How to Start Your Own Wellness Journal



The Challenges of a Healthy Lifestyle

It can be really hard to stay organized throughout your health journey. Often I find that I have so many components of my health regiment that I am implementing simultaneously that I get overwhelmed and begin to slack in multiple areas. To be honest, organization is not especially a strong suit of mine. I have decided to begin a wellness journal. It has been suggested to me before, but honestly I have been way too lazy to sit and just write about my health constantly. To make it more manageable so that I no longer have an excuse, I have decided to journal once a week rather than daily. I think that the perfect time to journal will be during my weekly hammock hour (check out my post The Benefits of Hammocking if that sounds like something you would like).

Health and Wellness Journaling



The point of this journal is to analyze what health initiatives I have implemented at any one time, what initiatives I should think of implementing, and what is working and what isn’t. A tip that always helps me stay consistent with any regiment like this is to purchase a journal and pens that you find beautiful or attractive or fun. I find that I am much more inclined to use something consistently that I find is aesthetically pleasing. Contrarily, if you do not care about the look of your journal, just use an old spiral notebook or composition book or diary. It definitely does not have to be brand new! I have decided to format my journal around the wellness wheel. The wellness wheel lays out the areas of wellness—to be completely healthy, we must demonstrate wellness in each area. Here is my favorite illustration of the wellness wheel:
(Source)

 Formatting Your Entries


Part 1--Noting Your Health Struggles:


For the first section of the journal, I am going to talk about the areas of my health that I have noticed have been lacking. For this, I will go through the wellness wheel:

Emotional Wellness—I feel that I am very emotionally well and have no concerns in this area this week.
Intellectual Wellness—I have noticed that I have been slacking in my study for the MCAT and Spanish Fluency. This is probably due to poor time management and laziness.
Physical Wellness—I hardly ever walk to work anymore due to lack of time, and I have not been consistently working out daily after work. I also have not felt amazing about my hair, so I need to get back on track with my supplements, hydration, and regiment overall. I also have had quite the breakout and some dry skin that I need to tackle. 
Social Wellness—I have feel great about this area of wellness. Perhaps too great—I should spend more time on the other areas this coming week. 
Environmental Wellness—My room could use a deep clean, and I need to go through my belongings and purge a lot before I move into my new apartment next month. 
Financial Wellness—My spending has been great the past week, but I need to put more work into this blog and my side hustles. Maybe brainstorm some new ideas for side hustles that won’t be too much work during school.
Spiritual Wellness—I have definitely slacked in my prayer journaling. I always notice that I struggle more day to day when I do not journal. I also need to make more of an effort to get to church EVERY WEEK. This is really hard for me in the summer with all of the travel that I do, but that is hardly an excuse in the grand scheme of things. 


 Part 2--Creating Your Wellness Plan


Now that I have noted all of the areas I have been slacking, it is time for me to make my plan for this coming week. I do not like choosing a goal because we cannot make it to that goal without a plan. It is great to say, “my goal is to workout every day after work this week.” However, that was the same goal I had last week, and it did not happen. The only difference is that now I am voicing that goal. I find it much more effective to say, “I am going to put my workout clothes in my backpack that I take to work and stop at the park on my way home every day to workout.” This is a game-changer because I found the reason that I was not working out before: I was going home after working and eating lunch and having coffee. This made the idea of going and working out that last thing on my mind. Really make sure that you are making a plan rather than stating a goal. I like to write this out for each area of my health. I like to do this for each area of health I brought up earlier:

Intellectual—It is unrealistic for me to bring my study materials to work with me because there are so many books, so instead I am going to make sure to choose the exact times I will be studying the day before. I think that having a specific chunk of time set aside before any fun activities I have planned will really help me to stay on it. 
Physical—Like I stated up above, I am going to workout before I go home from work so that I do not have time to get all comfy on my couch and lazy. I am also going to up my hair masks to twice a week, set hydration reminders on my phone until it is habit again, and take my supplements with each meal without exception. Finally, I am going to do two facials this week along with my hair masks.
Environmental—I am going to clean for one hour each day before I start to wind down for sleep. That will mean I will clean between 9 and 10 at night which will leave the few hours after that to get all comfy and ready for sleep. That hour will also include the sorting of one box of things I did not unpack from my last move to see how much I can donate. 
Financial—I am going to stay super organized with the blog this week by setting aside two hours each day for writing and maintaining the blog. I think that I will do this either at the library after work and before my workout, or I will head to a coffee shop mid afternoon and be a cliché coffee shop author. 
Spiritual—Before bed and right after I clean, I am going to sit down and do my prayer journaling. My life is always better when I pray constantly, so I cannot allow myself to slip like I have been. Finally, I am fortunate enough to be dating someone who is also Catholic, so I am going to plan a church and brunch date so that we are held accountable by a concrete plan.

 Have Realistic Expectations


Now that I have completed my first entry, I am going to try my hardest to implement all of these plans. Obviously everything will probably not go flawlessly, but this is just round one, and, if these plans are not effective, then I will make new ones to try next week. Make sure to note what worked and what didn't at the beginning of the next weeks entry.
In the pages between each entry, write ingredients and directions for any natural remedies used or workouts done. Make it like the field journal of your healthy lifestyle!

Comment down below your experience with health journaling. Was it helpful for you?

Comments

  1. I can relate to your struggles when it comes to staying motivated. The journal is definitely the way to go because it is a physical example of your progress over the week. For example I count how many times i sit down to make sure i limit myself to two sittings a day. My butt has never looked better!

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    1. That is a really great idea! I definitely sit too much, but it is hard for me because a lot of my work is online or just requires relaxed focus (like studying). I have started this new initiative that you might be interested in. It is the Walk to Work Challenge. I have been walking everywhere that I can all summer; to dinner, lunch or coffee dates, to work, to friends houses, and even to the grocery store if I do not have much on my list. I have loved it! You can check out the post here if you are interested: https://www.dueprospettive.com/2019/05/the-walk-to-work-challenge.html

      Thanks for the comment!

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