It’s no secret that my life has been… Well, challenging, to put it neutrally. But then, a couple of years ago, I started keeping a journal. And I tell ya, it’s played a big part in turning my entire life around.
Now, some people may consider themselves more or less the kinds of people to be keeping a journal. But I believe everyone could benefit from keeping a journal, and here’s why.
See, when I started doing it, I was inspired by The Five Minute-Journal. I might be kinda copying its concept, but hey, it works! And here it goes…
Every morning when I get out of bed, I write down:
– Three things I’m grateful for.
– Three things that’d be awesome to have done by the end of the day.
– A daily affirmation following the simple template of “I am [_______]”.
And every evening before I turn in, I write down:
– Three awesome things that happened throughout the day.
– The one biggest thing I learned during the day.
– One way in which I could’ve made the day even better.
Okay, so what’s the point of all this? Why, thanks for asking!
As for the three things I’m grateful for, I often do more than three. But don’t settle for less! Like I’ve said before, when we’re in touch with our gratitude for what we have, what we have expands.
The three things I’d like to have done by the end of the day, I’ve usually planned out ahead. So for me, the point here is to consolidate my already existing plans and make sure I get ’em done. But you’d might go about it any which way you’d like.
This also goes for the daily affirmation. Some people only use one word, e.g. “I am strong”, “I am happy”, “I am successful”, etc.. But I usually do at least one or two full sentences combined, like for example “I am a goddamn pirate, so don’t step to me or I’ll mess you up, kiddo.”
(I tend to go for something empowering.)
Now, the three awesome things that happened don’t necessarily have to be those I’d planned out ahead. On the contrary, I often try to notice what other good stuff happens and note that. Again, you can do as many as you want, but three is a good minimum.
And the same thing goes for the things you learned, and the ways in which you could have improved upon your day. In fact, it’s almost impossible to have too many of these!
Yeah, I know. I know…
If you’re down in the dumps, it can be hard to find anything to be grateful for. It can be hard to get things done, learn anything, and appreciate whatever goes on in one’s life. And telling yourself that you’re just happy-go-dandy is simply downright awkward.
But do it anyway. Because, when you do this enough times, then what do you think happens?
What we focus on is the reality that we eventually create for ourselves. So, as you start to consciously focus on empowering thoughts, learning experiences, and valuable actions, that’s how your life becomes.
Alex Ikonn and U.J. Ramdas, the makers of the aforementioned Five-Minute Journal, claim that keeping a journal is “the simplest, most effective thing you can do every day to be happier.” And they’re not kidding.
Not only will keeping a journal bring you in touch with your happiness and help you focus on the good times. Furthermore, it’s an effective way to keep track of your progress, stay on track, and reevaluate your goals.
Seriously, go ahead and try it.
1. Based upon the above outline, keep a journal every day for 30 days.
2. If you miss a day, keep at it. But start over with the next day being day 1.
3. Notice as the small changes start happening in your life.