Thriving Mindfully

Tag: Habits

Why you should take up Journaling this New Year

A friend once asked me,

‘What is that one habit you’ve cultivated over the years that has changed your life?’

‘Daily Journalling’ I said without thinking twice.

‘Wow, that is a surprisingly quick answer! How did you have such clarity in your thought to come up with a prompt responses?’

My response was the same again,

‘Daily Journalling’.

For the past two years, I’ve been trying consistently to archive my thoughts daily in my Journal. Despite many failures, something always brought me back to the journal.
I have found such value in the habit that I use every chance I get to endorse daily journaling as a life transforming exercise.

Today, I’d like to make a case for why you should consider Daily Journaling as a new year resolution.

Here’s a few reasons why I recommend Journaling so much :

1) FOCUS – In the age of the distraction economy, it is easy to be passively engaged. But to make a positive change in any sphere, we need active engagement. Journaling helps you keep focussed on your goals and what you should be doing in order to achieve them.

2) STRUCTURE – When you do something everyday, it adds structure to your life. And this influences the prospect of having consistency in our daily lives.

3) CREATIVITY – A journal by no means needs to be solemn and dignified. It can be that if you want it to, but you can also use it to foster creativity. Doodles and digits hold as much value as words. A blank page is an invitation to infinity.

4) ARCHIVE : Once you’ve been journaling for a while, you will have repository of old thoughts and nostalgia in those reams of paper. It is a great way to reflect back on your life and evolution over time.

5) CLARITY : This is the best part about daily journaling. You will be naturally writing about everything around you, from what you like to eat, what love means, about your dreams and fears, about what you learned on a particular day…
Since you have been reflecting about things like this daily, you will gain a mental clarity you’d never known earlier.

Now, we all know, it is not easy to form a habit. Even if it is going to only do you good, it is easy to fall out of the habit. You will have to approach it in a way so that the habit sticks.

Here are a few suggestions from my end that will help in that regard :


Start with a tiny notebook. Only write one line a day. That isn’t too hard is it?

Here’s a link to an amazing TED Talk by B J Fogg about the power of tiny habits. I found it extremely insightful and highly recommend that you watch it.

If committing for a year seems too much, have it as a ‘Power Of Everyday’ project.
How about January 🙂 ?


Write with a pen and paper. It gives you the freedom to scribble, doodle and draw along with writing. Also, you are much likely to read your past diary entries if you write them on paper.
Even in the digital age, that is the way to go.


We all know the horror of confronting a blank page. Let it not bog you down. Write anything that comes to your mind right away. It could be as simple as a good morning wish.
Once the page isn’t blank anymore, writing will become easy.


Make it into a ritual. Write at a particular hour everyday. It could be right at sunrise or during your commute back form work. Let it help you add structure to your day.

My journals over the past two years

If you keep at this habit for long enough, soon you would start to miss it even if you stopped writing only for one day !
I know that for someone who doesn’t journal, this would seem outright odd.
But I’ve learnt this with my own experience, it is something I would rather not live without !

Take your time and think this through.
I have a feeling that everyone should be writing a journal in the interest of living a focused, deliberate and creative life.

Let’s do this together !



The Power of Everyday

We have a tendency to set ambitious goals for ourselves. We would like to be the ‘Biggest’, ‘ Quickest’, ‘Smartest’ , ‘Youngest’ etc. at a particular activity that we let into our life.
While this pool of superlatives helps one set a clear goal, it doesn’t help with the journey along the way to realising it.

For instance,
Wanting to be the quickest sprinter in your school helps set out a clear goal, but doesn’t help much with the work you have to put in to achieve the target.

I believe goal setting needs to be visualised differently. One must aspire to do the smallest task he can do, every single day, to reach his goal.
In my experience, nothing is as difficult as being consistent at something.
One of the reasons majority of new year resolutions never make past the first fortnight !

From what I’ve learnt,
One must design ‘micro goals’. He must aspire to do the smallest thing possible to take him the shortest distance forward in the direction of fulfilment of his goal.

Consistency is the key.

As a writer, I make sure I write an article every single day. As a fitness enthusiast I do Yoga every single day.
The habit of being consistent at the micro task every single day is the surest way to achieve the loftiest of dreams.

This is one of the reasons why I started
‘The power of everyday’ project.
This project aims at investigating the effect of consistent, deliberate practice.

In the month of April, I had the follow three projects.

1. To write one foolscap page with the left hand
2. To write and publish a blog everyday
3. To practice Yoga every single day

I’m happy to share that I did all of the above mentioned micro tasks, every single day in the month of April.

It has been challenging at times especially since I am traveling.
For example, on 29th April, I wrote my daily left hand page on a roll of tissue paper when stranded in an under construction school at an island.
I’ve written blog posts at ungodly hours just so that I can publish them the next day at 8 am IST no matter what.
I’ve found myself asleep on the yoga mat halfway into a yoga pose from the sheer exhaustion of the day. I woke up four hours later on my Yoga mat, and continued on to finish what was left of the daily micro task.

What did I gain from this month of experiment?
My left hand writing is improving and I can write much faster than before.
I am getting better at writing and creating content every single day.
And because of Yoga, I am definitely fitter than how I was a month ago when I started the project.

But more than that,
The most discerning change is in the mindset.
I sense a subtle shift in brain chemistry that helps me be in a positive frame of mind. Finishing all the daily micro tasks by the end of the day gave a reassuring sleep every night. Trust me, it really feels amazing!

In the month of May, I am undertaking the following five daily micro tasks in ‘The power of everyday’ project.

1) Wake up bright and early and watch the sunrise everyday. Write a page about it with your left hand.

2) Day dream for half an hour and journal it. Every day.

3) Celibate.

4) Continue the daily Yoga practise.

5) Continue writing and publishing a blog post every single day.

As you can see, I have built upon my old micro tasks and added a few new ones.

I’ll share one post about the progress of this project and what I’m learning from it every week.

I would really enjoy if you join me on this journey.

Pick one micro task for yourself, that you are willing to do every single day. It can be the smallest thing that leads you in the right direction (Say, write one line every single day)
Focus solely on consistency.
Pick something easy that would seem ridiculous to not do.( One push up a day every single day?)

Share your micro task for the week in the comments below. Don’t hesitate.
We are only enabling each other’s growth,
with the smallest step possible in the right direction.

More on this in a few days.

Until then,
Keep at the micro task.

Let’s carry on the spirit.

To our collective evolution.