At the New Year, everyone makes resolutions, savoring the opportunity to align with new goals, to throw out the old and seriously get started on achieving hopes and dreams. It's a good time to revitalize your journaling practice, as well.

And there's a bonus! You may well find that by implementing a few new tweaks in journaling, you simultaneously access the energy to accomplish other goals that have eluded you.

1. Buy new supplies.

There's something satisfying about starting with a clean slate and an organized desk. A new notebook, a brighter lamp, a set of tempting pens – any of these can recharge your thrill in journaling.

It's not much of a stretch to apply the same tactic to other goals: a new blender will make your diet much more bearable; a new outfit will make going to work a more cheerful experience; a new pair of sneakers will inspire jogging.

2. Plan your schedule.

As something that you do primarily for yourself alone, journaling can easily take second place to other life obligations. Inject your practice with renewed dedication by carefully planning out in advance when you will journal. Set a schedule according to the days and times when it will be easiest for you, and then stick to it.

So often, the biggest difficulty in any effort is just getting started. Once begun, the work takes on a life of its own. Make a schedule and get past the beginning, and momentum builds. Want to lose weight, learn a language, find a job? A schedule is key to success.

3. Don't forget to cut yourself some slack.

Though you are determined to follow through, your efforts will be stymied if you don't allow for contrasts. Before journaling, take a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood, hit up a yoga class or do jumping jacks in your living room to get your blood pumping. Journal writing is sedentary, and it benefits enormously from contrasting vigorous activity.

In the same way, dedication to exercise benefits from rest periods; devotion to learning benefits from occasional mindless entertainment; and there's nothing like a holiday feast to renew your commitment to dieting.

4. Set goals.

Your journal is a great place to conjure and craft goals for personal or professional development. You can dedicate separate journals to various personal goals: one journal may focus on exploring your childhood, another on work issues, another on your love life. Decide what you wish to examine in the coming months, and organize for progress.

Likewise, journaling goals may illuminate your way towards other goal fulfillment. Want to make a career change this year? Plan out the steps for reaching that goal. Wish you were happier? Set incremental goals to be achieved over time, and watch your wishes materialize.

5. Make progress reports.

Track your own progress by rereading your journal entries every few weeks and asking yourself questions about the goals you have set. Give yourself support and encouragement as much as possible, and enjoy the learning and epiphanies.

In the same way, pausing occasionally to appreciate how far you have come with your exercising, studies, career growth, or whatever other challenges you face is an indispensable component of continued success.

Author's Bio: 

By Mari L. McCarthy - Journal / Writing Therapist. Journaling is the ultimate self-help tool. Please share discoveries at my blog- If you would like to know more about the therapeutic aspects of journal writing, please feel free to contact me ( Write On!