New Years, Old Years

I traded posts with Mari L. McCarthy today. Please visit her site to read mine. — Sharon

As an advisor in journaling, I emphasize journaling for therapy, or what I call Journaling for the Health of It . I've discovered the extraordinary truth that journal writing can help you accomplish just about anything you want. As I proudly proclaim on my Create Write Now Facebook page, "Daily Journal Writing Therapy to become whole and healthy both inside and out is just about the coolest thing I can think of!"

Nonetheless, the actual practice of journaling often involves good old memoir-type writing. Not always, by any means, but at times looking back on your past with your pen in hand can be extraordinarily productive.

Since it's the New Year, I'd like to suggest a simple process of reflection that will help you turn again to the future with renewed confidence and faith.

First, flipping back through your past, identify the times that stand out as having been exceptional, better than other times. Choose one single year of this kind on which to focus.

Write "My Best Year" at the top of a new page in your journal, and then, remembering as many details about that year as you can, begin translating them to the page. How old were you? Where were you living? What was environment like? How did you spend your days? What were your involvements? Who were the others in your life at the time? What exactly happened to make it such a good period of time for you?

Stretch your memory to describe one day or incident from that time in as much fine detail as you can recall.

Now read over your journal entry and consider how this special time was formative for you.

Did the conditions and events of the time cause you to change in noticeable ways? How did that wonderful year influence who you have become today? Suppose you could go back to that same happy year. Is there anything you'd do differently the second time around?

For the payoff, bring the story of your best year into your plans for the coming period. What parts of that time past can you bring into your present? 

If you've allowed yourself plenty of time for this exercise, you're likely to be surprised by the possibilities it suggests. Life is cyclical, certainly, but with close attention, we can often raise the overall vibe by intentionally learning from our experiences. And your personal journal is just the tool to make the job delightful!

Mari L. McCarthy owns and blogs at, home of Journaling for the Health of It!™. She guides people in keeping up a Self-Healing Journal Practice, helping them cure their diseases and heal their life. Her most recent publication is Peace of Mind and Body — 27 Days of Journaling to Health & Happiness. Passionate about goals and successful in accomplishing them, Mari is also a singer/songwriter who enjoys raising roses as well as her consciousness.

Photo by Squirrelbrand.

1 comment :

Sharon - inspiring stories said...

What an excellent journaling idea! Just this one post would provide enough material for at least one book. Too bad we already have 2 or 3 in the wings. But thanks for the excellent ideas!