As part of Felicity’s 2016 blogging and social media plan, we’re excited to be launching a monthly editorial calendar through which we’ll bring 12 dynamic themes to life via blog posts, interviews, and social media. To kick off the new year, we chose the theme of “gratitude and goal setting.” A few days after I signed up to write a blog post on this theme, a close friend gifted me The Five-Minute Journal for my 35th birthday.
One of my personal goals for 2016 was to follow-through more on the commitments I make for self-improvement, time-management, organization, and self-care. I have a track record of starting the year on a high note, but then lacking the stick-to-it-ness needed to follow through. I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, creative kind of person…which drives the practical and regimented part of me crazy!
While I think it’s important to take time to evaluate your life (personal and professional) at various times throughout the year, I believe goals are often moving targets that need to be fine-tuned and adjusted as you go. That’s what makes this Five Minute Journal so interesting. It’s all about being in the moment and looking at life in 24-hour segments.
Created by UK-based Alex Ikonn and Toronto-based UJ Ramdas, the journal offers an opportunity to commit to daily ‘goals and gratitude’ practices. As it says in the front of the journal: “In about five minutes per day, you can establish a positive pattern of thinking and acting when it really matters. It’s the ideal time window that allows for minimal effort for wild reward.”
Every morning you are asked to fill in three sections:
- I am grateful for…
- What would make today great?
- Daily affirmations. I am…
And every evening another two:
- 3 Amazing things that happened today…
- How could I have made today better?
The journal prompts you to focus on positivity and gratitude while setting goals/intentions for the day ahead and reflecting on them at the end of the day.
According to this Forbes article, gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve physical and psychological health, boost sleep, reduce aggression, and increase mental strength. While the stress and busyness of life sometimes gets in the way of focusing on gratitude, this journal essentially holds you accountable and serves as a gentle nudge twice a day.
As the first month of 2016 comes to an end, whether you order yourself a copy of The Five Minute Journal, make your own, or do something totally different, consider asking yourself: How can I integrate gratitude and goal setting into my daily life this year?