The Five Minute Journal

Posted March 1, 2014 in Self-Insight, What We're Reading

Five Minute JournalBy: Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas

Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: By spending no more than 5 minutes a day, you will find yourself leading a happier life, claim authors Ikonn and Ramdas. Combining brain science with research from modern psychology and ancient wisdom, The Five Minute Journal is designed to help you create new and positive patterns of thinking and acting. The journal provides a brief set up at the start to explain the how’s and why’s of the process. It encourages you to make a commitment to the experience for a specific length of time to really assess the benefits. From there, you begin journaling. Each morning you capture 3 things you are grateful for; 3 things that would make today great; and a daily affirmation. At the end of each day, you reflect on 3 amazing things that have happened and one thing you could have done to make the day better.

The Bottom-line: It’s been a month of tremendous growth at The Executive Roundtable, which has meant I haven’t had time to finish the current book on my bedside table, so I have to admit, The Five Minute Journal felt like a bit of a cheat. After all, it’s only 10 pages of writing. However, since picking the book up on March 7th, I’ve somehow managed to write in it every single day, despite my hectic schedule… and have really enjoy the process. The daily reflection on what would make my day great has become a very quick way for me to focus my priorities for the day, and the affirmations help me be mindful of the less-than-productive behaviours I tend to exhibit with my team when I’m under a lot of pressure. (“Patient and kind” is my current mantra.) The reflection question at the end of the day that asks how I could have made my day better is also a great refocusing question. I’ve noticed a pattern where I pack too much into my schedule and feel depleted, so my commitments in subsequent days are forcing me to think about my priorities more carefully. For anyone interested in mindfulness, this is a really easy, practical way to get exposed to this type of structure. I’m really enjoying it and have just bought extra copies to share with my team and my 10 year old daughter as well.

Rating: Highly recommended for anyone wanting to build more positive rituals into their lives.

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