I just want to share with you a great resource I stumbled upon a few months ago called The Five Minute Journal created by Alex Ikonn and fellow Torontonian UJ Ramdas. This is just what it says it is, a five minute journal but it helps shift focus to the positive aspects of your life to help improve our happiness. What makes this journal different than the typical journaling about the days events as seen on TV, is that it is split up into two entries per day, one when you first wake up and one before going to sleep.
The morning entry, which goes nicely with a glass of water and freshly squeezed lemon, helps to create productive habits right from the moment I wake up. Below is an overview of what this journal entails.
Three things I am grateful for
Writing down what it is I am grateful for each day is an amazing exercise in and of itself. My appreciation for all that I have creates a balance, as I often find myself spending too much time on the things I don’t have, which can be depressing. The things we do have, no matter how small, are often taken for granted and rarely acknowledged and it is here where I usually come to realize I am accomplishing a lot and am headed down the right path than I give myself credit for.
Three things that would make today great
This sets the tone for the rest of the day by improving my focus, so that what needs to get done, gets done while reinforcing confidence in being able to accomplish my goals.
Daily Affirmation, I am…
I love writing daily affirmations, because what ever I write is the last thing I think of and depending on what is on tap for the day, it provides me with encouragement to build upon. An affirmation is the “declaration that something is true.” For example, one that I write down quite often is “I am a strong and confident public speaker.”
In the evening, a second entry is written, which I like to recommend as part of solid pre bed time routine. For me, the evening entries are the “real” gold. I am rather well driven, so even though the morning journal helps to reinforce what I want to accomplish for the day, it is the evening entry that allows me to find patterns, that either support my success or hinder it.
Three amazing things that happened today
Noting the highlights of the day is a great way to stay grounded, focused and happy. There are times when I have more than three amazing things to share but there are times when I struggle. I actually like the days I struggle because it makes me really think hard about some of the things I may be taking for granted, which truly are great.
What would have made today better?
This final section of the journal is a great way to reflect on the day and identify the areas where you could have done things differently in order to produce a more favourable outcome. For me, I usually pinpoint where I didn’t prepare food, or didn’t have a solid plan in mind which caused me to cheat on my nutrition plan. Or, it reminds me that I didn’t get something done during the day due to mindless time spent on social media. No matter what it may be, it is good to get it off your chest and on to paper so you can let it go and work on correcting the problem tomorrow. Sometimes I use this section as a straight up “mind dump,” which allows the hamster in my head to get some much needed rest.
As someone who values a more holistic approach to life, the The Five Minute Journal is a great tool to help me ensure I am staying on point with everything I want to accomplish in life, which in turn will provide happiness at the same time expressing my gratitude for what I have so I never miss an opportunity to say “thank you” or “I love you” to those around me.
*I am not affiliated with The Five Minute Journal or it’s creators in any way. I just want to share a great tool that has helped me become a happier person. In that past, I have also used The Artists Way and The Artists Way Handbook with great success.
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