One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to keep a sort of daily log.
I said that once a day I would make a note of something good that happened that day.
Nothing detailed or lengthy. Just a one-line note.
It could be something good that I did at work. Not the usual day job stuff, but something that I did that was different, impressive or notable.
It could be something that I did at home – something with my family that I was pleased with, or that I enjoyed.
I wasn’t sure how I’d approach it when I started.
“Today wasn’t a waste because I…”? Or… “Today was a good day because I…”? Or… “Today was different because I…”? Or… “Today I made a difference by…”?
But I thought I’d start, and see what happened.
A few months later, and not only am I still doing it, but I’m finding it surprisingly rewarding.
I don’t claim to have invented a new idea here. While I can’t remember why I started this, I have since seen a few things around which confirm what I’ve experienced.
The best explained one is a TEDx talk by Shawn Achor I saw last month. If you’ve not seen it before, I’d recommend it. It’s only ten minutes long, and it’s an entertaining and thought-provoking watch.
His talk is about positive psychology or the “science of happiness”. He describes a few practices that he recommends, including journaling about positive experiences in the last 24 hours. The theory is that it helps to train you to look at the world for the positive, which is something that we’re typically bad at. And that by recording it, it helps you to briefly relive it.
I’m not explaining it well, which is why I’m linking to the video instead.
I’m not doing exactly what he describes, but I’m doing something similar. And it works. It’s a little fluffy, and it’s easy to be cynical about this kind of stuff. But it takes me a minute or less each day, so it’s not a lot of work. And I do think that I’ve got something out of it – that I feel more positive, happier and productive as a result.