First of the year and it’s only right i start this entry with gratitude! i am grateful for life, for health, for meaningful friendships, for growth, mindfulness, love, progress, grounding, intuition, calm, consistency, wealth, peace of mind, i am also grateful for you amongst a plethora of things i could go on about!

We made it into the new year and that's something really special i want us to cherish. Life is beautiful and we’ve been gifted another year of opportunities and experiences as long as we are open and receptive to them.

This entry is in no way philosophical or related to John Locke’s Blank Slate Theory although that is something really interesting if you feel the need to indulge. I simply am using the word as a noun in it’s translation: Tabula Rasa — A Blank Slate, scraped tablet clean sheet, palimpsest maybe, a chance to start afresh.

Resolution vs Reflection

New years previously was just another day to me, i was never big on resolutions and over time i have subscribed to the idea that changes can be made whenever as long as the intent is pure and the willingness is genuine. This is something i still very much subscribe to but this year really feels different as reflection has given resolutions a different dimension to me.

I spent a couple of hours reflecting, going through my journal for 2020 and it really hit me how important a fresh start and how significant the idea of “Newness, reflection and resolutions” should be. i feel New years reflection is a more practical approach than resolution as studies have shown that most people actually get tired of the resolutions on day 19. Reflection on the other hand is something that can be done continuously and journaling is the perfect tool for this reflective process.

Why 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail.

I’m in my journal looking at things i put down on my gratitude pages, goals i set for myself that i met and the ones i failed at, I’m also looking at my penned down emotions at times i felt not the greatest and it has really just put things in perspective and given me the grace to recognize growth in little to large areas of my life and how different i feel, look and think in the span of time i have gotten into mindfulness, journaling and just overall being present for myself! proud to say the least. This reflection gave me the chance to come up with new goals and identify areas where i would love to put in a lot more work which has made me a lot more open to the concept of reflections /resolutions and how the top of the year is actually a good point to make a list of those new goals we want to achieve.

It’s an opportunity to accept, shed and let go of the past so we can focus ahead on the person we aim to become, letting go of excuses and trusting our intuition in making the proper preparation for the amazing year ahead. Shedding allows us make room for new things in our lives and its only right we have a couple of things we want to leave behind in order to create room for new habits and opportunities.

The questions in this link can help us get a better understanding of changes and our “Why” which is one of the most important ones to answer when we decided to embark on these changes.

Anything that is not growing is dead — Lauryn Hill

Inertia is a crime against yourself.

Are you who you were a year ago?

My entry on atomic habits is relevant now more than ever in light of the subject i feel a little inspired to write about lately which is journaling and its a habit i have dedicated a lot of my time and emotions into in the past year and a half and i must say, it is a remarkable habit. I mean an actual physical journal, not these refined entries i put up on medium to share publicly.

Self consciousness is the enemy of writing

Having a journal has been an absolute win like i said earlier. The power of reflection and planning cannot be understated and its a habit that can be learned through frequent practice. all you really need is a book and a pen for you to paint up with your wildest dreams, aspirations, emotions, gratitude, inspirations and you'd be surprised at the sort of things you'll be able to put together just off the strength of your mind and seeing fragments of it written out. Trust me, there's nothing as good as an actual physical journal, i have tried keeping one digitally but it doesn't really hit like seeing things you've penned down in your writing manifest into reality. Its a place for mental creation and it gives our dreams a lot more context. ideas become reality a lot quicker and it just feels tangible so to speak. It could be a daily, weekly or even monthly journal where you look back, take stock and accountability of your actions and inactions.

Mantras and Affirmations have been a huge part of my routine and you can find them boldly written in my journal, asides the strategic planning and goal setting we can journal about, it should also be a safe space where you can encourage yourself and affirm great things about your life. a journal is also an amazing way to track habits and it aids habit stacking.

An important precursor to growth is action! beyond reading, listening to podcasts, watching motivational material and the likes, it is key to put these things into action and journaling affords you the opportunity to break big processes into smaller actionable tasks so it doesn't seem overwhelming in your head. we think of a million and one things in a day especially if you are like myself whose thought process is all over the place. i have found writing things down to be a big stress relief and an easier way to engage with ideas that i think about.

The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus … boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.

Growth and change is a process not an event and I'm sure we are aware of that. Building consistency takes a while but what's important like i said is the willingness. you really don't have to journal every single day if you're not up to it, when i journal, its usually when my mind is calm, i feel well rested and i can properly articulate my thoughts and emotions. saying i do this everyday would be a terrible lie. some days, i feel so worn out from work or i wake up later than usual and i don't get the opportunity to journal so we need to give ourselves some grace and be intentional about these practices in order to see desired changes and manifestation in action. Taking no action is an action in itself so i encourage everyone to at least give it a try. it doesn't hurt to. Just start off with listing out things you are grateful about, move on to your big goals and then break them down into smaller actionable activities that would serve as the means to the end you seek. if you feel completely lost like i did before all this, just go on YouTube and you can literally search “How to journal”. Go over a few videos and just do it your own way after picking ideas here and there. that's the beauty. There is no “One” way to go about these things.

A blank slate is another chance to be happy, leave your comfort zone, accept and let go of the past and focus on your goals. letting go of all excuses and trusting your intuition in taking the necessary actions that lead to your goals.

I honestly don't have the range to begin to list out all the benefits and advantages but feel free to click any of the links above and below, i assure you it wont disappoint. there's scientific evidence to back up these claims so its not just “he said she said”

As much as i enjoy reading, i also enjoy sharing information and getting different perspectives to things so if you aren't a stranger to journaling, please share your experiences with me so far. i really am interested in knowing some more.