Journal your way to Happiness in 2016

04 January 2016

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it” - Maya Angelou

Inevitably, even the most cynical among us will be drawn at this time of year to some reflection on what has been, and what might be good to have moreor less of in 2016.   The research evidence suggests we face limited success if setting out on life-changing missions in January, it’s simply not a great time of year.  However, some time spent reflecting on the things you want to achieve and enhancements to yourself that may be desirable over the course of the year would be a very worthwhile way to spend some time over the next few days.

And if I was asked to proffer some advice on where and how to focus to improve personal happiness?

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Start with knowing yourself, and start a journal to help you do this.

Journalling is a powerful tool to accompany self-development.  Spending as little as 10 minutes each day reflecting in writing can promote observation, responsibility and belief in change, and indeed speed up the pace of change for you.

My top tips for starting a journal in 2016:

  1. Think habit – build in to your daily routine or rituals somewhere
  2. Daily’s great, but 3 times a week is a start, so do what you can as long as it’s regular
  3. Handwriting is powerful, research suggests the act links to our emotions and thinking in a powerful way, it may also provide a defined break from a day spent on a computer.  However, if tablet or phone work best for you, go for it.
  4. Start with appreciation – what 3 things have you appreciated in the last 24 hours? What have others appreciated about you?
  5. Focus on the best bits – remember the 5:1 rule for positive:negative feedback, use this as the chance to ‘big yourself up’
  6. Reflect on impact – how did you feel?  How do you think you made others feel?  What were the results? Did you try anything new, how did it pan out?
  7. What would you do differently if you could have this day again?
  8. What will you do differently tomorrow?

Good luck with everything you want to achieve in 2016 – hopefully journalling will help some of you get there!


Nicola Waterworth, Associate

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