, to the larger aspects of your life, such as loved ones who you are grateful for.
- Develop your intuition. It has been said that intuitive people listen to the voices of their souls and follow their instincts. For some people this is a developed skill, but for others it comes more naturally. Write down some questions or concerns you have going into 2016. Stop for a moment and look to your inner soul or higher self and write down the answers. Write automatically or use stream-of-consciousness writing which means you write without thinking or lifting your pen off the page.
I wish you a happy and prosperous 2016!