A New Journey for the JMB Living Journal
This November, gratitude truly flows in abundance for me as I celebrate the two-year anniversary of the JMB Living Journal launch. Abandoning my corporate (and secure) career to run a small business—that ended up having to endure the pandemic—was certainly a risk, but it was so much more than that: it was a dream.
I created the JMB Living Journal because I knew the mindset tools that had helped me turn my life around and create the life I have today, could help many other women too. I wanted to give other women access to these tools in a way that they could easily integrate them into their lives on a daily basis and that by doing so these tools and practices could help them reach for their dreams, not to mention increase their level of joy and gratitude along the way.
Now, after two years and eight issues of journals, the JMB Living Journal is getting elevated and upgraded. Not to worry, it’s not losing any of the great features you love or any of the structure that guides you to creating your ideal life! In fact, you’ll find that your Journal Journey is even more personal and aligned with your lifestyle.
Over these last two years, I have listened to and taken note of all the reviews, feedback, criticisms, and real-life experiences of JMB Living Journal users to ensure that I can provide the best version of this guide as possible. And now, because of your commitment to helping JMB Living succeed with the candidness, support and love of our community, we are one step closer to that with a new edition of the JMB Living Journal premiering with the Winter 2023 issue.
I learned so much from from the sharing of your Journal Journeys with me, and this new edition of the JMB Living Journal is everything you want from a wellness planner and daily journal, with everything you need to live a more joyful, mindful and balanced life on the journey to your dreams.
We've kept all the original prompts and tools that help guide you to creating your dreams and shifting to a positive mindset, but reorganized the journal to create more ease for all lifestyles while also supporting the uniqueness of every woman's Journal Journey.
Weekly & Daily Pages
To avoid unnecessary repetition and create a more focused approach, we have moved some of the daily prompts to a one-time prompt on each weekly page. Let me explain further.
We believe affirmations are most effective when they are repeated for more than one day, so we have moved the affirmation prompt to the weekly page to encourage using the same affirmation all week (or longer). While you’re free to state however many additional affirmations you need throughout a day, your weekly affirmation will carry throughout your week more strongly as a theme in your subconscious and actions.
The repetition of your affirmation from day-to-day (or hopefully even multiple times in one day) contributes to a positive and confident mindset shift created by reinforcing your affirmation as a new belief. I encourage you to find multiple ways of reminding yourself of your affirmation throughout the week, beginning by a daily glance at your weekly page in your journal. I like to say mine in the shower and on my walks, to put them on a card on my desk, whiteboard or refrigerator, but there are countless ways you can remind yourself to state and reinforce your new affirmation belief.
Creating a weekly dreams focus, instead of identifying a new one daily also is a change that makes good sense to me. A weekly focus fosters a stronger ability to achieve and find success over time. You can choose to elaborate on a dream from your dream journey page or pick a focus from your vision board! With so much else going on from day-to-day, a consistent focus through the week of one way to work towards your dreams is a grounding motivator that also decreases overwhelm or potential feelings of failure attached to identifying a new action so frequently.
Self-care is different for everyone and often can look the same from day to day. And that's okay! You don't have to do something new and different in the self-care realm each day to make a difference. So, to make self-care as realistic and valuable as possible, a weekly focus allows for a more realistic accounting of your intentions for the week in this area of your life.
Thinking about how you are going to care for and nurture yourself in the coming week will allow you to take into consideration what will be possible based on your schedule and help you to think ahead for how you can be successful in incorporation this into your days. It will also encourage broader thinking for, “What other one special thing can I do for myself this week?”
You can choose to make this weekly self-care intention as broad and specific or simple and extravagant as possible! One week might be “Get all my laundry done,” while another might be “Treat Myself!” You are the one paving your Journal Journey, and this is one of the many ways that we are making it easier for your to do so in this edition.
To maximize use of the additional space left from shifting some daily prompts to weekly, and to increase the visual appeal and convenience of use from day-to-day, each page now holds two days. And weekend days get their own space as well, instead of being combined like in our previous weekend spread. This comes from feedback that the daily pages required a bit too much effort and resulted in feelings of failure if not filled out fully.
So this new arrangement of the tools in the journal will help prevent you from being overwhelmed, while at the same time still helping you to integrate all the intentionality that makes women love the JMB Living Journal. On a similar note, the “My Best Win,” “Beauty I Noticed” and “What Gave Me Joy” prompts have been combined into one section of each daily page. This way you can choose which one was most relevant for your day and document any combination of just one or any of the three together!
Monthly, Quarterly & Annual Features
Pages that featured tools such as the habit trackers have been moved to the front of the planner to increase convenience and encourage daily use by being able to flip to them easily. This includes the dreams pages, vision board, mindset shifts, affirmations inspiration and wellness trackers.
All full-page reflections have been moved to the end of the journal, where they can be easily accessed and referred back to at any time without having to flip through the journal to find them. From time to time, I like to flip back through the reflection pages of my old journals to help refresh my memory on insights that I had, that likely could continue to be relevant today. I'm hoping by moving these to an easily accessible location, you may do the same if you are a keeper of your old journals.
This new arrangement of the tools within the journal made the index unnecessary, so it is removed from this edition. Now, you can more easily look at your vision board at the beginning of your day, review your dreams and complete your trackers with less hassle—just start at the beginning of the journal and flip through all the featured tools, making this a routine of setting intentionality and positivity for your day! Then you'll need minimal tabs, ribbons or bookmarks to mark your week/day and favorite pages!
The Dreams System has been re-worked for improved success and a more holistic application. Rather than Annual Dreams, Seasonal Dream Paths and Monthly Dream Steps, the new edition of the JMB Living Journal has one spread per journal titled “Journey to Follow Your Dreams.” This page has detailed insight on identifying up to three dreams in any time span to focus on for the duration of that journal—or more!
Identifying only one to three dreams is proven to result in greater success due to the focused attention and concentrated effort throughout that season. While we love the categories in our original journal—and these will remain available for reference on our website alongside all JMB Living Journal insights and additional guidance.
Our new dream pages will guide users to go into greater detail about what their dreams look like and feel like, with space to detail action steps under each dream. Expanding on your dreams in this way will make your visualization process easier and allow you to create a roadmap of forward progress in one place at the front of your journal. This more vivid depiction of the reality you are working to create and the plan of how your are going to get there, will better support your weekly and daily dream progress.
We are all about positive thinking, so we are super excited for the new Mindset Shifts page that will help you transform limiting beliefs into positive ones. More guidance is included on the page, but this exercise is yet another way to identify thought patterns that are limiting and shift them into beliefs that are more supportive of what you desire to have and do in your life.
To support all the ways JMB Living Journal users might seek to grow and change, the singular monthly habit trackers have been upgraded to five "Wellness Trackers." on a two page spread in the front of the journal. It has been important to me to design the journal in a way that gives great flexibility while at the same time encouraging the use of the tools I've found so beneficial over the years. Now with your new wellness trackers you can choose to track lifestyle factors such as sleep patterns, productivity, mood tracking, cycles etc. Or you can continue to use the trackers as a tool to help you make and break habits and behaviors.
And On the Winter 2023 Cover...
I’m also so excited to announce this issue’s cover woman, Sarah Ahmed (@the.poc.therapist on Instagram), CEO and cofounder of Wellnest Therapy™: a collective of BIPOC therapists offering intersectional psychotherapy wellness services. In addition to advocating for intersectional wellness, Sarah is highly accomplished and shares incredible life insights and mental health tips. I'm so honored to have her share in this issue of the journal and delighted to connect you with her if you hadn't found her already.