BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

Start Each Morning Doing This

Want to get every day off on the right foot?

Try the Five Minute Journal.

I’ve seen it discussed on Medium before, which inspired me to give it a shot. It’s only been about a week, but I’m already a convert.

For the last couple years, I’ve journaled consistently—each morning, I spend a few minutes putting down on paper (or running Google doc, as it may be) whatever is rattling around in my head.

While this brain dump is helpful — and I’d recommend everyone experimenting with that too — there are times when it feels too rambling, too aimless.

The Five Minute Journal is the exact opposite.

It’s much more targeted, more pointed, making you complete statements like, “I am grateful for…” and answer questions such as, “What can I do to make today great?”

In my brief experience with it, I’ve found it helps plant the seeds for a productive, positive day.

For instance, on the day I started it, I put down that I wanted to be better about appreciating the little things in life.

Not exactly a soul-penetrating piece of prose, and on the surface, something that could be seen as a generic throwaway line.

But a half hour after I wrote it, as I walked into my office building, I noticed the sound of a bird chirping.

I’ve (mindlessly) made that same walk for nearly three years now, and not once had I ever been tuned in enough to hear that peaceful sound.

As with any new habit, writing in the Five Minute Journal comes with challenges.

So far my biggest hurdle has been quieting that internal whining of, “Do I really have to do this?” whenever I open up the journal to write.

“Yes, I have to do this,” I remind myself.

And I believe you should too.

*****

This article originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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