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The Five Minute Journal - Feel the Win

Three weeks ago, I posted about the Five Minute Journal and how I was trying to use it to adopt some good journaling habits.  I mentioned how I'd tried tons of online or electronic versions and was ready to do something in a different paradigm, in this case the totally revolutionary and creative idea of actually writing stuff out with a pen, on actual paper.

Guess what?  It's worked.

Here's what I've discovered about going through the actual process of manually writing this stuff out into a physical journal.

1.  I have only missed two days of writing, and I've gone right back into after those days.

I keep my journal right next to my clock radio next to my bed.  There's something about having a physical object sitting there looking at you when you get up in the morning.

And, I've created a little ritual around my journaling:  when I go to bed (right after I write in the journal), I put my Kindle Fire HD with a pen/stylus attached to the case right on top of the journal, and then when I get up in the morning and head downstairs to get organized and start my day, I grab those two items and head down to write in the journal and plan things out.  And on the rare nights that my wife goes to bed before me, I've been grabbing the journal to write in before going up to bed so that I don't wake her up (any more than I usually do.  Sorry, honey.).

2.  The journaling I've done has kept me on task throughout the day better than I'd ever have thought. Writing the three tasks of the day keeps them in my head better than simply having them available in Evernote, online at OhLife or Penzu, or what have you.  I was copying them into Evernote after writing them in the journal just to keep my goals for the day straight, but I haven't had to do that to keep them in mind, which is nice.

3.  I actually look forward to journaling.  I have this cool book that I get to write in every day.  It's hardcover and everything, and I actually WRITE in it!

As I suspected, the process of manually journaling has tugged at my anachronistic instincts and created a fun activity around organizing my head around what I've learned each day about myself.

So in summation, thus far I am declaring this experiment a personal success.  I even remembered - nay, PLANNED - to take it with me and write in it when I was out of town for a long weekend.  I am really enjoying the whole thing, and I don't see it as a goofy thing that I'm not going to keep doing.  To the contrary, I'm seeing the need to do MORE journaling than just answering the questions of the day that the Five Minute Journal presents on a regular basis.  I can see this becoming a two-book journaling habit really quickly.

If you're struggling with your journaling, give the Five Minute Journal a try!  You might find that it as valuable as I have.

What sorts of journaling habits do you have?  Have you tried the Five Minute Journal, or come up with your own journaling ritual?  Share them below!

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