I am a heavy consumer of all things Tim Ferriss. I’ve read The 4 Hour Work Week, use many of the diet tips from The 5 Hour Body and listen to his podcast relentlessly.
One of the things Tim blogs about often is time saving tips for your life. One particular recommendation is “The 5 minute journal”, ironically not a Tim Ferriss product.
I love journaling, but wasn’t in the mood to spend over $12 on a paint-by-the-numbers journal, so I’ve created my own (in a free journal from a seminar). I’d like to share the 4 easy steps of the journal with you in hopes you start journaling, get back in the habit, or try a new approach.
- Date the page with the month, day and year. Seems obvious but I’ve looked through old journals and realized I left out the year. Makes a big impact when revisiting entries.
- “Grateful for”. This is my second section and its numbered 1-3. Some people may call it blessings or thankful for but the concept remains. List three things that you’re grateful for that day. Mine have included my mother, a warm bed, and “being clever”. Anything goes, just focus on gratitude.
- “Short term goals”. Again, list 3 short terms goals. This keeps you focused and requires you to break down large and long term goals into bite sized pieces. I also find that I will look at the goals from days prior and write new short term goals to help with those, or goals that are the next step in a large process.
- “Today’s Reflection”. This can span the remainder of the page. I generally don’t use more than one page per day as it keeps the journal concise and provides as easy tool to reflect on down the road. This section is where you write down any musings from the day, highs and lows, and anything else you’d normally “journal” about.
That’s it! In 5 minutes you’ve counted your blessings, set some goals and reflected on your day. Personally, this is the last thing I do before bed. It clears my mind and helps me move my thoughts from my brain to paper.
Let me know if you currently journal or are planning on taking it up. Hopefully these tips help you get started or try a new approach. Below is a photo from my journal. Cheers!