Happiness, Productivity and Gratitude Planners
Today I’m writing an ode to the journals that completely transformed my life. Meditation is something I often struggle with. On most days, I find it impossible to shush my mind. No number of apps, self-help books, or advice from well-meaning friends worked. It came to a point where I simply accepted the fact that it just isn’t something for me. Suffice to say, as with most who avoid self-care and self-love, I was always seemingly fine on the outside and a nervous wreck on the inside.
Someone recently told me that I attract complicated people. It wouldn’t be the first time I heard that. Which got me thinking, “Aren’t all of us complicated?” While it’s relatively easy to paint a pretty picture on the outside, get to know someone really well, and you’d see they carry their own burdens, baggage and - as they put it, complications.
Complications. I have mine too. Some of which I openly share. Some of which I carefully share. Some of which would probably go to the grave with me. It’s only in recent years I realised that to live a good and fulfilling life, I need to come to terms with all my complications. Including those that would be sharing eternal rest with me. It would be during this time when we started introducing baby journals at Revel. I loved the idea of turning precious memories into heirloom gifts. A couple of pop-up events and conversations later, I was convinced that journaling is a life-changing experience. I started researching and reading extensively on the benefits of journaling and did my best to get started. As Revel grew and introduced more and more solutions, so did my experimentations with different techniques and styles in journal writing.
What I tell people who ask me for tips to getting started on unstructured journals →
It was tough. To be honest. That is what I tell people who ask me for tips to getting started on unstructured journals that encourage free expression. Dot grid journals are absolutely beautiful, and there are tonnes of inspiring evidence out there on the WWW. Still, if you aren’t disciplined, willing to bare your soul on paper, or open to be committed to one, it’s tough. And for many - an expensive lesson learnt.
Refusing to give up, I continued finding ways to get started on my road to self-love. It was then I decided that I would use my strengths to work my way through. Keeping a daily planner was a habit I developed as a student back in primary school days. While I still do use them, I started using The 5 Minute Journal in a similar manner. Aside from spending a couple of minutes at the start and at the end of the day reflecting, I also refer to it as and when I referred to my daily planner. This helped me constantly be mindful of my gratitude journal, and hopes for the day.
Bonus point: This new routine of mine encouraged my passively observing son to join in my endeavour.
How Keeping a Structured Journal Helped me Develop Gratitude and Productivity
As with all habits good and bad, introducing this took some time before it became second-nature. Once the The 5 Minute Journal grew to be part of my daily routine, I began to notice I had a calmer state of mind, and was more aware to be thankful of the little things in life. With this encouragement in mind, I worked to include the Productivity Planner into my routine as well.
I started by building a habit that well-complemented an already established habit.
By stacking The 5 Minute Journal together with my daily planner, I was constantly reminding myself to refer to it and be reminded of my daily reflections.
I was careful not to be over-ambitious, and worked one habit at a time.
By waiting until keeping a gratitude journal became a habit, I was able to introduce the Productivity Planner into my routine without any added stress. In fact, I was encouraged by how step 1 worked, and was feeling confident.
a structured journal helped me over open and express myself.
While I still secretly lust of the the beauty of an unstructured journal… I am extremely contented with how structured journals are now aiding me in discovering and improving the quality of my life on a regular basis.
Perhaps someday I’ll be ready for one of these beauties.