Positivity & Mindfulness

Originally published on Extratextuals

It is all too easy to get into a rhythm of focusing on the negative. Day after day we allow the good to wash over us and quickly become forgotten, choosing instead to give our attention to criticism, mistakes, and problems. This sets us up for failure, and we rarely think to get out of this pattern and set ourselves up for success.

This morning I took a productive step towards building mindfulness into my day by setting up Workflows to ask myself questions in the style of The Five Minute Journal and log them in Day One. There is a morning log and an evening log, each taking a cursory amount of time to reflect and look forward.

I found a “template” for a Workflow written by Jon Westfall, which I adapted for this use. In the morning, I record a list of things I am grateful for. Tim Feriss, who inspired the Five Minute Journal, recently recorded a podcast on the topic of mindfulness and suggested using this moment to (1) think back on past relationships, (2) think forward to future opportunity, (3) reflect on a recent win, and (4) be mindful of a simple, tangible ‘something’ nearby. Next, I ask ‘What would make today great?’, and conclude with a short affirmation starting with ‘I am…” intended to point myself in the right direction for the day. Download this Workflow here

In the evenings I list “three amazing things that happened today” and then ask “how could I have made today better?” I enjoy the balance created by these two questions, because I believe there is a way to be critical without being negative; a way to learn from my mistakes without forgetting the beauty and victories which also took place. Download this Workflow here

There is a contemplative, almost meditative quality to this process — and the simple task of stopping the constant push forward can do wonders for your day.

Give it a try.