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As we live our lives, and either meet or fall short of our Present Potential, we collect experiences and external input from the world. These experiences can be anywhere from great to ugly. Of course how we respond to them through our decisions is huge. But holding those experiences in your brain for long periods of time exposes them to memory degrading and altering them, and your brain’s tendency to try and hold all your memories at the same time which means some will just have to go in order to maintain the other ones.

Because of these impacts, it’s very helpful to reduce stress and increase happiness by creating a daily journaling habit. You can use a variety of methods, some have more or less effectiveness depending on your use case and goals.

My current daily journaling system is Momento, although I’ve used a lot of systems, this is by far one of my favorites! It’s what helped me finally concrete my daily journaling habit. I journal a minimum of once a day with it, and often 2-3 times a day.

If you prefer paper, I highly recommend “The Five Minute Journal“. It’s brilliantly thought out, and worth the investment as it’s a very powerful system. I don’t use it simply because I often find myself in situations where I want to journal and don’t have anything physical like a notebook with me, hence why I use an app on my phone because I normally have it with me.

One of the things to be careful with, is getting caught setting the bar too high. It’s very easy to write a page or two on the first day, but by the second day, you’re tired and just don’t want to write that much. So procrastination starts, and you’ll probably flake out. For this reason I recommend maintaining a Tiny Habit where all you have to do is write literally 3 words. For example you might always start by saying “Today was ___” and fill in the blank with one adjective. If you do this and still want to keep writing, you’re more than free to. But this way you aren’t psyching yourself out before you even start writing!

I also recommend you implement journaling into your morning routine. The difference is that journaling in the evening is usually for things that have already happened, journaling in the morning is usually for things that will happen (in the short term like the day or week). If you don’t have a solid morning routine, you’re missing out big time! Start with The Miracle Morning, and adapt as needed (although it’s really good as is!).

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now

There’s no time like today to start journaling. Trust me, you’ll love being able to look back and read about your experiences and thoughts in the past!