Last year I tried something new.
I started writing every day in The Five Minute Journal.
This is my experience and review of The Five Minute Journal after using it (pretty much) every day for over a year.
What is the Five Minute Journal?
You write in the journal every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to bed. It takes less than 5 minutes after a few days of practice.
In the morning you write three things you are grateful for and three things you want to achieve that day. You also write a positive affirmation about yourself or your life.
In the evening you write three great things that happened that day and 1 thing you could have done better.
Every day you get a new quote, and once a week you get a challenge like “Go for a 30 minute walk on your own” or “Watch this TED talk”.
The journal also includes about 40 pages of instructions, examples, details on why this works and how it will benefit you.
Ok… but why?
This is about finding appreciation, peace, happiness, a more positive mindset and helping to achieve our goals.
Studies show that practicing gratitude boosts our general mood and gives health benefits including stronger immune systems and decreased brain aging.
There are also links found between the amount of gratitude expressed and the risk of depression or anxiety developing (i.e. reduce your risk by expressing more gratitude).
How long have you used The Five Minute Journal? Does it work?
I started using this journal around April 2015 (1 year prior to this review).
Yes, it works. I feel calmer, more appreciative of what I have in my life (instead of focusing on what I want), I value my friends and family more, I sleep better and I feel more in tune with what I really want.
I look forward to writing in it, I take it everywhere with me and I rarely miss a day.
BONUS FOR TRAVELERS: I travel a lot and week to week my life can be very different. Having this journal keeps me grounded and gives me that little sense of routine.
Is there anything you don’t like about it?
At $23+ it is quite expensive. If you are not in USA then the price is even more prohibitive; add another $20+ for shipping to the UK.
EDIT: It looks like they have cheaper shipping rates now and to the UK you have a $9 option. Check the “shipping calculator” in your shopping cart.
I would like to see an extra section for the end of the day writing; a request to my subconscious. When you are sleeping you are decompressing the day, making sense of thoughts, recharging and recalculating.
Quite often I have woken up with answers or better perspectives on situations. Having a place in the journal to request something like “Why am I worrying so much about X?” or “What is the best way to solve Y?” would be really beneficial.
They also have an App, but I feel that it really defeats the purpose. Physically writing and taking the time away from your phone/tablet is crucial to this process.
Any other tips or advice?
If you are not sure if this is for you, try it out with a normal notepad. However, be careful.. spending the money will give you a real psychological commitment to follow it through.
Use the coach.me app to form the habit of writing in this journal and ask questions to the community of people also using The Five Minute Journal.
This makes a great spontaneous gift for an open minded friend – this is the kind of simple thing that can really spark a big positive change in your life.
Where can I get it?
Buy online from http://www.fiveminutejournal.com/
This small habit has caused a massive, positive change in my life; I strongly recommend getting this journal and trying it out yourself.
What about you?
Do you use the Five Minute Journal or any other methods for gratitude? Let me know in the comments below: