The Joy of the Five Minute Journal

Tim Ferriss recently had a podcast episode called The Magic of Mindfulness: Complain Less, Appreciate More, and Live a Better Life which I really enjoyed. One of his recommendations in the podcast was to use something called a 5 Minute Journal each day to improve your well-being.

I bought one and have been using it for about a week now and want to pass the recommendation on to you all because I’ve found it to be very effective.

Here’s the idea:

Each page of the journal is focused on a single day. At the start of each day, you fill out short responses to three questions:

  • 3 things I am grateful for…
  • 3 things that would make today great…
  • Daily affirmations. I am…

And at the end of the day you take a few minutes to answer two more:

  • 3 amazing things that happened today…
  • How could I have made today better?

Thinking through and writing out the answers to these each day has had a hugely positive impact on me in the short amount of time I’ve been doing it.

Consider that each day you’re asked to write down 3 things that you’re grateful for. Assuming you don’t repeat anything, that’s 21 things you’re grateful for each week, 84 every four weeks. Many of them wind up being small things (mine range from “Having a healthy son” to “Cheese-filled crescent rolls for breakfast”) but I think maybe that’s the point. You likely have a lot of things to be grateful for in your life that you don’t think about often and writing them down makes you recognize them and you wind up happier as a result.

Similarly, at the start of each day you’re asked to think a little bit about things that you can do to make the day great which causes you to be more likely to do those things which makes you happier as a result.

Then at the end of the day you’re asked what you could have improved which over time makes you less likely to do those things which also makes you happier as a result.

Each question is carefully chosen to slowly nudge you towards higher levels of happiness. Pretty clever, right?

For $22.95, it’s a cheap experiment that might just have a huge impact on your life. You can order one from Check it out.

2 thoughts on “The Joy of the Five Minute Journal

    • Nice, that looks like a cool app.

      If you find yourself forgetting to fill out the responses at the start and end of each day, try the physical notebook. I keep it on my bedside table which makes it impossible to miss.

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