Five Minute Journal

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A little while back, Corbin sent me the link to a great Tim Ferriss podcast all about cultivating mindfulness. I listened to it while getting groceries one night and Corbin listened to it on his own. After hearing the podcast, he was inspired to pick up a copy of the Five Minute Journal. As soon as his copy arrived in the mail and he told me a bit more about it, I knew I wanted to get a Five Minute Journal too!

What is the Five Minute Journal?

It's a simple way to work towards being feeling happier every day. In just five minutes, you can work towards a positive pattern of thinking and cultivate some great feelings of gratitude, positivity, accomplishment and joy. 

It starts in the morning - each day you start by sharing 3 things you are grateful for, 3 things that could make the day great and a daily affirmation. In the introduction to the book, it gives you some insight on the ins and outs of these practices, but day-to-day it's fairly simple. In the evening you write 3 amazing things that happened in your day and a way you could have made your day better. 

That's it. 

There is a page for each day and each book covers half a year. The introduction has you write a contract to yourself to commit to writing in the journal for five days in a row, to help you build this new habit and feel accomplished when you hit the five day mark!

You could absolutely take this concept and do it in your own notebook, but the book is laid out beautifully with quotes or weekly challenges at the top of each page. 

You're encouraged to keep your journal near your bedside so that it's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you do before you go to sleep. The idea is that by starting your day with gratitude and positive thinking, you can set an uplifting tone for your day. Finishing off with your journal each day is a lovely way to invest in yourself and establish a great routine before heading into dream land. (And a great way to ditch the Facebook-scrolling-on-your-phone habit that far too many of us are guilty of - myself included)

It's been three solid weeks of journalling and it's becoming a wonderful part of my life. I aim to start my days with my journal, rather than reach for my phone. In Tim's podcast, he shared some helpful guidelines to vary your gratitude list each day by committing to writing down new things each day. His suggestions included: something simple near you (an object or thing), an old relationship that helped you a lot, an opportunity that you have today and something great that happened yesterday. When writing my list, I find myself reflecting on many positive aspects of my life which truly sets a positive tone for my day. Some things on my list have included:

  • naps
  • library books
  • relationships with many great friends
  • yummy lunches packed by Corbin
  • beautiful photos of my mom
  • snuggles
  • homemade granola
  • Skype dates with my bestie who is overseas
There have been times when writing in my journal has helped me to get out of a funk or see where I could have done something differently to make my day better. It encourages me to improve myself every day and enables me to see even the smallest wins in my day, when it hasn't felt super. 

I also really love the daily affirmation, because I've been focusing on a practice of visualization in 2016. Sharing one of my affirmations to start each day is the perfect reminder of that. 

It has also become a lovely way for Corbin and I to connect. We often share things that we've written down and encourage one another to make our journal a priority before we go to bed. It is cool to have that accountability, but I also think that it strengthens our relationship as a couple and a sweet thing that we share. 

The Five Minute Journal has been a welcome addition to my routine this year and I am proud to be going into my fourth consecutive week of journal-writing consistency! This is a great practice, even for folks who don't consider themselves journal writers. It's so easy, brightens my days, strengthens my visualization / affirmation practice and helps to bring me closer to my partner. I'm a big fan. 

How do you cultivate mindfulness and gratitude into your daily life?

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