In my nutrition practice, I help clients identify the ONE actionable thing they can put into practice to cause a ripple effect on everything else thereafter. The one “catalyst for change” if you will. At a pivotal moment, that one thing for me was journaling.
At the time, much of my wellness was dialed in, but I found myself in the mental struggle many mommies experience. While the 4th trimester is a blissful collection of moments, it’s also a sleep-deprived season sprinkled with anxiety and disconnectedness. The desire to give everything I had to my baby and my life simultaneously, while also feeling completely out-of-body and removed from my purpose at work was overwhelming. I caught myself often thinking too far ahead, which only makes everything in the present more difficult. I determined that putting my thoughts on paper would help empty them from my mind. I thought if I could journal for a few moments after Harlow’s morning feeding, I could relieve myself of the dizzying thoughts and better determine what deserved my attention and what could simply be expressed in writing. I had seen this “5 Minute Journal” floating around on Instagram so I Amazon Primed it one day while breastfeeding. True story. I had no idea what a profound impact that one simple purchase would have on my life.
The journal provides a daily quote and prompts 3 thoughts every morning:
1) I am grateful for…
2) What would make today great?
3) Daily affirmations. I am…
At night, you list:
1) 3 amazing things that happened today…
2) How could I have made today even better?
Gratitude brings us into the present and elevates our mood through awareness of what we already have. It helps us to feel proud of what’s gotten us to where we are and it brings our attention to the things that truly matter. Developing this practice has been much easier for me using a journal that provides the prompt every morning. I simply fill in 3 things I’m grateful for and meditate on them. Without fail, it makes me feel expanded and happy first thing in the morning. I can’t write them down without smiling. What a beautiful way to begin the day!
Thoughtful planning brings clarity to where we should direct our energy. By getting clear on the 1-3 things that would be most meaningful, you eliminate the distractions that pull you from your purpose. This has been game changing for me being the poster child for Gemini! I am never not thinking about 100 things at a time.
The body responds to the way we speak to ourselves. This morning, my affirmation was “I am showing up fully” – a condensed version of a Marie Forleo quote that had me shook recently. Rather than fall into my default state of getting too futuristic in my thinking, I’m empowering myself to be all here, now. I carry my affirmations with my throughout my days now, reminding myself that I am...capable, enough, present...
Being a witness to our day retrospectively helps us to celebrate wins and identify areas for improvement. This part of the journaling process I admit is most difficult for me. I’ve adopted the morning practice without much difficulty, but the nighttime routine sometimes gets away from me. To be better about making this as much of a habit as my morning routine, I am trying to pair the journaling with my nightly meditation. It hasn’t fully taken root yet, but I’m a work in progress just like everyone else!
If you’re thinking about inviting this practice into your life, check out fiveminutejournal.com to get your own! I hope this impacts your days the way that it has for me. If you start journaling daily, I’d love to hear how it’s created a radical ripple effect for you!