It has now been over four months since I started writing a journal, a promise I made to myself at the start of the year was that I would try to keep some form of log or diary. I have stuck to my word and have forgotten to write about my day only a handful of times. For the most part, I would just summarise my day, what I did and a few interesting things that happened. I would often have to recall everything from the start of the day and would often miss certain parts of my day. I would fill the whole page and would often take longer than I wanted. I wanted to try and find a less time-consuming way, that I could still benefit from, of journaling.
About two weeks ago I remembered an article I read by Tim Ferris, and he detailed his morning routine where he would write the first half of his 5-minute journal. 5 MINUTES?!? So, I checked out the website that Ferris mentioned (https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-five-minute-journal, for those that want to know). I looked over the example of the page spread they included, see below for reference. I thought well I may as well give it a shot. So, for the past two weeks, I have been writing in the layout they use in my journal. Three questions in the morning and two at night.
The three questions in the morning that I answer:
- Three things I am grateful for
- What would make today great?
- Daily affirmations.
The questions are easy enough to quickly answer them, but they also make you think. When you think about the things that you are grateful for and you set some clear targets to make the day great. You can relax and remind yourself to be grateful, whilst also setting up clear goals that you have the option to complete. Knowing that once you complete or achieve them you can say that you have had a successful day. The Daily affirmations are not something I would usually have done, I often don’t think highly of myself and tend to shy away from telling myself I am great. However, since implementing the affirmations I have noticed a new form of confidence and self-belief that I didn’t find in myself.
I will note that on the occasion that I didn’t complete the morning questions I found myself to be a bit off, in the sense that I wasn’t as relaxed and I didn’t have a clear intention for the day. I was aggressive when driving to work and I was easily distracted throughout the day.
After the dinner is done and the dishes washed, I usually finish the journal before I get ready for bed. This is just the routine I use and I don’t think it really serves any purpose other than its just my routine, just thought I would include it. The two questions that I answer are:
- List 3 amazing things that happened during the day, and
- How could you have made today better?
The three things can relate to the 3 answers you gave in what would make the day great, but usually, I put in either things that I learnt or did during the day. Answering on how you could have made the day better is a great way of reflecting, this isn’t the time where you beat yourself up, it the time when you note the things you could improve on. It might be you want to better at listening instead of cutting people off, or it could be that you want to rest less in-between sets at the gym. These questions help you end the day on a positive note and help give you a goal for the next day, one piece of your puzzle to work on.
I haven’t missed a night question and I have not noticed any real change when sleeping, I have always been a good sleeper, so I cannot comment on the effects of sleep. But I do always go to sleep with a little less bouncing around the brain.
I am yet to buy the journals that Intelligent Change sells, I did this as a little experiment to see how it works and how it might help me improve my attitude. I will say that the journal they offer comes with daily quotes and weekly challenges that you might be interested in. I will say that you can find inspirational quotes everywhere, from Instagram pages to dedicated apps on your phone. I currently use a Google Chrome add-on called Momentum which gives you a daily quote everytime you open a new tab, it also displays a beautiful photo from somewhere in the world. You can find them here. And if you really want weekly challenges you can find them on the internet too.
The new tab when using the momentum add-on looks like this.
See if the 5-minute journal works for you, change it up a bit, add or remove questions. Make it your own.
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See you on the mats.