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Smile More with Journalling   Leave a comment

I’ve been using the Five Minute Journal each day as part of my journey to better myself.  It’s a really nice journal and really easy to use.  It comes in a physical version or an electronic version.  I prefer to use the electronic version as I can add a daily pic to my journal.  Also, the physical version also only has so much space whereas you can keep writing and make each entry as long as you want on the electronic version.

Whichever one you choose, the idea behind the journal is to be able to jot down your thoughts in about five minutes in the morning and another five minutes in the evening.  Depending on how creative you are, possibly five minutes total for both.  I’ve not owned a physical copy so my comments below will be about the electronic version.

At the beginning of the day I open up the app.  It provides an uplifting or thought-provoking quote on an openning splash screen.  You close that screen to get to the Timeline.  The first thing I do is click on the menu and pick my pic of the day.  Although the actual content of the picture will vary it’s always a picture that makes me happy to look at.  Every time I go back into my daily entry I am greeted by that image.

I then proceed to fill out the morning entries. First up is a list of three things you are grateful for.  I love this. You’re starting the day on a positive note by focusing on things that are good in your life.  And there are no boundaries here.  If what you’re grateful for takes a single line or five to type out the space keeps expanding to let you keep creating.  Having said that the overall idea of this journal is to not take up more than five minutes to complete so try to keep it short and sweet.  The principle here is that if you make it quick and easy to do it becomes that much harder to make an excuse not to do it.

From there you’re asked to jot down three things that you will do over the course of the day to make the day great.  Again, the skies the limit.  In this section I find myself repeating things I’ve done before.  Sometimes because they work so well (like smiling more), and sometimes because I don’t feel like I’ve completed the task well enough to move on (like smiling more).  What you choose is up to you, just make sure that it’s something you feel in your heart will improve your day by doing.

The morning section is rounded off with a daily affirmation entry.  It starts with “I am” and then a line to write down your affirmation.  As with the section on things you will do, there’s no problem with recycling here.  If you want to improve your attitude you could make your affirmation of the day for a week or two “I am a happy person.”  In fact reaffirming the same affirmation over the course of days could actually set it more firmly in hour mind.

After completing the morning section I just go about my day.  It’s just that easy.  At the end of the day within a few hours from bedtime I’ll bust out the journal and start working on the night entries.

This night section is a little smaller and a little quicker.  You list 3 things that happened that day that made it amazing.  For this section I definitely recommend avoiding using the same stuff over and over.  If you’re always putting in the same three things it’ll become way to easy for you to feel those are the only three good things going on in your life.  It’s not that you can never repeat in this section, it’s more why would you as the more varied your entries the more substantial your sense of gratitude will be.

Below this is a one line entry about how you could have made the day better.  This section isn’t about recrimination or beating yourself up.  Don’t be negative in it like “I could have been less stupid” or “I could have not eaten so much”.  Instead use it as a short space to set your mind on making small changes from day to day to improve your life.

That’s the whole process for the day.  Pretty simple.  Do it daily and in short order you will start seeing results in your mindset.  Whether you write it in a physical copy or type it into an electronic one, just make sure to get your daily entry in. On the plus side, in both the physical and electronic copy you can go back and complete an entry from a prior day if you missed it.  That’s the only back tracking I recommend with this journal.  I’m strongly against going back and editing entries.  I think your first entry will always be your most honest entry so you should always go with it.

Which reminds me of another great benefit of going with the electronic version.  It’s pass code lockable. That should help to increase your comfort level wtih being honest.  After all this process only works if you’re being honest with yourself.  If you’re being dishonest with yourself by editing out things because you’re worried someone else might see them, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  So be honest, but stay safe by pass coding the journal.

If you want to get a hard copy of it, they are available on Amazon.  Just search for “five minute journal” and make sure you get the one by “Intelligent Change”.  Others will appear that are similar but it’s the one from Intelligent Change that you want.  I’m not including a link because my Amazon associate account is temporarily inactive.  I’ll let you guys know when I have it back up and running.

If you want to get the electronic version it is available in both the Google Play store and the Apple App store.  Just do a search for “five minute journal” and again make sure to get the one by Intelligent Change.

Whichever format you choose I highly recommend this journal and wish you the best of luck with your journalling.  I know it’s improved my mind and my focus and I hope you find the same success with it.  Have a great day.

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