In January, Tiffany and I started our Five-Minute Journal, a popular journal we heard about on Jess Lively’s weekly podcast. We wanted to use today’s post to bring you into our process and tell you how it is going.
Tiffany: I’m about a month in to writing in my Five-Minute Minute Journal. It has been quite some time since I’ve consistently written in a journal though I used to when I was in my school days. Given the limited time and energy I feel like I have these days, the idea of taking just 5 minutes sounded great.
The journal starts with an explanation of why the journal is set up in the way that it is. In the morning, you answer a set of questions about what you’re grateful for, what would make today great, and a daily affirmation. You write again in the evening about the amazing things that happened that day and what you could have done to make the day better. I love this quote in the explanation: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
What I love about this whole thing is that it helps you to create a lens to see the world. You start your day off with thinking about things you’re grateful for and planning how to make the day great. I found that it really does change my outlook. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself driving to work and thinking about all sorts of other reasons I am grateful. Is it weird to say that I also feel like I’ve had a really good string of good days too since I started this? Coincidence? I don’t know.
I have never done anything with affirmations before this and I also found that when I state something that I want to be true at the beginning of the day, it seemed to actually come true. At work and at home, I’m in a big period of transitions so part of what I’ve written pretty consistently is “I am flexible and open to change.” As funny as that is to write down, I swear it makes it true when you put it intentionally out there in the world.
Becca: I started my Five-Minute Minute Journal about a week after Tiffany, so I’m roughly on week four. I’ve gone through periods of my life where I wrote in a journal, definitely through high school and into college, and occasionally throughout my twenties. My writings would be about my worries or fears, how the day went, what I was excited about, lots of boy drama. The typical stuff. So when I heard about the The Five-Minute Journal I was intrigued, curious. I heard it was different, that it asked a series of questions that prompted a response vs. being a free response like I had written in the past. I also had Tiffany telling me it was well worth 5 minutes.
According to Amazon, “The Five-Minute Journal has been created by combining the proven elements of positive psychology that can make all of the difference in your life.” It also has the tag line “A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day”. I honestly couldn’t agree more.
Each morning and evening I spent just 5 minutes, often less time, writing and thinking about the day, what I am grateful for and what could have gone better. Some days I feel I can write many things about both topics, other days I struggle to identify things in either bucket. Either way, I take the time to reflect, to bring intention into my day, even just for a moment. I look forward to these two moments of quiet that I plan for, and thus am mostly guaranteed to have, on a daily basis. They are glorious.
You might be thinking, do you ever run out of time? Ever forget to write in your journal? Oh yes. One night I even woke up at 1am, randomly remembered I forgot to write in my journal that night, and decided to do so then. One day I forgot entirely (I blame the stomach flu). And I’ve been a few minutes late to work once or twice. But generally I remember, because I enjoy it and I don’t mind making time for it. I look forward to it!
We both have the same bottom line – This is well worth 5 minutes of your day. Give it a try!