I have been making monthly highlights pages for nearly a year and a half now and absolutely love them. I really enjoy taking some time out each month to reflect on the goodness of the month just gone.
They started as an extension to the gratitude journal I began in 2012. I LOVED that journal, but it was kind of bulky and didn’t show my life in full, so the following year I decided to incorporate my gratitude lists in my everything journal instead. That was such a smart move! It’s fantastic seeing the lists of what I’m grateful for in among all the other stuff going on in my life. It gives them context and makes them feel even more meaningful.
Seeing how much I loved having my gratitude lists in my everyday journal, I decided to take it a step further and make monthly highlight pages in my art journal too. They have had pretty much the same effect. It’s great seeing these pages dotted in among my regular art journal pages. Having them all together makes it a much richer experience.
Since I started showing my highlight pages on the blog last May, I’ve had a lot of questions about them. So I thought I’d take a few moments today to explain how these pages have helped me, and how they can help you too.
The benefits of creating monthly highlight pages
* It’s a regular creative habit.
Life’s busy. Creative pursuits often get tucked into life’s darkest nooks and crannies. I get it, I have been there, but doing something like this once a month keeps up a regular creative habit. You don’t need to be artistic or have special materials. You can easily make these pages using things you already own. A few months ago I made a simple page using basic shapes, ruled paper and highlighters to prove that very point- and it still did everything it was supposed to do. It kept the good memories I wanted to keep.
* It makes you more aware of the good things in your life.
Days, month, and years whiz by. Monthly highlight pages give you the chance to stop, look back, and reflect on the goodness in your life on a regular basis. When you notice how good your life actually is, you are a lot less likely to complain about it, and as a result you become much more content with what you have.
*They remind you how good a month was at a glance.
I’ve made these pages for nearly a year and a half now, and love going back to check out old pages. Old pages are great reminders when you are having a tough day or month. Life goes on, there’s hope.
* They stop you dwelling on the hard times.
It’s easy to be grateful when life is all smooth sailing. But monthly highlight pages really come into their own when times are hard or stressful. We all have months like that, and our instinct is to not make pages those months and just forget about them, but they’re usually when we need them the most. They give you a chance to switch your thinking.
To begin with you may only be able to remember the hard stuff, but don’t give up. Stay with it. Keep adding layers to the page. After a while the good stuff will rise to the surface. Because no matter how gloomy a month may seem when you first look back on it, there’s always a lot of goodness waiting to rise to the top. When you stick with it, you don’t leave a month on a bad note, instead you see and appreciate the goodness.
A final note:
I don’t usually look at my planner until after I’ve come up with a few ideas. The pages tends to be much more natural if I write things down as they come to me, using the words that come to me, rather than the way they are written in my planner. After a few months, the simple act of sitting down to make the page will make this process a lot easier.
I hope this helps and that you would consider making them yourself. They are a great tool.
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