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How to not fail at daily journaling

Today I want to share a small tactic that makes it very easy to carry out the habit of daily journaling.

The benefits of daily journaling are manifold. One example is the kind of journaling where you deal with past episodes that have been traumatic or stressful. Writing such episodes down along with your thoughts about them have shown to make you happier, healthier and more intelligent. Another exercise that is proven to improve your happiness and overall well-being months into the future, is gratitude journaling. It is very simple, just write down a couple of things you are grateful for right now. It could be something big, like a job promotion, or something small, like appreciating the beauty of the morning sunrays as they dance through your house.

Another benefit, if you do the journaling in the morning, is that you can use it as an opportunity to set the mood for the day, and to plan your activities. You could have one header in your daily journal which reads "What is the most important thing I need to get done today?" If you begin every day with asking yourself that question, along with writing down the answer you find for it, I can guarantee you that you will get more important work done.

There is something called The Five Minute Journal, advocated by profile Tim Ferriss. It's basically a quite expensive notebook made for a short journaling session each day. The questions you are supposed to ask yourself and answer in the five minute journal are the following. The first three are for the morning, and the last two for the evening.

  • I am grateful for...
  • What would make today great?
  • Daily affirmations, I am...
  • Amazing things that happened today...
  • How could I have made today even better?

I think it's a great habit to ask yourself these questions every day in writing. It covers gratitude, planning of the day, affirmations (not sure how well these work as I haven't tried them myself), gratitude again, and finally an evaluation of the day. The evaluation of the day is a great habit, reminding you to always look for ways to improve, so that you don't get stuck in bad patterns.

What if you could make your own, custom, five minute journal, that is more easily accessible, quicker to complete, and get it for free? Wouldn't it be great if you could do it on your computer or in your phone, and get everything digitally stored and searchable? Don't most of us write faster on a keyboard than with a pen nowadays anyway? Do people under 25 even know how to use a pen? :)

I've found a great and simple way to do all of the above. It is very simple: Just go and sign up to create a free account over at Typeform. It's a service that enables you to create nice looking forms that ask you questions, so that you can answer one thing at a time, exactly like in the five minute journal.

So, just create your own 5 minute journal form, and make sure to not share the link with other people (unless you want them to make entries in your journal). Then just create a bookmark for the form, or make it the start page in your browser. Remember to make a bookmark on your smartphone's homescreen as well, for situations where you don't have access to your laptop.

So there you have it! A super simple solution for daily journaling that makes the habit easy and customizable. I am not affiliated with Typeform in any way and I do not get any money for promoting them. Their service just happened to fit this use perfectly.

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