Taking Action with the Five-Minute Journal

A Journal That’s Primed for Action

Starting a journaling habit sounds like a great idea. Buying a new notebook and thinking about the joy of putting your thoughts down on paper can be incredibly gratifying. However, once you actually have the notebook, it’s sometimes difficult to go from not really being the diary type to filling those blank pages with your daily activities and thoughts.

When I discovered the five-minute journal, this was the exact scenario I realized it would apply to. This journal makes developing a daily journaling habit easier to develop, but also creates a daily mindfulness practice that will help you be more intentional and thoughtful throughout the day.

What Is the Five-Minute Journal?

The five-minute journal was created by Intelligent Change, a motivational products company based in Toronto, Canada. Its founders, Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas, create concepts for products based on their own needs, and then use research and user testing to develop products that make their own lives better, and that they believe will help others create positive habits in their own lives.

The idea for the five-minute journal was conceived on a hike, with UJ explaining his journaling habits to Alex. It was immediately identified that writing out each section each day could get tedious and deter a customer from being able to fully commit for the long haul. The result of the conversation was an action-oriented journal that streamlined the process of entering daily mindfulness notes.

As described on their site, the journal is “your secret weapon to focus on the good in your life, become more mindful, and live with intention.” It consists of an intro section describing the science and use of the journal, followed by six months’ worth of journaling pages.

The journal enforces an intentional routine, and infuses mindfulness in the tasks and thought processes you commonly go through every day. It is specifically different from any other journaling tactic in its use of a template at the reflection points of the day to make your affirmations and reflections more actionable.

The basis of this routine revolves around taking time to write in the journal for two reasons:

1. Reflection

The journal capitalizes on small moments in your day that can make the rest of your time more intentional. There are both morning and evening rituals built into the system to think through your purpose for the day ahead, and what you’ve accomplished in the day behind.

2. Goal setting and affirmation

The routine also includes a section for goal setting and affirming yourself. This is an intentional way to set goals, maybe even ones you know will be a struggle, and set the intention for how your actions can lead to success in those areas. There is also a moment to make an affirmation, using positive words to propel your mind into the day.

The benefit of spending a few minutes each day focusing on being grateful, setting intentions, and reflecting on your actions is mindful progress. Developing new habits is hard, and stressful days can make it easy to push your goals to the side. Consistent reflection and renewal of your goals, as well as actively analyzing how those goals are being achieved, will ultimately lead to better habits and relationships.

So what’s the next step?

Getting started with this habit is simple! Read up on the five-minute journal and get one for yourself. As with all new habits, it’s better to jump right in than plan to death. Find The Five-Minute Journal direct from Intelligent Change here, or find it on Amazon here.


What do you think? Is a mindfulness journal for you? For me, this journal has made a material difference in the way I think about my day, and how I reflect on my intentions at the end of the day. Instituting a required time each morning to contemplate what I’m grateful for and to be intentionally positive has made me more sincere as I head into interactions at work, and more in tune with what interactions and decisions I make that could use more effort.

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Is a mindfulness journal for you? For me, the five-minute journal has made a material difference in the way I think about my day, and how I reflect on my intentions at the end of the day.

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