A New Year of Positive Thinking: There’s an App for That


I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I can’t seem to get through the month of January without breaking my personal promises to myself. Whether I’m resolving to lose 10 pounds, learn a foreign language or even something as seemingly simple as keeping my desk clutter-free, I inevitably end up failing.

A couple years ago, I joined the Project 365 New Year’s resolution bandwagon. You know, that’s the vow to document your life by snapping a picture every day. My husband was deploying, and I figured my daily photographs would be a great way to share with him the day-to-day of life at home. Sounds easy, right? That’s what I thought.

By the mid-year point, I had so many random photos floating around on my computer with no sense of organization that I decided to abandon the project altogether. Some photos made it into emails sent to my deployed husband. Some photos landed in blog posts. But for the most part, they sat in my Project 365 folder never to be looked at again.

I’d love to give this resolution another go, but I don’t want to end up with another folder collecting dust on my desktop. I need a way keep my photos organized with little to no effort on my part. I need to be able to see all them all at the touch of a button. I need to be able to email them and share them on Facebook. And if possible, I’d like a personal reminder to take a picture every day so I don’t cheat by taking 7 in one day and pretending I snapped them throughout the week.

Turns out, there’s an app for that.

“Photo 365” does exactly what I need. I take a picture on my iPhone. I open the app. I tap on today’s date on the calendar. I save and caption the photo. I email/Facebook/Tweet/Flickr the photo and/or the entire calendar page. And at 6:00 every evening, my phone dings to remind me to capture my daily photo.

It’s a Project 365 New Year’s resolution no-brainer. It’s a photo journal at my fingertips. It’s a quick and easy way to share my everyday life with faraway family members and a military husband who often misses those daily happenings.

But I think this app and the entire Project 365 can go far beyond that. As military spouses who spend a whole lot of time missing our servicemembers and trying to focus on the positives, we can use this as a deployment project, as a way to collect those positives to both cherish ourselves and pass along to the loved ones we’re missing.

If you’re really ambitious, you can take the project one step further and start a gratitude journal in which you list everything you’re thankful for each day. (Yes, there’s an app for that too.) Even on your worst days, there’s always something to be thankful for when you’re actively seeking out the positives. Then share those journal entries via email and pass that positivity along.

My iPhone is now stocked with both the “Photo 365” and “The Gratitude Journal” apps, ready and waiting to store all the positivity this new year will bring to me and my family. Whether you use an app or stick with a good old-fashioned camera and handwritten journal, whether you do it as a deployment project to stay connected with your husband or as a New Year’s resolution, these are great ways to make sure 2013 is your most positive year ever.

Are you planning to start a Project 365 or gratitude journal in 2013?

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