The Five-Minute Journal, Tweaked

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A few months ago I wrote about a new practice I’ve been doing–a morning journaling exercise that takes about five minutes. It’s been a great way to center the day.

Among other things, the practice involves listing three things that would make the day fruitful. I wrote: “Most of us have way more than three things on our daily to-do list, so it helps to be clear on the most essential items.”

Then yesterday I read a lovely reflection on the Storyline blog:

At the end of every day, no matter how busy I’d been, there were always projects unfinished, emails unanswered, and household chores left undone. I hadn’t done it all, so I felt like I hadn’t done enough.

And it’s only a short leap in your heart from “I never do enough” to “I’m not enough.”

I tried making really thorough to-do lists, but that just gave me a super detailed record of all the things I wasn’t getting to. I would not call that helpful.

So the author created an Enough List: three things that are enough for the day. “They don’t have to be life-changing things, they just have to be the things that are most important to me today. When I’ve done those three things, I’ve done enough.” She may do more than three things, but those extra things get to be gravy. And if she doesn’t get to the three things, there’s grace.

I like that framing even better! Enough is such a gracious word.

So here’s the improved version of my morning journal:

Three things for which I’m grateful:
1.
2.
3.

My Enough List for the day:
1.
2.
3.

An affirmation: 

I’m curious about:
And the evening practice:

Three things to celebrate about the day:
1.
2.
3.

One thing I could have done better:

Happy journaling!

Image is “Journaling” by Seth Barber, from Flickr via Creative Commons license

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3 thoughts on “The Five-Minute Journal, Tweaked

  1. Ted Chadeayne

    I like this idea! It reminds me of your recent Christian Century article about KonMari-ing. Perhaps this journal could be how to KonMari not an object, but a day – a much more valuable possession to organize. The morning list would be a ritual before we “purchase” the day, to ask how it can spark joy. The evening list would be a way to say goodbye to the day, to thank it for the joy it did bring. Then we can let go of that day and prepare for the joys of the next.

    Reply
  2. Cindy Karis

    In a world where we trying to do more each day, I love thinking about doing enough.
    Thank you!

    Reply

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