Happy New Year to you!  Now is when we start thinking about what we want to improve upon and accomplish in the coming year.  A lot of my resolutions are about getting into better habits.  Whether it is eating better, getting more exercise, or learning something new, these things require regular attention.  Instead of just writing down my intentions as a (boring) list, I’ve found a way to make it fun to track my progress throughout the whole year.  Part coloring book, part goal tracker – I give to you, the Resolution Journal.  Here’s how to make your own!

Resolution Journal

Set your Resolutions

Ok, we’re going to start with that boring list I mentioned.  List out all of the things you want to do in the new year.  Around 5 – 10 resolutions is a good number to work with, but it’s your journal so go higher or lower as you wish.  Take note of the frequency in which you want to do certain things, i.e. daily, 3 times a week, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.  If there is a certain time of year when resolutions are applicable, note that as well.

Create a Journal Template

For my journal, I used 8×11 paper folded in half booklet style.  I used just the right pages for the resolutions, and kept the left pages blank so I can use them for journaling.  Each resolution page represents a week of the year. At the top of the page is the month and days of the week, and the body I broke into 4 rows with 9 total parts. Each of these parts will hold an illustration of one of my resolutions. Create a layout that works for the number of resolutions you have and use it as the template for each page.

Draw Illustrations

Now is the fun part, draw your resolutions. Using the template you just made, determine which resolution will go in which slot. Draw a simple picture that will fill that space that represents your resolution.  The drawings should have open space so you can color them in.  If you noted that you want to do something every day of the week, you may want to add 7 distinct parts to color in so you can track how much you did that week.

If you are happy to color in the same picture every week, stick with the one drawing you made.  I wanted to color in a different picture each week, so I made a set of 4 drawings for my resolutions, and rotate through them.  You can see in my drawings for my “read everyday” resolution, that I have different drawings and they each have 7 different spots for me to color in (e.g. the rainbow has 7 stripes).

Upload to your Computer

Now that you have all of your little pictures and a plan for where they should go on the page, scan them or photograph them to add the images to your computer.  In either process, you will likely want to play with the brightness, contrast and mid-tones on the photos until you have a pure white background and all that’s left is your drawing. Also be sure to crop these close to their edges as they will sit next to each other on the page. I used simple programs that are already on my computer for the entire project, in this case Microsoft Office 2010 Photo Editor.

Set up your Publication

For the next step, I recommend using Microsoft Publisher (or a similar program) as it has the capability of printing pages in Booklet form.  This will save you the mind twisting puzzle of trying to figure out how to get your pages in order.  Set up a custom page size of 5.5×8.5 Portrait (half the size of a 8.5×11).

Before you start throwing all of your images onto the page, decide how you will bind your journal.  If you are not familiar with binding techniques, these instructions work well, or research other book binding methods before you begin. In the set up I have used of one resolution page and one blank page per week, that equals 104 pages.  It is best to split this up into multiple signatures, I have done this as 4 signatures of 20 pages each and 2 signatures of 16 pages (this includes a couple blank ones at the end).

Position Pictures for Printing

In Publisher set your view to Side by Side and add in the pages you will need for the first signature.  Now start to paste in and position your drawings into your journal, leaving the left page empty.  I set up my four unique pages and just copied and pasted these as I went through the rest of the journal.  You can always move one or two items around as needed after pasting.

Open a new file and repeat the same steps until you have all of your signatures completed.

Printing

Prepare your first signature file for printing by going to the print menu.  Choose Booklet Side Fold, Print on Both Sides, Flip on Short Edge and then Print. Once the first signature is printed, take it from the printer and fold it in half to make the booklet.  Repeat these settings for the remaining signatures.

Bind your journal and enjoy keeping your resolutions this year!

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