You’ll Love This Journaling Exercise (even if you don’t like journaling)

A Simple, Fun Journaling Prompt to Try—Takes 5 Minutes!

I know a lot of people who don’t like to journal.  They don’t know what to write about or don’t feel like they have the time.  I also have several friends that like the idea of a gratitude journal, but don’t enjoy feeling like they have to write in it every day.  They may miss a day or two or a week, and then the practice falls to the wayside. 

Today, I want to offer you an amazingly fun, simple and insightful tool to use in journaling.  It only takes about 5 minutes to do it, and you don’t have to do it every day.  I recommend that you try to do it for 4 or 5 days in a row, or once a week for a month. 

Here is what you do:

As often as you’ve decided to—whether five days, or every Friday for a month, or some variation, take a few minutes at the end of the day and answer three questions.  I will note that you don’t even have to write full sentences—you could use bullet points, and it would be just as effective.

Questions One:  What do I love?

Question Two:  What do I want?

Question Three:  What do I appreciate?

My tips for success with this exercise:

  1. Don’t overthink it.  It’s okay to put your children and your favorite lipstick on the same list of what you love.  Most of my lists have a very eclectic mix.  Don’t judge yourself!  You are free to love what you love, want what you want, and appreciate what you appreciate!
  2. This is really best accomplished if you make it quick.  The appeal is that it can be done in just a few minutes, but if there is a day when you have more time, I don’t know that you will really gain much by taking more time with it.
  3. It’s totally fine to repeat things from day to day or even from list to list.  This is not science.  It is very possible you will have repeats among the lists. 
  4. This exercise can be very uplifting and set the tone for a good day, a peaceful night’s sleep or be a pick-me-up when you’re in a not-so-great state of mind.

Here’s mine from this morning:

Questions One:  What do I love?

Journaling, Gunner (my dog), coffee, cozy jammies, stories

Question Two:  What do I want?

More ideas, more time off, more connection with family and friends, time and creativity to make more crafts/projects/stuff

Question Three:  What do I appreciate?

Time at home, quiet, hope in the Lord, my church

The Benefits:

Clarity:  This kind of exercise is so easy to do, but as we do it over time, and notice what’s on the list, and what’s not on the list, what’s repeated, what shows up on multiple lists, we get a sense of clarity about what our values are.  Who are the people, and what are the things and experiences that make the biggest difference in our lives?  We gain information about what we love, appreciate and want that could give both clarity and guidance in decision making in all areas of life.

Discovery:  Similarly, this exercise gives us some very basic and essential information about our values, who we are as people, how we most enjoy spending our time, and what our truest sources of joy are.  The discovery is simply in the fact that we will probably find out some things that we did not know or would not have suspected about ourselves.  Journaling—especially quick, bullet points like we do in this exercise, is a judgement-free zone.  That means we are more likely to be honest and uncensored about what we like, love, want and appreciate—without fear of judgement or how it might “sound” to others.

Contentment:  One of life’s greatest blessings is being able to fully enjoy and appreciate what we already have.  Taking time regularly to notice our preferences and be thankful for the good things in our lives, actually increases our enjoyment of those things, giving us a greater sense of contentment and well-being.

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