I wouldn’t call myself a negative person, however I have to say that sometimes I have difficulties fighting some dark thoughts. These thoughts are usually directed towards the negative feelings that I feel for myself or what I do (or don’t do). Positive thinking can turn into really hard work for me sometimes. And this post is not actually about that… I just wanted to share a tool that really helps me direct my thoughts towards the path of positivity, productivity and self-love.
To be honest, I have several people that I get inspired by, however the Ikonn family currently has been a great encouragement to think and act differently, not to be afraid of analysing myself and my own thoughts, as well as trying to figure out what the hell is happening in that vast mind of mine and most importantly to focus on the good and happy things in my life.
I am definitely not sponsored by them (they have more then enough PR that they do themselves…) but I really wanted to share their invention that is called ‘The Five Minute Journal’ and my experience while filling it in.
It has been scientifically proven that positive behavioral traits and thought prolong your life and make you less stressed about your everyday experiences. Thus you are not so easily drawn to temptations and you are able to control your thoughts and mind, and consequently your actions. This control translates to will power. It means that will power can be trained and enhanced by positive thinking. According to ancient wisdom the ‘Beginning and the end of the day is a time to think, evaluate, and correct course’. (1) Filling this journal in is a powerful experience that challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, reflect on your actions, observe your thoughts, which leads you to understanding yourself and your state better and finally knowing which way you want your thoughts, your actions, your life to proceed.
It felt crazy sometimes to be practicing gratitude… I always thought that you either feel the gratitude in your heart or you don’t. But that is actually not true. These little questions you answer forces you to think a little bit deeper about the positive things that happen, or what you can do to improve your mood and attitude.
Honestly, I have missed quite a few days of entries. However, in my opinion this is another hidden purpose of this journal, which is quite a positive experience as well. I feel like this is exactly how you find out that you need to work on your discipline and train your will power to move yourself towards improvement. I am definitely one of these people who always want to improve and think the actions taht need to be taken all the time, but never actually does anything about it. Which is annoying! Following this pattern the only thing I end up feeling is guilt, because it is me who is an obstacle to myself and it is me that does not have enough will power. Usually these things are quite a hard thing to admit without proof. All your decisions and deeds are never documented, thus are past and does not matter anymore. But this little journal is a tool that can turn this around, just because it makes you observe yourself in reality (you wrote it down/or you didn’t and it is the truth that you cannot escape – it is right there in front of you) – how you think, how you act and what you feel, thus you can actively try to change it.
I feel like I still need to work on myself a lot and I have a long way to go in order to train my will power, gratefulness and positivity. Nevertheless, I am sure that the step of starting to write this journal – observing myself, getting to know the person I am and the things I can get negative about – is the key step towards that goal.
They offer the outlay of the Five Minute Journal on their website, as well as a free subscription for the starting-up guide that comes with regular tips of filling the journal in and other positive little communications every week.
Thus, you can take a spare notebook and just start journaling yourself. Just add the questions (better to do it in advance, because in the morning you will be too sleepy to write them down – advice based on practice) and answer them after you wake up first thing in the morning and before you go to sleep last thing in the evening. You can add the quotes that you know or found that inspire you as well if you feel the need. That’s how I chose to do it!
However, when you buy the Original Journal you will find some extra information on the research done and the psychology behind creating it, as well as some little challenges every week that can encourage you to go out of your comfort zone. You also won’t need to write down the questions yourself.
If you are not a paper notebook kind of person, now there is also an app available. I have not tried the app, thus I don’t know how user friendly or effective it is. But it is definitely something to take a look at. The app is currently only available for iOS users (find the app here)
If you struggle filling the Five Minute Journal in to fill in then definitely check out the video of Allex and UJ on how to use your Journal and a few different approaches you can have to fill it in.
Links to the Ikonn YouTube channels:
They share some amazing recommendations on books and articles to read, as well as share their life, experiences and sometimes really great advice and attitudes. I personally don’t try to follow their way of life, but I definitely find them really inspiring especially when it comes to being a knowledgeable human being, relationships, being a generally good person as well as being positive and grateful one.
Happy journaling, you guys!
(1) The Five-Minute Journal, Allex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas, pp. 13, 15.
So the obsession started in February 2016 .I have watched so many YouTube videos about planning techniques, different planners, planner decor, productivity, etc. There are so many inspirational people that definitely deliver the message – Life is hectic nowadays! You need a system to keep up.
And so, as any girly girl I needed a planner that is also fun and stylish and decorated nicely. Thank God, I have the most amazing boyfriend who likes seeing me happy no matter how ridiculous ideas I have. And so he ordered me this gorgeous planner from KikkiK (A5-large, Perforated in the colour Mint).
And then I’ve just gone crazy. I bought a lamination machine, tons of stationary supplies, printed out lots and lots of stuff to get my planner going, with the intention for it to reflect my chaotic personality.
For me this was amazingly satisfying. The planner not only gave me joy of decorating but also actually helped me to stay on top of things in my life. Before my system looked more like this :
Then I tried journalin. However it didn’t work out for me because it was too static. I couldn’t take out what I wrote without tearing pages or regroup something to different categories, etc. And a planner with rings that open up is a perfect solution for this – you can always change anything you want in there.
Of course, I am still transitioning from the old system. I think you really need to experiment with different techniques of planning to really find what works for you, especially with day-to-day things. For now, I usually just sit down and put all of my sticky notes into the planner by category. In my planner I have these categories sectioned-out:
I am still using a lot of the original stuff that came with the planner. But I think you can transform anything into anything. Even when the pages say ‘Meeting notes’ you can just stick some washi tape and make it into what ever you need it to be.
My month on two pages view:
Wishlist come in a form of a vision board:
Some of my stationary:
Here are some links to some of the stationary and printouts I have used, if you are interested:
Some paperclips for your planner
Some Folder dividers (very functional!)
It is really fun to sit down at least once a week and just decorate and plan away. You get kind of a broader look on your life and how busy or not busy you are. I find that I really need to write down what I want to do in life (doesn’t matter if it’s now or some time in the future). At least for me, it is sometimes so, that I want to do something and I just talk about it. However, if I write it down, it makes me rethink and maybe even make a plan of how exactly that thing can be done. Thus, I become active towards that goal. And of course, the planner saves you the trouble of remembering everything you need to do as well as some brilliant ideas that sometimes slip away if you don’t jot them down really quickly.
Hope you enjoyed this post and found something useful and inspiring.
I am currently faced with a challenge to write my Master Thesis project in 2 months. To be honest I have been doing pretty good. Of course, a little bit off the schedule, but still… I have already a few parts of my thesis sorted. However, to do it, it cost me literally, random freak outs, early morning jumps out of bed, because of the heart racing like crazy, and that constant guilt of laying in bed a minute longer or doing something else pleasurable when I should be writing the thesis… In a way I am thinking it is not worth to feel like this over some paper. But it would be kind of unreasonable to stumble upon the last obstacle.
The hardest thing in this is the fight against yourself. I really feel the lack of motivation, a kind of disappointment of how insignificant this thesis will be – no one will care about it later, not even me. But still, I feel responsible to hand it in on time, and not to be embarrassed to look someone in the eye over the quality of it. And there are always tons of these back and forth arguments in my head, trying to convince me to do it or not to do it. And I have been trying to somehow silence them. Here are a few things that worked for me to deal better with all the stressful uni work during my years of studies:
Just try to listen to them (don’t look at the videos) and you will feel how easy with them it is to relax your mind. Don’t over do it, or if it bothers you don’t listen at all.
Do all of the treatments, only one of them, or combinations that work for you. The most important thing is to stay positive! You have to admit, that it does not matter how bad you feel right now, deep in your heart you believe you can do it and that you can succeed! Which is the ultimate truth you should keep hanging on to! I hope this helps you to release at least a little bit of your stress and anxiety. Share your story of dealing with stress at work, uni or other places.
Lets keep going!
I love food. And I am very guilty of loving all the ‘junk food’ the most. Burgers, fries, cola, chocolate, chips, beer, pizza, coffee, etc. Actually, I have really hard time to have a healthy relationship with food in general. I sometimes even have struggles to have control over the things that I am eating. So I have noticed some really bad eating habbits that I have:
So now I am trying my best to redefine and rebuild my relationship with food. Here are some ways I have decided to improve my eating habits.
I am advancing slowly but steady with the food, not so much with the exercise. But I will improve in time. I am still in progress of controlling myself in all of these steps actually. I still have to think of how much I should chew the bite I have in my mouth, I am still struggling to having sweets only on Friday (especially saying no to the sweets that are right in front of me). I have built the habits that I have throughout 24 years of my life, so now it will take some time to change them. I am ready! Are you?
Comment on your experiences with food, your habits and where you think they came from. Share your story and struggle as well as your advice on how we all can improve our eating practices.
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Valantine’s day. This year it’s Sunday. So why not make it simple. Well, me and my Man do not have much choice actually. We live in a small town in Denmark, therefore everything is closed on Sunday, so we choose to just SIMPLIFY!
I also believe that special surprises on this day are kind of worthless, they are not really surprises, you expect something already, therefore it is not a real surprise. You get my logic?
So what I suggest instead of spending time and money on your ultimate surprises is:
Plan your Valentine’s together. Just talk about it. What do you imagine it to be like this year? Just chillin’ together or going out?
Planning together is not only getting you closer, but also that way you save yourself any unnecessary disappointment about your surprise not working out, or that the other didn’t try as much as you did or in general you just don’t set any certain expectations, therefore you guarantee yourself a great Valentine’s day. Only happy emotions allowed!
Happy Valentine’s day!