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Journaling for 10 Minutes: Lifestyle Practice

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Practice 10 Minutes of Journaling Each Day This Week

Simple Instructions:

  1. Sit down for 10 minutes each day and write in a handwritten journal.
  2. Use any kind of journaling you like. Choose something that suits your needs and personal style. Some examples are a diary-type reflective journal, stream-of-consciousness, “free form” writing, or Artist’s Way morning pages.
  3. You can also use any of the journal cues provided below.
  4. Don’t worry about the content. This is not art. It doesn’t even have to be legible or considered “writing.”
  5. All of your thoughts are fair game — don’t censor yourself.

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Some Writing Prompts You Can Try:

  • What are three great/amazing/fantastic things that happened today (or yesterday)?
  • What are three things I’m grateful for? If you’re not sure, consider the following:

    • What do I take for granted?
    • What advantages do I have that others don’t?
    • What people have helped me get where I am today?
    • What basic human needs are met in my life that I rarely think about?
    • What freedoms and options do I have in my life that others don’t?
  • How could I have made today/yesterday better?
  • What is something I learned or am learning?
  • What is something I’m struggling with?
  • What is an issue I’m having with my spouse/significant other/child/friend/colleague?
  • What are the three most important things I need to get done today? Why?

Watch this video for an explanation of this Lifestyle Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.

Why Is This Practice Important?

Most of the time, our thoughts seem to have a life of their own. They bounce around in our heads and operate on their own schedule, coming and going as they please. Some of them don’t seem to serve any useful purpose, but there can be important or valuable thoughts inside us that we’re not present to.

Whether our thoughts are positive or negative, when we don’t get them out in some way, they tend to block our forward progress. Unexpressed thoughts are like keeping a cork in a bottle — whatever is in there stays in there, running your show on its terms. It makes no difference whether these thoughts are true or false, practical or unrealistic.

Taking the time to get our uncensored thoughts out of our heads and onto paper can liberate our minds. If it’s important stuff, now you’ve become present to it and can make it useful. If it’s not something you wish to retain or hang onto, you can even rip the page out of your journal, burn it, and be done with it!

The simple act of releasing your thoughts by keeping a daily journal can give you the freedom to take back your own mind and create new connections and new opportunities.

For More on This Practice

Andy’s podcast guest this week is an online teacher and somewhat of a celebrity in a journaling system known as “bullet journaling.” Kara teaches her readers how to live a more centered, fulfilled, and inspiring life full of creative energy and focus. For Kara’s thoughts on the parallels she’s found between journaling and life, and how that has helped her grow in unexpected ways, click through to the podcast and jump to 36:04.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.