For years I used to search the Internet looking for ways that I could get the most out of every day, or advice on how I could improve myself in both my personal and professional life, and what was the best way to keep on track with my goals and dreams for the future.
I did write ‘every day’ as the answers varied and changed with every article I read or video that I watched.
Then I read the wonderful book Leading an Inspired Life written by motivational speaker/entrepreneur Jim Rohn, and I was introduced to the wonderful habit of journalling. When I decided to invest in myself and make journalling a daily habit, it helped me to transform and change my life in ways that I could never have dreamed of.
Questions To Ask Yourself:
Do you want to take control of your life? Do you want to continue on the same path that you are currently on, or do you want to have a clear and exciting roadmap for your future? And finally, are you willing to invest just 5 minutes a day on yourself? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I am genuinely excited and happy what I am about to share with you.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.“ Aristotle
What Journal Is Right For You?
There are many different kinds of journals available today. Each one has its own benefits. Here is a collection of the different journals that I have used. The journal I am going to cover here is The 5 Minute Journal.
The 5 Minute Journal
Tim Ferris said this about using The 5 Minute journal: “It is one of the simplest ways that I have found to consistently ensure improving my well being and happiness. Both in terms of achievement and actual measurable, quantifiable results.”
This is high praise indeed from the author of the 4 Hour Work Week and renowned expert in personal productivity.
If you are looking for the science behind how The 5-Minute Journal can dramatically improve your life, it is because it accomplishes what psychologists call the “ABC of change.”
- A = Affective: The 5 Minute Journal primes you with powerful quotes and feelings of appreciation and gratitude.
- B = Behavioral: The 5 Minute Journal makes writing an easy and enjoyable daily habit.
- C = Cognitive: The 5 Minute Journal trains your mind to focus only on the positive.
The Morning Routine:
Every page starts with a positive and inspiring quote to start your day with a powerful positive mindset.
The first section that you fill out is the Date/Month/Year. This is really useful for looking back on the improvements that you have made, and also how your goals and priorities might have changed over time.
Then the magic really happens, The 5 Minute Journal makes the habit of journaling easy by guiding you through a list of questions and areas to fill out.
First you are asked:
What am I grateful for?
There are many benefits of practicing gratitude on a daily basis. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking the time to notice and reflect about the things that they are thankful for, experience more positive emotions; they feel more alive, sleep better and express more compassion and kindness. Gratitude does not have to be reserved for only momentous occasions: Sure, you might want to express gratitude after receiving a promotion or a pay rise at work, but you can also be thankful for wonderful the things in your life such as your health, your family and your positive mindset.
“The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for.” – Zig Ziglar
The next section that you fill out is:
What would make today great?
This is a simple and effective way to brainstorm for ideas and activities that will keep you on track with your goals. This is also a powerful way of re-programming your brain to ‘see’ what you can do to improve your well being every day. I only write down things that I have control over. Such as,
- Eat a healthy breakfast.
- Exercise for 30 minutes.
- Watch less television and
- Read for 60 minutes.
The next exercise that you fill out is:
Daily affirmations. I am…
“I AM” are two powerful words, for what you put after them has the power to shape your reality.
What kind of attitudes, or characteristics would you like to further develop within yourself? Using the power of affirmations does not necessarily mean that you want to ‘change’ something from bad to good. It can also mean that you are looking to make a good quality you already like about yourself even better!
I recommend that after you write down your daily affirmation, you actually say it out loud with total belief and passion.
Here are some examples of powerful affirmations:
- I am feeling happy and enthusiastic about life.
- I am worthy of all things wonderful.
- I am intentionally promoting a life filled with joy.
- I am on the right path. I am moving in the right direction.
- I am healthy and full of confidence.
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” – Jim Rohn
The Evening Routine:
The next section that you fill in every evening is:
3 Amazing things that happened today…
This is a great exercise to reflect on your wins for the day. No matter how big or small, every step in the right direction is an amazing thing to happen. When you start to look out for the amazing things happening in your life you seem to attract more wonderful things, call it the Law of Attraction, call it the power of positive thinking, either way it is a powerful way to end each day.
Finally you are asked:
How could I have made today better?
- Did I spend too much time watching TV?
- Perhaps I spent a little too much time using social media?
- Maybe I did not ring the friend or relative that I promised that I would?
This is not a question to beat yourself up with. It simply serves as a reminder to keep you focused on the things you should be doing to keep you on the right track to achieve your exciting goals and dreams for the future.
“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma
I think that The 5 Minute Journal is a wonderful tool to use if you have either never used a journal before, or if you have tried journaling in the past but you just did not know what to write. The 5 Minute Journal makes journaling a fun and exciting daily habit. I also know that if you make the investment in yourself and start using this journal, you will enjoy this wonderful daily habit and you will start to see the benefits almost immediately.