Journaling and intention setting can be an incredibly powerful practice. An intention is like a positive affirmation that will help lead you toward your goals. It's something you plan to do, think, or say to enhance your emotional, mental, spiritual, and/or physical well-being. And don't just say them or think them in your head - write them down! Write them in a wellness journal or on sticky notes around your house, on your desk at work, or in your locker at school. This serves not only as a reminder but science shows that when your write something down it tends to create a feeling of validation.
Research has shown you can use positive thoughts and affirmations to literally transform your life by bringing about behavioural changes. In fact, consciously reading your affirmation first thing in the morning can influence your decision making for the whole day!
A few examples of health and wellness affirmations may include things like:
This week I will...
...drink warm lemon water every morning to cleanse my body and improve digestion.
...choose loving and positive thoughts about myself.
...pack my lunch every day to ensure healthier food choices.
...take the stairs when ever possible.
Aside from journaling your intentions each day or week, it's also a good idea to keep a food-mood journal. This is when you write down everything you eat and drink in a day as well as your mood and even your activities and exercise if you wish. Studies show that keeping a wellness journal or a food-mood journal will help you to reach your goals faster and create more awareness of your feelings toward food and yourself. Becoming more aware helps you to break old habits that do you no good, and create new ones that help you to flourish and reach your wellness goals.
A good philosophy that I often return to is that you don't need to count your calories or measure your food (that is not intuitive eating), let your inner wisdom be your guide. Free yourself from the need to put a number on everything food related by keeping a wellness journal. Over time you will become more accustomed to listening to your body and giving it what it needs based on how you feel. You may learn about sensitivities you didn't realize you had, some food combinations make you bloated or gassy, how you feel emotionally before during and after you eat certain foods, which exercises are actually good for your body or just creating excess stress hormones, etc.
Overall, you can become more in touch with your body and intuition and will be easier able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, therefore taking positive steps each week to reach your health and wellness goals.
Also, don't be so hard on yourself and enjoy the process!