The Five Minute Habit that Will Change Your Life

Do you do it?

Not everyone does it, but you should! It’s simple, easy and powerful. Would you take five minutes to journal if you knew it could change your life for the better? Of course you would, who wouldn’t—right?

habit, habits, good habits, journal, journaling, Dr. Robert A. Emmons

The development of this habit will make you a better leader, increase your impact and expand your influence. Don’t you think you can find five minutes a day to create the journal habit knowing it can change your life and those of the people you love and lead?

Build the Journal Habit!

Simply write down your three to five responses to one question for the next seven days.

“What am I thankful for?”

That’s it!

Jot Down Three Things You Are Thankful For?

Sometimes we make things too difficult. There is beauty in making the complex simple. Think of gratitude as your ability to notice, appreciate and savor the things in your life that bring you joy, peace, and well being.

“Don’t spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.” 

—Epicurius

Get started—write down three things you are thankful for.

Why journaling about gratitude works.

Dr. Robert Emmons Ph.D. is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. Dr. Emmons specifically studied the impact of journaling on gratitude.

In one particular study, they divided their study into three groups.

  1. Wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week.
  2. Captured daily irritations or things that had displeased them.
  3. Focused on events that had affected them without bias towards being positive or negative.

After 10 weeks the participants that captured what they were thankful for in their journal were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. In fact, they felt 25 percent happier than the other participants, experienced better health, and spent more time exercising (up to 1.5 hours more per week).

Journaling Thankfulness Will Make Your Life Better!

Considering these results, Dr. Emmons embarked on a second study. He asked the participants to journal daily for two weeks. Over the course of these 14 days, they simply wrote down what they were thankful for.

They proved that when you write down the things that you appreciate and savor, the things in your life that bring you joy, peace, and well being it produces impressive results!

  • Greater joy, enthusiasm and optimism.
  • Higher levels of interest, energy and attentiveness.
  • More excited, determined and strong.
  • Enjoyed better sleep and feeling more refreshed in the morning.

The simple act of capturing what they were thankful for on a daily basis also led them to higher levels of engagement and a greater likelihood to offer support and assistance to solve problems.

“The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life.” 

—Robert Louis Stevenson

Journal Your Gratitude Into A New-Found Power!

I have been journaling for years and maintain a couple different journals. You might have been able to guess that my Prayer/Gratitude Journal is my favorite. I am not surprised by research results about acknowledging and expressing gratitude. It truly produces a happiness advantage.

Call to action! In the comment section below, share something you are thankful for. Create a journal to capture your daily thankfulness. Come back in a few days and share your experience and observations in the comments below?

Spread the impact by getting your family or team to do the same thing. It’s a five-minute habit that can change your life and extend your impact and influence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “The Five Minute Habit that Will Change Your Life

  1. Today I am thankful for:
    1. An on-the-way home from work phone call from my son, who calls for no reason other than connect and catch up on life.
    2. An evening with my husband and long time friends last night. Laughter that brought tears to my eyes and a stitch in my side. This over 50 group may not be closing down the bars at 2 a.m. but we did close down Red Robin at 9:30!
    3. The reminder in Colossians 4:6 that God will provide me with the wisdom and grace to respond to all people, those I agree with and most especially, those I do not.

  2. I am thankful beyond measure. First for salvation, then my wife and next for my family. Been journaling prayers since 1999. Val and I keep a nightly journal of daily things we appreciate about one another.