Hopefully, you now are in the habit of waking 15 minutes earlier, not checking email, and doing some activity were you’re building yourself up. We are now ready to add one more activity to your morning routine.
When I first heard of journaling, I associated it with a diary, which is completely wrong. I’m happily married, so I’m not going to write about which girl at school I think is cute. Yes, I also associated a diary with something done during those troubling teen years.
Journaling is completely different and done for a different outcome. Before your favorite sports team starts the game, what happens? The coach will give a rousing speech, give last minute pointers and encourage everyone to have a great game and have some fun. Well…probably more like shatter and crush the enemy! Think of journaling as your own personal coach.
Morning Journaling: 5 Minutes
Information rush hour. All through the day, we have thoughts that rush towards us and try to get our attention. We are bombarded with information from blogs, articles, poscasts, etc. So many interesting things, but the tap is never turned off! It just keeps coming at us at a frenetic pace, vying for our attention.
Step 1: Write down something your found interesting in your morning read or past day. Maybe it’s something you remember someone saying at work, a book someone suggested to read or a great quote.
Benefit: Journaling let you purge those thoughts from your mind. It’s a daily spring-cleaning. How do you feel after a good spring-cleaning? Don’t you feel relief and a sense of calm?
Give yourself a pat on the back. Journaling allows you to highlight the good in your life, your gratitudes. Starting your day with such positive thoughts is a game changer. You can’t underestimate this. You will soon find that this activity will have a deep effect in your dealings with others.
Step 2: Write down 3 things what you are grateful for. It could be something in your family life, your work life, or in any other area.
TIP: If you have a family, during a meal together get everyone around the table to say their 3 gratitudes. I found this a great way to hear what my kids did at school, whereas the previous question of: “What did you do in school today?” resulted in the default answer of: “Nothing”
Benefit: It will set an optimistic tone to your day and your dealings with others.
Mood check. This is the team doctor doing a little self-check before the game.
Step 3: Choose one of these three: Excited – Flat – Down.
Benefit: By acknowledging your emotions, you can either boost them positively or take away their power. Feeling down? Maybe you will do something that will change your mood early on. You can also see how your mood affected a previous day’s outcome.
Top 5. There are always activities we need to accomplish to build the business, but we quickly get interference from customers and employees. Remember, you haven’t picked up your emails yet, so this list is not controlled by outside influences.
Step 4: List the 5 things you need to accomplish today to move the ball further (or puck for us Canadians).
Benefit: You will prioritize the important activities and give them priority.
Start step 2 today and ask yourself these questions after a week?
- Have I been able to accomplish more by prioritizing the activities needed to grow the business?
- How do I feel during the day after being grateful for the people or things that happen in my life?
- Have I been able to change my mood by simply acknowledging it?
In this article, we concentrated on a 5 minute morning journaling hack. We broke it down into 4 simple steps: Brain Dump, Gratitudes, Mood & Priority Activities. Like any good coach, you will also need the halftime check-up and post game wrap up. This will be the subject of the next article.
About the Author: Randal Wark is a VAR/MSP consultant that helps them work ON their business rather then IN it.