How to Start a Food Journal & Keep Up Motivation
Updated: Jul 10, 2021
Now that we are at the beginning of a new year - what better time than now to start a regular journaling practice. Journaling can not only help you adhere to your wellness journey, but also boost your memory and mindfulness and promote better sleep (I mean, who doesn't want a sharper memory and better sleep?).
Below are some strategies on creating positive momentum around your food choices to help you with your 2021 wellness goals.
First, start each day of journaling with a gratitude list (and a cozy cup of hot coffee of course!). Your gratitude list should be different and unique each day and specific enough to evoke some emotional connection. For instance, instead of listing "my family", I might write "watching my baby daughter learn how to stand on her own and being so proud of herself". Aim for 3-5 things you are grateful for each day. Over time, you will begin to notice everyday occurrences in a new light.
Now that you've started your journaling in a positive headspace, you can move onto creating your list of the top tasks you need to get done today in order to maintain momentum on your goals. Keep them simple and attainable (not a laundry list of 20 to-do items) - Trust me, these tasks will compound in benefit over time as you complete them. These can be personal or professional goals. Perhaps it's "Research online how to start my own website", "Do a HIIT Peloton ride", and "Light meal prep for family".
Plan your meals for the day.
This is where your food journaling comes into play! Whenever possible, quickly jot down what you plan to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, (snack), and dinner. I've found this simple step to be incredibly powerful in adhering to my wellness goals, simply because I am the most motivated and clearheaded first thing in the morning.
For each meal, highlight your sources of vegetables, protein, fat, and fiber. Aim to consume all of these categories at each meal to ensure satiety and reduce mid-meal cravings. Of course, life happens (especially with a family), and you can't always stick to your ideal meal choices. No sweat, there will be another morning the next day to reset your focus and priorities. This morning exercise sets the tone for the day and what you are striving to achieve.
Allow time for reflection.
At the end of your time journaling, spend a few minutes writing out all of your thoughts and feelings that come up. Sometimes I like to free flow and other times I prefer a journal prompt. Below are some of my favorites to get my writing juices flowing:
- When do I feel most in tune with myself?
- If I could manifest anything in one year, what would it be and what would my life look like?
- How would I describe myself in three words and why?
Bonus: Energy, Mood, Outlook, Sleep, and Motivation Scores.
If you are like me and enjoy seeing trends in your journals (nerd alert), you can give yourself a "score" (1-10) for the following categories (or create your own!):
I've been writing these out for several years now - and find giving me these quick metrics highlights where I'm at objectively and without judgement. Sometimes I jot notes next to each score - i.e. Sleep: 2 (baby was up three times last night!); Energy: 8 (feeling clear headed after enjoying a morning smoothie); Motivation: 9.5 (feeling fired up to tackle today's work projects).
I've found these journaling tips to be helpful in sustaining motivation for my healthy habits. Hope you found them beneficial! Comment below your favorite tips and tricks for journaling.