How to Maintain Your Gratitude Journaling Habit Once and for All

Practicing gratitude can make us healthier, happier, and more enjoyable to be around. But I’ve found both gratitude letters and journaling to be a pain.

Gratitude letters are hard to make time for – writing a genuine letter to someone is not a quick, five-minute task. The gratitude apps I saw on the app store were clunky or ridden with ads.

Solutions like The Five Minute Journal worked well for me, but I hated carrying it around with me everywhere. On days when I was traveling, if I didn’t bring my journal in my bag, my journaling habit fell apart. The lack of consistency drove me mad.

That’s why I was so glad to see that the creators of The Five Minute Journal finally created a mobile app. At first, I was a bit turned by the price tag, but given that the hardcover version was ~$20 for a few hundred pages, paying $5 for an app that allowed for unlimited entries and PDF exports seemed totally worth it.

In short, the app is phenomenal. Not only is it significantly easier to do my journaling through my phone on the morning commute, but by allowing photos to be associated with each entry, it encourages me to be more mindful of capturing something great about each day. Continue Reading…

On Virtuous and Vicious Cycles

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Our circumstances in life tend to snowball and result in cycles that can either help us or harm us.  A negative person will tend to see the worst in the world, which furthers his negativity. A confident man will have an easier time putting himself out there and meeting a significant other, which then further bolsters his confidence.

Habits play a huge role in the momentum of cycles. This includes thought patterns, daily routines, and default responses to situations. The hard-working student gets into a good school, which then gives him more opportunities for a fulfilling career. That same habit of hard work then presents opportunities for promotions, raises, and virtual work agreements. As his habit of hard work brings him further and further along, it’s that much harder to break the cycle. Old habits die hard, so make sure your habits are worthy of accompanying you throughout your life.

Spend no less than an hour this week to identify the cycles in your life, classify them as virtuous or vicious, and act appropriately. If you have identified a vicious cycle in your life, keep in mind this Yiddish proverb: “Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.” The longer you wait to break a destructive habit, the more ingrained the vicious cycle becomes.