The Five-Minute Journal

A simple way to reflect, be more present and focus on the positive

When I was a teenager and even during college I have had various journals I started but the habit never lasted more than a few weeks. I think it was a lack of structure as well as life & business got in the way. And I stopped. Once in a while (usually when we move) I find one of those journals and get a lot of enjoyment reading my own thoughts and events, which happened so many years ago. Anyways, back to the “new” way of journaling. I discovered “The Five-Minute Journal” via the Tim Ferris Podcast and I was curious. So I ordered one. I started the very next day and have been pretty consistent over the last months. So what’s different?

In the introduction the creators Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas are making the comparison between our positive feelings & emotions when we look through old photos and feel the nostalgia and the smiles they are putting on our faces. They are saying “Imagine if you could have the same experience by just flipping to a certain day on a specific year in your life, you could zoom in on who you were, what you did and how you felt on that day. It’ll be your own chronicle of memories, ideas and dreams.” It is so true.

We all have busy lives and when children are coming into our lives it reaches a new level. So to lose focus and have increased feelings of being overwhelmed are not uncommon. A positive psychology and reflection is a great tool. This Five-Minute Journal does exactly this. It’s asking you the following questions and conditions you to think positively – just by filling in the blanks every morning:

“I am grateful for…” [ probably we all know the benefits of listing the things we are grateful for ]
“What would make today great?” [ my personal favorite ]
“Daily affirmations, I am …” [ still struggling with that one a bit ]

You are automatically focusing on the positive things and over time “you’re creating a new program in your mind that naturally learns to improve your happiness.” And at night, there is a grey shaded portion to fill out and answer:

“3 amazing things that happened today” [ my 2nd personal favorite ] and
“How could I have made today better” [ your own little time machine ]

Oh, and it really does only take 5 minutes a day. But I also say that it’s not always simple but a great exercise to put yourself through for self improvement. Step by step. For me it has been a great way to start and end a day reflecting and appreciating what is going on inside and around me. Also love the little quote featured at the top of each page/ day.

My journal is laying on my bedside table with a pen right next to it.  Ready when I wake up and usually as soon as I lay down in bed, before reading/ watching a TV show/ calming down at night and getting possibly too tired.

Get your own copy here.