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Using a Dot-Grid Journal

Journaling is a part of my everyday practice, and as much as I love free writing, I find that having a structure to follow really helps me stick with my morning journaling practice. In this blog I share some ideas on journalling in general and also how I set it up in my dot-grid journal!

CHOOSING YOUR JOURNAL

Choosing the right journal for you is important because it can definitely be the difference between inspiring you to use it or not. When I choose my journal, I always try and find one where the cover has some meaning, or sparks something within me. I simply love this one with Sun, Moon and Stars on it.

This one has a hard cover, which makes it really easy to write in, even when not sitting at a desk or table. Another important factor is that when it is open, it stays open. The ribbon marker helps me find my place without having to search and I like the finishing touch of the rounded corners and elastic closure.

FINDING YOUR HAPPY SPACE

Find a special place where you sit and journal – mine is on our front stoep with a view of my little garden. I have created a “couch” out of 2 pallets and an old mattress, covered with a throw that has inspiring words on it and then some scatter cushions to round it off. I can sit there come rain or shine. It really is my happy place.

HAVE A SPECIFIC TIME OF DAY

Whatever your best time of day to journal is, try and get into the habit of always doing it at that time. I love to start my day with quiet time, followed by my journaling and then planning my day using my MOM diary. Of course a nice hot cup of coffee really rounds off the experience for me!

YEARLY GOAL OVERVIEW

Divide 2 pages into 3 sections each and use headings that resonate with you. List under each section, what are your big goals for the year.

  • Home (e.g. declutter)
  • Career
  • Health
  • Family/Happiness
  • Spiritual
  • Finance (e.g. save)

COLOUR & PAPER QUALITY

Using a journal with quality paper helps when using colour markers or highlighters. Personally, I love using colour to brighten my journal.

SETTING UP YOUR MONTH

On a double page spread you can include things like the following:

  • Which of your goals from the goal overview page are you focusing on this month
  • Add more detailed steps to these goals
  • Include a habit tracker – one of the best ways to instill new habits or to let go of bad ones
  • Decide on your affirmation for the month
  • You could add things like what do you want to do more of, let go of, what scares you, what lights you up….or any other prompts that resonate with you
  • This is where I add my washi tape and of course, more colour

DAILY JOURNAL PAGES

Using 1 page for 2 days, divide your pages up as follows – using highlighters works well here.

  • Use the picture for reference
  • Leave about 8 lines for thoughts about whats going on in your life
  • A block for setting your intention/s for that day – this could be a way of being or could be some specific thing/s that you want to get done – remember to refer back to your goals for that month to keep you on track
  • Daily gratitude
  • Include a line where you can write your affirmation for the month each day
  • After Sunday’s block, I have a half page where I can list what my wins for the week were, and where I can improve

END OF MONTH REFLECTION

Reflection is such an important part of the process. We tend to focus on all that we never got to – the never ending to-do lists. Taking time to look back and to celebrate the WINS, makes us realize that we did actually achieve a lot and gives us the motivation to keep striving to do our best.

At the end of each month look back at the beginning of the month set-up. How many of your goals did you achieve? What is your habit tracker looking like? It takes 21 days to make a new habit stick, so by now you should be cruising with those habits! Read over your weekly summaries. You will be amazed at how many “wins” you have had! Have a look at what can you do differently in the next month, that will make it an even more “kick-ass” month?

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