Starting the New Year — Being Intentional with Time through Journaling

Aditi Banerjee
3 min readJan 7, 2024

My family and I ushered in the new year in Dubai and the first few days of 2024 were a holiday for me. One thing I made sure to do, though, was order my journal for 2024 in advance so that I could begin my journaling right away in the first week of the year.

As I get older, I’ve come to realize that the most precious things we have are time and our health. Our time on Earth is precious; it is said that we take on 8.4 million life forms in various births and of these a human birth is the hardest and most precious to obtain. In this birth, we do not know how much time we have allowed to us during our brief sojourn on Earth in this mortal form. But time is fleeting and it is incumbent upon us to make the most of it, to leave the world without regret and at peace.

The problem, actually, is not that we have too little time; it is that we misuse time and fritter it away. We count dollars and cents but rarely count days and hours and minutes in the same way.

In order to make the most of life, we have to be intentional with our time and our energy.

I am not an advocate for New Year’s resolutions. A one-year timeframe is too vast to effectively build towards goals. What ends up happening is that we procrastinate until December, by which time we’ve forgotten the enthusiastic vows we adopted in January. Also, focusing on results (losing weight) rather than actions (exercising daily) is not particularly helpful — we cannot control outcomes but we can control our actions and our efforts. Focusing on results distracts us from what we can control to become obsessed with and anxious about that which we cannot control.

This is where journaling is so helpful. I have been using a variation of the planner pictured above for years. The first several pages are about the big picture — lifetime dreams and ambitions, exploration of core values and priorities, a vision board. Then this gets distilled into one-year goals, which are chunked out into three-month milestones and goals, each with its own strategy and action items. Space is made for monthly, weekly, and daily planning and reflection, including a habit tracker.

The focus is on specific action items and creating routines for success. Constant monitoring and reflection allows for an honest assessment of progress and making necessary tweaks along the way. I like this approach because it brings together the big picture and the small daily steps needed to achieve those larger dreams.

As Guru Rimpoche, Padmasambhava, once said,

Maintain the view as spacious as the sky. Yet, in conduct, regard cause and effect as fine as grains of flour.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Journaling helps keep us connected to both.

So, my resolution for 2024 is to make a daily habit of journaling in order to help me make progress in spiritual, physical, and personal development.

We cannot control Time, but we can control what we do with the Time that has been given to us.

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2024!



Aditi Banerjee

Published novelist. Practicing attorney. Writer and speaker on Indic civilization and Hinduism. Incurable wanderlust for the Himalayas and other fabled lands.