Day 1: Commit To Your Journey Within
“There are 2 mistakes one can make along the road. Not going all the way and not starting.”
Journaling is a journey within. Its success lies in the commitment and honesty one shows during the journey. Commitment to spending 10 minutes each day self-reflecting on your day creating a personal memoir that no one has access to but you. Yes, writing it down with pen and paper and diving into the journey, making your own book that helps you reflect your learnings and teachings around the year. How did you feel that day? Why did it elicit a particular emotion? How important is it to you?
Today we start a journey of initial 15-day commitment to our emotions. There are various themes and methods of journaling. We will start with emotions.
Why emotions? As psychologists, we often come across people who cannot articulate and are confused about what and why they are feeling the way they are.
Let me remind you on this journey some days it will be an easy cakewalk, other days it will be hard and introspective. But we guarantee, at the end of it, you will feel fulfilled and full of clarity. Most of our answers lie in the why’s and what’s and how’s which we are scared to ask ourselves because maybe we aren’t aware. we have either gotten too comfortable with it or we believe we have no solution.
Here’s an example of how you start on the prompts you have received.
I feel …..
exhausted, bored, confused scared about the future
I want to feel …….
energetic, fulfilled, creative, certain, safe and confident,
I will feel …... By ……..
fulfilled, safe and confident By completing what I have planned to achieve, taking precautions and doing as advised or finding a passive source of income
I took up this journaling journey because I
want to understand why I am feeling the way I am feeling or to reflect and make changes that I have been fearing to make
I pledge that I will …... during this 15-day journey.
be honest, reflective
I want to focus on ……….. during this journey.
my emotional well being, understanding what I can do it differently
At the end of these 15 days, I want to feel ………. I will achieve this by
clear and set peace with my emotions I will achieve it by taking responsibility for changing things that do not benefit me and taking necessary steps needed for my emotional wellbeing
My favourite memory of 2020 was .....
starting X that I planned to, taking a break for myself or meeting someone I longed to meet.
This is just an example of what you feel and want to achieve from this journey can be quite different and it is absolutely fine as it is your personal journey.
Tip: To lead a value-based life you need acceptance and commitment
Day 2: Beliefs about Myself
Our beliefs are something we have developed in our journey of life. Some beliefs make sense to us while some do not and that’s perfectly fine. But what about those beliefs that tend to pull us down further, stunting our growth. These beliefs make us think that we cannot work on ourselves and instead we restrict our personal & professional growth.
These beliefs are formed from life experiences and make us see ourselves in low light, due to which we end up losing our self-worth by ourselves. Why will people believe in us when we don’t believe in ourselves?
Hey! Who said we can't rewire these beliefs? It just needs little effort and practice to understand why it started and what better instead we want to believe.
Write down 3 negative beliefs that you have about yourself.
I am fat and ugly
Why do I believe these are negative?
I am not thin hence not beautiful
Instead of these negative beliefs, what alternative beliefs I would like to form …….
I am beautiful
I am confident
A better perspective is …….
I need to work on losing weight because it is unhealthy but that doesn’t mean I am not beautiful
Write at least 5 of these for your fears- I’m afraid to (verb) ........ Because I scare myself by saying ......
Speak in front of the public, I am not good at it
What resources do I have or can I find to overcome these fears?
Make small efforts to speak on subjects I best know in front of friends and family
Host events in my comfort zone
Slowly do mock presentations in front of colleagues and build ahead
How will things in my life change if I overcome these fears?
I can get a promotion in my company if I learn to put forth my ideas rather than others taking credit for it
What is one reality you need to come to peace with? Why?
I am good with what knowledge I have and it’s okay if others have a different opinion.
Tip: There may be many roots to our beliefs, but continuing to live with them is our conscious choice.
Day 3: Behaviours Creating Blocks
Our beliefs about self and others make us behave in certain ways. Our behaviours are influenced by certain emotions and in some situations, when behaving in a particular way, it is rewarded. Today, we unknowingly continue serving those behavioural patterns even if it doesn’t serve us well.
Using today’s prompts, you’ll be able to discover your unhelpful, limiting behaviours, underlying beliefs, and discover a few helpful replacements if you’d like to change them.
My adapted behaviours that are limiting me are …...
Saying yes to every favour anyone asks for
The underlying belief I hold regarding this behaviour is …...
That I won’t be able to help others or I might hurt if I say no.
They limit me because …...
Sometimes I do things I don’t want to and change my priorities accordingly
What are some new behaviours you could adapt instead?
Drawing healthy boundaries around me assertively and by saying things I mean and want instead.
How will you reframe the belief that will help bring this shift?
Putting my work as a priority doesn’t mean I intend to hurt anyone else.
How will these behaviours help you in the long run?
I’ll be able to complete my tasks at hand and will also enjoy doing things for others if I really want to do it.
Tip: Using some positive reinforcements help sustain the adapted behaviours.
Day 4: My Definitions
We are all different human beings and can have different perspectives on the same thing. For some of us, success may mean more money. For others, it might have to do something with power or position. Many times, we run behind finding love or peace or contentment without knowing what these words mean to us. We also at times forget, for example, what being respected means to one might not mean the same to someone else.
Hence we find it difficult to understand what we want in life, from our colleagues, partners, and ourselves. We are often confused about what to expect from people around us or end up adopting someone else's definitions. However, if you don’t have a clear definition yet, it’s okay! You can explore and write what you would expect it to be in an ideal scenario.
Here are a few questions you can ponder upon:
For me, success is .....
Making an impact on people’s lives and being able to contribute towards the greater good of society.
I feel loved when .....
When my loved ones randomly smile at me, or when I’m understood, when my loved ones take out time to talk to me when I need them, when I get a good hug from my friends and family, when someone expresses his/her love verbally.
I feel respected when .....
When my opinions are heard, when I’m asked instead of being ordered.
For me, a peaceful and happy day would look like .....
Spending time quality time doing things I love with the people I love, maybe going to a cafe with a friend.
In any relationship, I expect .....
My space, being respected, and clear communication.
Tip: Instead of expecting others to read your mind, state your needs explicitly.
Day 5: My Unresolved Feelings
Just like a half-read book haunts us more than a completed book, so do our unresolved emotions. Sometimes we’ve all held on to a feeling of hurt, anger, guilt, resentment, or longingness. These unresolved feelings do come in our way of finding happiness. Sometimes, we also define our identity around those feelings/events and form bigger conclusions that no longer serve us. Using these prompts, you can explore some of your unresolved feelings and give it closure.
Some unresolved feelings that I still hold on to are……..
That of shame
I’ve held on to these feelings because……..
It reminds me of the mistake I’ve made and the embarrassment that followed.
The things that I now need to accept are……..
I was scared to try it for the first time and did make a fool out of myself. I need to accept that I did my best back then and it was just natural to get scared.
Is there anything I wish to say to those feelings or people involved in it?
Well, the feeling of shame is clearly not making me feel good about doing something which I didn’t intend to. I was brave enough to try at least, even though I failed.
How will accepting it and understanding its roots help me?
I can either continue living with a feeling of shame or shift my focus to feeling proud of trying it. Living with the latter will make me accept that failure is a part of trying and thinking of what people might think of me will keep me away from trying new things.
Tip: There’s always an underlying need that comes with every emotion. Try listening to it by understanding what each emotion is trying to tell you.
Day 6: Getting In Touch With Guilt
We all make mistakes or do something wrong - whether intentionally or accidentally. The best thing to do after making mistakes is to ask for forgiveness, learn from our mistakes, and move on. But, one thing holds us back from doing so - GUILT.
Guilt can be described as a sense of regret accompanied by shame. When we feel this way, it can become destructive to our need to move on. Instead of doing the right thing and learning from our mistakes, our confidence and self-esteem take a hit and we feel we are not good enough to do anything.
Today's theme for June Journaling is Getting in touch with the Guilt you feel. If there's any mistake you have made in the past, it's time to forgive yourself and let go of them.
Write down 3 mistakes you have made which you haven’t forgiven yourself for.
I have not forgiven myself for
Not helping my brother when he was being bullied
Stealing from my mother
Being rude to my father while growing up
What is holding me back to forgive/learn/heal
my ego is holding me back from forgiving myself because if I admit my wrongdoings, I am weak and a bad person.
I forgive myself for……...
I forgive myself for making the above mistakes. I was young and didn’t know any better.
My insecurities are……...
my insecurities are that everyone will leave me once they know my mistakes, that I will be left with nobody.
My errors have taught me……...
My errors have taught me that it’s okay to say sorry. Saying sorry does not mean I become a lesser person. It means I am strong enough to admit my mistakes and learn from them.
Some thoughts that I have to let go of are ……...(self-talk)
I am alone
I will never be loved.
How can I improve this in the future so I don't feel the same
(Name) people in my life whom I can rely on and have been there with me throughout this which shows I am loved and significant in their life hence I am not alone.
Tip: We know that guilt is a painful emotion to go through. But sometimes, to get rid of something negative, we need to go through the emotions, embrace it, and then kick it out! So, kick the guilt, it is a wasted emotion!
Day 7: Guide Your Beliefs
Wouldn’t it be so cool to have a time machine to go back to our teenage years and do things differently? Or to use the same time machine to go into the future to see how things turn out? Well, since time machines haven’t been invented yet, we tend to go back in time in our heads and regret some of the decisions we made.
So, for today’s theme, Guide Your Beliefs, let’s turn to play with time in a positive way! It’s time to give ourselves some encouragement and make a plan on how we will believe in ourselves and our potential!
It’s important to encourage ourselves and believe in ourselves. If you won’t, who will?
If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is…….
If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is that everything works out for the best. Everything that happens to us, happens for a reason. We may not see it at the time, but everything works out. Don’t stress! Go with the flow and make memories!
People who believe in me, they would say...……...
You got this girl!
When faced with a challenging situation, I ……..
When faced with a challenging situation, I tend to switch off and not think about the problem, hoping it would go away.
Does my way of dealing with a situation help me or make my problem worse?
My way of dealing with a situation worsens the problem because I end up not dealing with it head-on.
I can start to believe in myself by …….
I can start to believe in myself by not putting myself down. I need to believe in my capabilities and my strengths.
I will do the above by ……
I will do the above by going with the flow and not putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect.
Tip: Be authentic, be realistic, and be true to yourself.
Day 8: The Lockdown Effect
The world is topsy-turvy right now. This worldwide pandemic has everyone on edge and we’re filled with stress & anxiety. It seems like every time we listen to the news, there’s something going wrong somewhere in the world. The thing is, this is the new reality we are living in.
This lockdown has definitely got us feeling some kind of way - and it’s not always going to be positive! Lockdown has taught us a new way in which we have to live our lives. We have definitely learned some new skills, connected with family and friends, and kept our minds busy with movies and games.
But, have we ever stopped and reflected on our time during this lockdown?
This lockdown has affected me because …….
This lockdown has affected me because I am stuck at home and feel like I’ll never get out.
Negative effects of lockdown are …….
Negative effects of the lockdown are
I feel stuck at home
I miss small everyday things I took for granted before the lockdown.
Some positive effects of lockdown are ……..
Some positive effects are:
I have learned how to make perfect rotis!
I have meditated more!
I have become closer to my family all around the world!
This lockdown has taught me …….
This lockdown has taught me to never take things for granted. Savour every moment and to always be kind to everyone around me. It has taught me to be hygienic and safe!
Tip: Really focus and think hard on how the lockdown has affected you.
Day 9: Living In The Present
In the book “Tuesdays With Morrie”, Mitch Albom, the author, documents his visits to his former sociology professor Morrie Shwartz as he slowly passes away from ALS. In one of the chapters, Morrie asks his former professor what he would do if he was given one healthy day. He described a simple day full of joy and happiness - that’s all he would want if he had one day.
We’re all so preoccupied with what’s going to happen in the future or what has happened in the past that we forget about living in the present. It’s important sometimes to sit and reflect on how you would love to spend the day and what brings us simple joy in life.
So, let’s pretend today is the last day on earth.
If today was your last day, how would you spend it?
If today was my last day, I would throw a huge all-nighter party!
What would you do?
I would play games, talk all night, eat all night and dance all night!
What would you eat?
I would eat all my favourite food - pizzas, Pani puri, chips n dip, sushi! I would drink my favourite cocktails!
Where would you go?
I would go to my favourite bar and throw a party there!
Who would you spend it with?
I would spend the day with my husband, my close family, and my closest friends!
What are the mindful gestures you will do for yourself, your loved ones, and the people around you?
For myself, I would treat myself with kindness and compassion.
For my loved ones, I would not judge them and treat them with unconditional love.
Tip: Think of what really makes you happy, not what everyone would want you to do!
Day 10: Your Ideal Self
We have an idea of our ideal self. How we want to live and how to bring out the best in ourselves. We are aware of but are unable to bring these changes due to a lack of time or lack of motivation. We all know what our limitations are, but we are unaware of the playground beyond these limitations.
Today we will explore these limitations that block us in our daily routine by enabling ourselves to unleash the ideal version of ourselves.
My current routine is ……
I wake up at 9 am and spend my time doing some household chores. I work from 2 pm to 9 pm. Post dinner I spend some time relaxing. Work again and then sleep around 2 am.
My current routine for keeping my health in check is...
Not really good. I haven’t been doing things I decided to do.
My current routine for keeping in touch with myself is.
I spend most of the time either thinking about work or working. I don’t do enough things I like doing.
Is your routine adding to your life and professional goals?
In some way yes. But it’s also a bit exhausting and sometimes hampers my creativity.
What I like about my routine is ……
I spend a good time reading and working towards my goals. It’s quite productive.
What I don’t like about my routine is ……
I don’t give enough time to myself to relax and work towards my fitness. Sleeping late also makes me feel tired most part of the day.
My ideal routine is…
Waking up around 6 am, working out, cooking for myself, spending only required time on work, and spending the rest of my time doing things I love other than work.
How can I do it this year?
I can start by sleeping early in the first place. Also by not spending more time than required thinking about work.
Tip: The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot! - Michael Altshuler
Day 11: Self-Care Kit
On the days when we feel low, we tend to forget that there are simple things we can do to uplift our mood. Certain cues lie in our environment which can cheer us up, some of which we are unaware of.
Today, let’s put aside some time to recognize things that do make us feel better when we are unhappy. Let’s also reflect on the things that actually make us forget about all worries and make us feel connected to our core.
Here are a few prompts you can use:
I feel more in tune with myself when I……..
Learn about something new, when I dance.
Things that I’m secretly proud of myself are…….... Is there any memory related to it that I look back to and still feel proud?
My dance, my career, the efforts I can put in for things I love doing, my zest for learning new things.
A song that makes me happy is……...
24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Describe your happy place.
My balcony, place near my window.
A movie/book that makes me happy is……...
Tuesdays with Morrie
Where is my happiness locus? Is it inward, where I can choose it. Or is it outward, depending on and controlled by the people around me?
Inward. It is sometimes dependent on people who are close to me.
What else can I do that would cheer me up instantly?
I can call up a few of my friends. I also like cooking, it cheers me up too.
Tip: Happiness like any other emotion is temporary. But it is always a choice away!
Day 12: How To Be A Goal Digger
Goals are Dreams with a deadline. They often scare us little but excite us more. Most of us are taught to live by a timeline to achieve and be something but the shifts in life are not considered.
Have you been making lists each day but not making progress? Most goals are missing an essential component: emotional intelligence. Power up your goal setting with Emotional intelligence.
We all know S.M.A.R.T goal planning lets add
Reward yourself for achieving the goal, especially if it’s a major milestone;
Recognize the contributions of those who helped (often neglected);
Celebrate the achievement together.
Which will further help us not only realize the stakes of others in your goals but also help you bond with them and appreciate yourself rather than dusting it off and moving ahead?
Lastly, in this pandemic Plans of personal development, relationships, financial, social, career goals have taken a shift, and under this uncertainty of how we will achieve that we set out for is a major question.
I would like each one of you to consider this time to replan and relevel goals and inculcate these shifts in your plan that could help you realize how much are you on track with your original goal and how much and where we need to create these shifts.
Let’s not forget to add emotional value while planning S.M.A.R.T Goals.
Three things I will do today to bring me closer to my goals are ….
Completing priorities, Making a to-do list for next week, writing obstacles that might come in my way of achieving my goals.
I will achieve my goals by …..
Being consistent on my plan and measuring how far I am from my goal. Making contingency plans for the obstacles I foresee.
What changes I need to make in my current plan
I need to execute and see the reliability of a few ideas that I have in my mind.
I need more…. to reach my goals.
I am stopping myself from reaching my goals...….
Procrastinating things that I find will be more time consuming but is an important part of the plan
Changes I need to make to reach my goals
Being more proactive in implementing my ideas and setting out a dedicating time to achieve it on a daily basis.
The timeline and plan I need to follow is
I’ll need to dedicate at least 2 hours daily for the next 3 months to see significant achievement in the short-term plan of my goal.
Tip: You’d only want to run behind a goal if it’s yours and adds some value in your life.
Day 13: Attitude Of Gratitude
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” - Tony Robbins
We’re constantly told the benefits of being grateful. But do we actually practice being grateful in our everyday lives?
Being grateful is an important part of our lives. Gratitude is a positive emotion and it’s about focusing on the good in our lives and being thankful for all the blessings in our life. We should stop and appreciate the things we usually take for granted.
Have you ever stopped and thought about all the good things in your life - small things like a place to live, water, amazing friends, family, internet, food, etc?
I am grateful for….
I am grateful that I am healthy and can pursue any path I want to. I am grateful that I have amazing parents and a wonderful husband who gives me all the love I can ask for. I am grateful that I am safe.
……. makes my life better by…….
My husband makes my life better by showing me what unconditional love is.
I am thankful for having …… in my life because ……..
I am thankful for having my mother in my life because she has shown me and continues to show me the effects of hard work and being honest to yourself.
I find it difficult to be grateful sometimes because ……..
I find it difficult to be grateful sometimes because of too many things going on in my life. Sometimes, taking that time to reflect on what I’m grateful for each day takes a lot of time.
An experience I am grateful for is ………
An experience I am grateful for is my trip with my friends to North India. It taught me how to be independent, it brought me closer to my friends, and it allowed me to see beautiful views of India.
I will tell myself …… every day so remind myself to be grateful.
I will tell myself You are loved and lucky to be living today, every day to remind myself to be grateful.
Tip: Try to focus more on people to whom you are grateful, it has more of an impact than just focusing on things you are grateful for.
Day 14: Letting Go
Look at all the things, people, habits, and memories that you’ve held on to, which are no longer serving you for your greater good. Sometimes holding on to things causes more pain than letting go.
To let go does not mean to get rid of it. It means just letting it be. In its own form, in the environment when it happened, in the past. Holding on to pain doesn’t fix anything. But it surely creates some blocks. What we resist, persists.
What we accept, we transform. Try to acknowledge the things that you’ve still held on to, learn what it was meant to teach you, and then let go of it. There will be a space within you for subtle changes then. It's Important to declutter and free space in your life for new and richer experiences.
A few prompts you can use are:
The 3 habits that I could give up that’ll give me more time, energy and peace are__
Sleeping late at night, setting unrealistic goals, and scrolling mindlessly through Instagram.
A few people in my life I need to let go of now are___
Few emotions or memories that I now need to let go are___
Hurt and anger.
Anything I’ve learned from those people or emotions? Any underlying need?
I understood that there were certain expectations that I could’ve stated directly but I chose to do otherwise. Also, not everything is within my control, blaming won’t resolve anything.
Is there anything I’d like to say to those people or memories or emotions?
You’ve been a good part of my life but giving you so much space is no longer helping me grow. It is simply reminding me of the past and how things could’ve been different. We did what we felt right then and I know there weren’t any bad intentions.
Tip: Closure comes from within. Dive in deep to embrace it
Day 15: Commitment Towards Yourself
Our commitment to ourselves is the most important aspect of the way we feel. Imagine if you plan your day and it takes an unintended twist. We get a little upset or irritated by it. In the same way, when we plan and commit ourselves to certain things, it can also create a shift in our emotions in the long run.
Today, I want you to commit to being a better version of yourself by telling your future self what you have learned in this journey. I want you to write down what changes you want to see in the future starting the very moment you put your pen down. Draw healthy boundaries with yourself, for other people and situations that put you in a fix. Commit to choosing yourself first in any situation for your mental and physical wellbeing. If you don’t respect your boundaries and be assertive, others won’t either!
At the end of this journey we look forward to reading how you accept and grow with the transformation and insight you received in these 15 days. Also commit to journaling as a daily habit to make an entry of what you felt and why you felt to be more in touch with your authentic self!
Write a letter to your future self
To my 35-year-old self...
What are the boundaries I need to form with people
I need to start saying what I mean, especially when I want to say no.
Boundaries for self and my growth
I need to avoid indulgence in unhealthy food and my urge to procrastinate.
In what situations will I put myself first?
In situations when I actually want to do a thing for my self but don’t.
Tip: Lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect.