I Tried Journaling Every Night for 32 Days and Here’s What Happened

“With our lives moving at the speed of light, I wanted to slow down to the pace of handwriting.”

Research shows that nearly half of New Year’s resolutions fizzle before February. Instead of setting overly ambitious New Year’s resolutions that make you feel bad when you can’t accomplish them, we want to help you revolutionize your approach to resolutions with Microsteps, Thrive’s science-backed, too-small-to-fail mini behavior changes that you can integrate into your life right away, making it easier to meaningfully form new habits.

We challenged Thrive staffers to test a Microstep for 32 days and write about their progress. The result? Some very honest and encouraging Microstep Diaries, like this one.

Thrive staffer: Summer Mattice, Director of Client Experience

Microstep: Set aside just a few minutes each night to write in a journal.

Why I chose it

With our lives moving at the speed of light, I wanted to take concerted time to slow down to the pace of handwriting, to take time to reflect, and to capture all of the wonderful crazy things we may otherwise lose over time. When I started, I hoped to build a habit that I’d continue doing as part of my nighttime routine.

Keeping consistent

I would say I was about 85 percent consistent in doing the Microstep, especially when I was at work, because that’s where I kept my journal and would make myself a note in my work to-do list to complete my Microstep! I also added a calendar reminder as a double reminder.

Feeling accomplished

I always felt better after doing the journaling, kind of like a mini version of finishing a workout. Wasn’t so excited to do it, but felt accomplished after it was done. It also centered me and brought my brain speed down from typing to writing — a lovely slow down.

There’s a twist!

Overall I think this experiment was very successful! I think this was largely due to attaching my Microstep to a clear, important purpose in my life. Instead of reflecting on my life at large, I turned the journal into a daily note for my partner, which I’m planning to share with him as a gift, capturing small moments in our relationship that we may have otherwise forgotten. While I still received the positive benefits of keeping the journal, setting a specific intention for it was what really kept me on track.

Key takeaways

My main learning was that if something is important to you, you will find time for it. (And if you’re not finding time, to re-evaluate the importance.) Another learning was that by integrating my personal and work to-do lists, I made sure I was giving attention to both.

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More Microstep Month Diaries:

I Made a Small Change in My Pre-Bedtime Ritual for 32 Days and the Results Were Amazing

I Tried A Quick Burst of Exercise Most Mornings for 32 Days and Here’s What Happened

Arianna Huffington: Give Your New Year’s Resolutions a Boost by Joining Us For Microstep Month

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