Five Minute Journal: What’s To Love About It?

written by Janel Ross

From the moment we wake up to the time our heads hit the pillow, we are depleted from the compactness of our day, only to start over again. Many of us have specific goals (from getting to bed before 10pm to running a marathon) but oftentimes there are problems getting from point A to point B.  What I’m learning over and over again in my life is that to gett anything I want accomplished, I need consistency. That is the golden key to unlock the next step.

I first heard about the Five Minute Journal from Tim Ferriss’s podcast. He spoke about how much it helped him in his life and highly recommended it.  Since Tim has a lot of good suggestions, I thought this might be another one worth checking out.

The journal is exquisitely and simply designed, as is the content inside for you the journal-er to answer. There a few questions to ask yourself at the start and finish of your day. Which also means YOU are in control of how you want to spin it or should I say, write it.  It’s your life.

Upon waking, the last thing I really want to do is look at my phone, checking for what I have to address. I want that spaciousness from sleeping to waking to be stress-free, because now (as everyone does), I always have my iPhone on me. I like to be pensive and thought provoking, constantly get out of my comfort zone.

Having my Five Minute Journal next to me inspires me to set the tone for my day. ‘What am I grateful for?’  ‘Gosh, I don’t know, no, wait, yes, I do!  I only have to write down 3?!  I can do that.’ Now, I look forward to each day, writing down things I’m truly grateful for. By creating this positive habit, I realized that no matter how crappy my day could go, there is something I can ALWAYS be grateful for.  I love the simplicity in that.

The second question is possibly my favorite because I LOVE that I have a choice to depict how I’d like my day to go!  Even if I’m waking up not in the best of spirits, this question for me, really spins things around with the mindset, I’m gonna rock out my day and make it awesome.  I’m making the choice and the power to do that.  Sometimes with my list of 3, I do a little happy dance because there’s possibly one point there that I’m curious to do, but maybe a little intimidated, but writing it down makes me feel empowered.  I get out of my comfort zone.  I’m ready. Bring it.

To be honest, the daily affirmations did not thrill me. Sometimes I just don’t feel so awesome about myself.  So, I decided to take this part on as a challenge. How do I want to be? How do I want to feel? How much do I care about my pursuits? How do I want to show up in the world? I started to write down the things I consistently put into practice (such as: “I’m motivated to helping others in their movement and nutrition practice.”) and what I’d like to encompass in the near future as part of my beliefs and goals (such as: “I’m so excited for the ribbon cutting of my Green Holistic school in Columbia.”)

I’m finding this strategy is a bigger picture in believing in yourself, connecting these affirmations with your subconscious can really move mountains.  As Joseph Murphy says “Remember, your subconscious mind cannot take a joke. It takes you at your word.”  Boom.

13921066_1406907539335895_5421356991555718247_nFast forward, it’s the end of a very long day and I cannot wait to collapse into bed, excited for sleep. But wait! My journal wants to know what 3 amazing things happened today! The BEAUTY of this question is that the answers don’t have to be ground breaking. Just list the awesomeness that happened in your day. There is always something to reveal.

  1. I started my morning practicing handstands in the grass at Stevens
  2. My neighbors dog is warming up to me, she barks/growls at me less (Success!)
  3. I cooked myself a nutrient rich (and yummy) dinner after my evening yoga class (instead of my nightly green smoothie).

All little bits of success!

Even though, I’m usually sleepy by this point, I like metrics. I like reflecting on how I, me (not anyone else) could’ve made my day better.  With that question, it sets me up nicely for the next morning.  How savvy is that?!

There are many forms of meditation – sitting, moving, walking, breathing, etc. I consider this journal my meditative process of stress reduction. I get the really important stuff out of my head and down on paper. I find so many benefits with this daily commitment, a commitment to myself where I feel I grow and learn just a little more about moi, each day. I’m already enjoying the snapshot of what I’ve already written, flipping back over the pages, it’s like ‘Wow, that was cool – My Monday unexpectedly rocked!’

If you are curious and would like to enhance your life the simplest of ways, yet struggle with commitment, I highly recommend doing this 5minute journal.  It’s very possible and very easy, excuses are irrelevant, moot. That’s your resistance getting in your way of the important need to do for yourself.

We all have the same 24hrs, and this journal is really 2.5 minutes in the morning and at night.

I leave you with this:

“Most of us have two lives.  The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art.

PS: I only promote useful tools that I believe can impact your life.

Janel DuRoss


Yoga Teacher, RYT
Thai Bodywork Practitioner
Movement & Superfood Nutrition Educator
Acroyoga Flyer & Base
Sensory Aficionado
Chocolate Connoisseur
Rockstar Listener