The Five Minute Journal
I am SUPER excited to be sharing the journal that I've been using since January 1st of this year...especially because I have always loathed journaling! Loathe is a strong word, and as beneficial as I know it can be, it's been a real challenge to adopt it into my regular routine over the past years. I've done a few challenges where I've made myself journal every day for a week, but I never knew what to write. I usually ended up writing things like, "I'm only writing in this journal because I have to," and "I should really have a more positive outlook about writing in my journal." Haha.
Well, fast forward to an amazing short podcast by Tim Ferriss (LINK HERE), where he talks about a few different techniques he uses to increase his mindfulness. It's only about 25 minutes, and I would HIGHLY recommend it! I actually got the idea of our Jar of Awesome from this podcast! In the episode he talked about The Five Minute Journal. Five Minutes? I was immediately intrigued. However, what really peaked my interest even more is that there is a prompt you fill out every morning and night. I think the most difficult part of journaling for me was not knowing what to write. The Five Minute Journal has you fill out the same thing every morning and night. SO easy.
When I went to order the journal ($22.95 plus shipping), I wanted to order two (one for Eric and one for me). I wasn't super excited about spending $50 on new journals (also since they were back-ordered and I wanted to start Jan 1, 2016), so I actually created my own template! Mine doesn't look as fancy as the real journal, but it gets the job done. Below is the format for each day:
- 3 things you are grateful for
- 3 things that would make today great
- 3 affirmations
- 3 amazing things that happened today
- 3 things I could have done better today
I will tell you, I am actually EXCITED to write in my journal every morning! I look forward to writing down amazing things that happened, what I am grateful for, what I am looking forward to each day, and how I could have improved! One of my favorite things is when the "3 things that would make today great" end up in the "3 amazing things that happened today" list later that night.
There really is something to be said about actually writing something down rather than just thinking about it. Writing things out by hand helps put it into your subconscious, and we are operating out of our subconscious anywhere from 88-98% of the time. I really do believe that writing down the things that will make today great plants the seeds into my subconscious and I am more likely to accomplish them. I ALSO noticed that I have been able to more clearly pick out areas where I was procrastinating or making poor decisions! For example, for multiple days in a row I wrote that "I could have spent time training the dog" in my "3 things I could have done better today." After seeing it multiple days in a row, I realized this was clearly something that was important to me, but I just hadn't realized it enough to prioritize it. By seeing it in writing, it stuck out much more to me! I also noticed that days that I had eaten foods high in refined sugars I noted that I wished I had not eaten them in the "3 things I could have done better today." It made me realize that while I get the instant gratification of the taste, the after effects of headaches clearly weren't worth it to me, because I almost always journaled that I wish I hadn't eaten them. It really makes me think twice before eating these foods, and more it's made it much easier to say no because I know I will most likely regret it later.
The above examples are only just a few of the things I have learned about and been able to improve, and I'm only about 6 weeks in with this journal! If you are someone like me who hasn't enjoyed writing in a journal in the past, I highly recommend giving it a try! I can honestly say I look forward to it each morning and night! I even brought it on vacation with me.
If you'd like to buy the official Five Minute Journal, click here!
Or, if you'd like to make your own, click here for my template! It prints out two days on each 8.5"x11" piece of paper. From there I used a paper cutter to cut each sheet in half, and then 3-hole punched each sheet and put them in a half size 3-ring binder. Most hole punches are adjustable and can accommodate the smaller pages. I have faith you'll figure it out :)