Why Keep a Wellness Journal?

By: Kristin Knight

Making wellness goals is easy, but actually sticking with them is a different story. Keeping a wellness journal can be a great way to turn your goals into reality. 

How to get started

Before getting started, it’s important to decide what you’re interested in working on. Do you want to gain or lose weight? Develop healthy eating habits? Increase your flexibility or decrease your 5K time? Spend 10 minutes of each day meditating?

No matter what your goals are, write them down and make them specific. Give yourself steps towards achieving your goal and a timeframe to achieve it in. For example, if I wanted to work up to a three minute plank, I could do a plank every day for a month adding five seconds each day. On day one, it might seem impossible to do a three minute plank, but adding just five seconds seems pretty doable. Breaking down large goals into day-to-day tasks makes your goals not only more manageable, but also more achievable. 

If your goals are more general, that’s okay too. A great way to get started with a wellness journal is to have the goal of simply being healthier. However, make sure to still make your day-to-day steps specific. Will you go to the gym four days a week, stop eating candy, and get eight hours of sleep every night? These are specific, loggable steps towards becoming more healthy. Don’t forget to give yourself time; lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. 

What to include in your journal

  • Sleep: start by writing down how many hours of sleep you got that night. Even if working on your sleep schedule isn’t one of your goals, it will be helpful to see how your sleep affects the rest of your wellness journey.
  • Food: Similarly, tracking your meals can be beneficial even if your eating habits aren’t one of you goals. You don’t have to count your calories, but just logging what you eat and when can help give you a better idea of which foods fuel your body and which ones make you feel sluggish.
  • Exercise: Whether you do yoga for 10 minutes before bed or go for a 30 minute run, make sure to write it down. It’s so much easier to see you progress when you have it all written down.
  • Mood: Your emotions are a HUGE part of your overall wellness, so tracking your mood is super important. Additionally, you might start to see trends; sleep, food, and exercise all affect your mood, so logging everything can help you figure out what is best for your body.
  • Weight: Don’t feel like you have to track your weight, but if you’d like to, try recording it just once a week. Your weight fluctuates based on how much water you’ve had, how sore your muscles are, and many other factors, so tracking your weight every day isn’t necessary.

Where to keep your journal

Your wellness journal doesn’t have to be elaborate at all; you could write it on the notes app on your phone or type it in a Word doc, if that’s what works best for you. You can also hand-write it. You may find that adding doodles or making your journal creative in any way could make journaling a relaxing part of your day.

No matter what your wellness goals are, keeping track of your progress is a great way to visualize how far you’ve come and motivate yourself to keep going. 

 

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Categories: Mindfullness

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