The Five Minute Journal

The Five Minute Journal has been part of my morning and bedtime routine for more than 14 months now.

At the beginning of the journal there is an extravagant claim that it is “the simplest, most effective thing that you can do every day to be happier”. Hmm, I’m not sure it’s that good.

But I would miss it now if I stopped doing it.

I write in it first thing I get up, and just before I go to sleep. It’s become such a habit that if for some reason I can’t write, something feels wrong.

Each daily page is divided into two sections: the morning routine and the night routine.

The five minute journal morning routine starts with asking for three things that you can be grateful for today. For example I am grateful for… a nice comfortable bed.

Next is the question “what would make today great?” The idea is to focus on things you have control over, so I might write ‘Sleep before 10pm’.

And then the final morning part is the daily affirmation, which is a simple statement that defines what you as you want to be. Writing the daily affirmation apparently primes your brain to start building this belief in your mind. With consistency, you will begin to create that change from within.

Or at least that’s what the authors say.

The five minute journal night routine starts with the question: “What are three amazing things that happened during your day?”

This can sometimes be difficult. But the amazing things don’t have to be big, they can be really small, something like ‘I had the best flat white today’.

The last part of the five minute journal is about making the day better. It’s giving you an opportunity to reflect on how you could make one thing that you did even better?

I struggled with this for a while because it felt negative. It was like I was telling myself off.

But then I realised that actually the way to look at it is the opposite. It’s not criticising but instead its giving me an opportunity to look at any problems that arose during the day and then reflect on how I can move through them.

I’ve always enjoyed writing and journalling and this is a simple way to do both.