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How to Create a Cheer Up Journal and Use Positive Thinking to Improve Your Life

Updated on January 1, 2018
A Cheer Up Journal may be what you need to stay positive
A Cheer Up Journal may be what you need to stay positive | Source

A New Year's Resolution You Can Keep: Cheer Up Journals

Would you like to start the new year with a resolution that is easy to keep and makes you feel good, too? We're going to keep positive by creating a cheer up journal. It's different than a gratitude journal and more enjoyable to work with. Are you ready to take on the challenge? Although January 1st has the feeling of a fresh start, you can start your journal any time of year. Let's add some positivity to this new year.

It sounds easy, doesn't it? Just be more positive. Yeah, that will work. Don't be so cynical! There are things we can do to shift our perspective without much effort. One way is to remind ourselves that there are good things happening each and every day of our lives. Writing out the things that cheer us up each day is an easy way to refocus on the things that matter, remind us that there are nice people in our lives, and help get us out of the doldrums.

A cheer up journal can be started at the beginning of the year or at any time! It's not just for the new year. I'll show you how to create it and how to make it an important part of your day. The rest is up to you.

Do you keep a journal?

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What is a Cheer Up Journal?

Oprah Winfrey made gratitude journals a part of people's daily routine. In this journal, you keep a running list of the things you are grateful for. It helps you to count your blessings.

A cheer up journal is a bit different. Instead of noting your blessings as such, you write down the good things that happened to you during the day.

You aren't looking for really big, amazing things. Not everyone gets to win the lottery or lands the perfect job on the first interview they go to. You're looking for the small things that happen at any moment, but are easily forgotten. No deed is too small for your journal.

Shed a Little Light on Your World

Studio Oh! Spiral Notebook, Shine
Studio Oh! Spiral Notebook, Shine

A spiral bound notebook with blank lined pages. The 8.5" by 5.5" format makes it easy to throw into a drawer.


Things You Might Write About

Received a card from my aunt
Ebook I've been waiting for is available at the library for download
Chocolate brownie was so good!
Got a photo of that strange bird in the neighborhood
Came across this quote "...." (list the quote)
Bizarro cartoon cracked me up (put in a copy of the cartoon)
My niece called
My sister baked cookies and shared them with me
Got that job I interviewed for last month!!!
Woman said thank you when I let her go ahead of me at the grocery store
When my flowers are in bloom, it cheers me up.
When my flowers are in bloom, it cheers me up. | Source

How to Create a Cheer Up Journal

There are a couple of ways you can go about it. You can put your entries into a word processing file on your computer . You can buy a journal or diary, then write your entries in it. Are you creative? Get some paper and marking pens. Make your own.

If you prefer the smaller screen, there are many apps made for memos and journaling. Check your mobile device's app store to see what is available. Then, you can note entries while you are on the go.

There is no set formula as to what you should write. It's entirely up to you. Nor is it something you should force yourself to do. It shouldn't be a burden or a chore. Otherwise, it would be your “Ways I Bother Myself Daily Journal”.

It should be a simple thing that you do during the day, but not something that you struggle through because you are determined to fill the page.

Making it My Own

I keep my journal on my computer in LibreOffice, a word processor. I list nice things that have happened to me, things I've spotted in nature, things that amuse me (stories, cartoons, etc.), and quotes and poems that I like. I don't write in it every day, but I add to it regularly.

When I'm feeling annoyed, mistreated, or out of sorts, I open the file. I read a few entries. It usually doesn't take me long before I find myself smiling and feeling lighter. It's good to have this reminder.

Does an unexpected visitor make your day?
Does an unexpected visitor make your day? | Source

We Could All Use a Little Cheering Up

It's not always easy to see the sunny side of life. Work gets boring, we've had some rough times in our relationships, the kids are driving us up the wall, that new couch has a spot that no one will own up to...been there, done that, right?

When you feel like life is beating you up, take out that journal. Read through the entries. You're sure to feel a little better after you've recalled some items. You've forgotten a few, haven't you? It was good to remember that phone call from your niece and those cookies were delicious.

It's okay to get frustrated with life. It happens to us all. But, you have tools like a cheer up journal to remind you that in all the frustration good things happen, too.

Let's face it, we can't always depend on those around us to be cheer leaders every time we need a pep talk or a little pick me up. Keeping a journal let's you tap into a similar vein whenever you need it.

Oh, don't get me wrong. You still need people. But, the journal can be there at 2 am or on your lunch break. You best friend might like sleeping and eating. Don't we all?

The Tree of Life Journal

Tree of Life Journal (Diary, Notebook)
Tree of Life Journal (Diary, Notebook)

This journal has light lines that don't interfere with your notes and drawings. The 5" by 7" size makes it easy to keep with you. There's also a pocket in the back cover if you'd like to save snippets like comics, articles, etc.


Make It Your Own

I've told you about my journal, how I set it up, and how I use it. You can start with my approach or find one of your own. You might like to make it a daily or weekly practice. You might like to end your days with an entry or two. You might want to keep it spontaneous and write in it whenever the mood strikes you. Just don't let the mood pass you by.

You might like keeping it on your tablet or computer. You may want to be a little more creative with it by buying a plain journal, then writing in it with colored pens. I can't draw, but you might be good at it. Use crayons if you want. It's yours and yours alone.

Whatever format you choose, be sure to write something down regularly. Even if it's something like “the neighbor waved this morning”, it is still something. Like most things, it may take some practice to get into the swing of things.

You may find during that first few days or weeks that you don't really notice anything. It is a lot easier to fume over the person who cut you off in traffic than the person who let you step in front of them in line at the coffee shop. You might have to be very deliberate in remembering at first to shift your perspective. You may have to scrape off a bit of the rust.

If you find yourself saying "nothing good ever happens!", you are either looking too hard or not hard enough. Stick to simple things and you'll see them. They are there waiting for you to notice.

Will you feel better remembering that chocolate cake a friend brought over this weekend?
Will you feel better remembering that chocolate cake a friend brought over this weekend? | Source

Why Keep a Cheer Up Journal?

Why not? You got something against it? (Kidding, of course!)

Feeble attempts at humor aside, the reason I began keeping a cheer up journal is at one time I was in a funk. My spondylitis was being a pain (literally) and stuff was bugging me. I tried the grateful thing, but after a couple pages I felt a bit tapped out.

I decided on a different approach. I thought about different things that had happened recently that made me feel good. Remembering them made me feel better. If I kept a list of those things, I could refer to them when I was feeling out of sorts. It could cheer me up and help me change my perspective. Hit the ol' reset button, so to speak.

They say that journaling relieves stress. I'm pretty sure we all need a little bit of stress reduction in our frazzled lives.

Take a One Month Challenge

Why not give it a test run? For the next 30 days, make a point of noting things on a sheet of binder paper, a note pad, or on your computer. Then, when the month is done, go over your list. Did it make you feel any better to remember these items?

You might find it's not for you. That's okay. At least you gave it a shot. Then again, you might really like having these little reminders close at hand. Every bad day needs a little help.

Give it a go! You might be pleasantly surprised when you look back over your journal and see the pleasant things that have transpired.


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    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 weeks ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Sounds like a good idea. I've never been able to stick to journal writing, but just making notes here and there about something I liked or made me happy sounds like something that would grow & grow. I'll give it a try. :)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 24 months ago from California

      Maria, Thanks for the comment! Hope you've got a new start on your journaling.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 2 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I'm behind (very behind, way behind) on my journaling. Thanks for reminding me to catch up.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Virginia, thanks for your comments! I have started gratitude journals in the past. While I feel gratitude, you can only write so many things before you get repetitious. Focusing on positive things that happen during the day means you'll usually have something new to write about. Good luck with your journaling!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I like the slight change in slant to cheer up instead of gratitude. I've been lax in writing in my journal this year. Maybe this will give me a focus to note at least one thing down each day.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comments, DeborahDian! I agree...we all could use some joy and positivity in our lives.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      You're welcome, Kathryn! I think it has a little longer lasting power than a gratitude journal. At least, it does for me.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thanks for your comments and the vote, Kristen! We all need help keeping positive sometimes.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      We all need to focus on the joy in our lives. Great info!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      I like this concept! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Mel, two thumbs up on this idea. What a great thing to do. Voted up for awesome!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Lorelei, I'm pleased that you got something from my article and the duck picture. :D Thanks for your comments!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      You made my day today Mel thank you so much. I am so very grateful. Love your duck picture - oh how appropriate it is :)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thanks for the comment and the interesting vote, Suzanne! We could all use a bit of optimism in our day! I hope the journal helps out.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I am well overdue for one of these. Thanks for the idea, I think it would help me emotionally to keep an optimistic journal ;) Voted interesting!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Catherine, thanks for your comments! These little things we do are a way to balance us. When the world seems unfair or there is too much negativity floating around us, we need to sit back and remember the small kindnesses in our lives. Sometimes it's the thing that puts us back on the right track.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      A cheerup journal sounds like a wonderful idea. I have often quoted Oprah myself in my writings specifically mentioning her gratitude journal. It is important to remember to be grateful even when everything in your life seems bad.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Margaret, thank you for the comments! I think this type of journal is more effective than a gratitude journal because you can add to it perpetually. There are always good things happening in our lives, so opportunities to add to it will always be there.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Melody, I LOVE this idea! I've been feeling pretty down in the dumps, and while I try to focus on the many things I'm grateful for, thinking about them makes me grateful but doesn't cheer me up. This is so simple and yet it seems as though it could be very powerful. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      CrisSP, Thanks for sharing how you use your journal. It really can be an effective way to relieve stress and refocus our minds. Thanks for your comments!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I wish I could send you a photo of my cheer up journal. :) Well, actually it's a smörgåsbord journal but I write mostly about the things that cheers me up to lighten up and kick my day. Long ago, I tried an e-journal and when my computer crashed, I lost everything. So, now I'm back to the basic and old-fashioned way of journaling and I doodle in my journal as well. Agree, it is indeed, a stress reliever (works for me) and it's fun!

      Good hub!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thank you MsDora! This world could use a little more cheer (and each of us in it!)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      The cheer up journal is a great idea! Thanks for sharing your insights into why it is so important. I totally agree.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thanks for you comments, Randall! That is a coincidence, the Ankylosing Spondylitis. I can understand what you are dealing with, too.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Jodah, thanks for your comments! I hope the journal works for you. I know it's really helped with my perspective. Life can really bog us down at times.

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      A nice hub Mel. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis myself, so I know how bad that can be.

      Good job!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Mel, this is a great idea. I have a journal but am not good at keeping it up to date. Most of the time I forget to write in it apart from important dates and appointments. Now I am going to make it a cheer up journal an write anything positive that happens in it. Thank you for sharing this .