Growing up, my dad, in addition to farming, worked in town as a finish carpenter. If it’s made of wood there’s nothing he can’t fix or build. That gift wasn’t passed to me but among the many lessons I learned growing up in his shadow as that the right tool makes all the difference. 

For the past three weeks, as we’ve dealt with this global pandemic and the quarantine that it’s brought, this has proven especially true for me. As I wrote last week, my keys for staying sane through all of this have been to establish a routine, get dressed, block my day, find a project, and get outside. While using these keys, I have found one tool has made all the difference in their implementation; my Best Self Journal.

Before I go on, I need to say up front that I am not paid to endorse this product. I don’t make any money mentioning it. I simply believe in it. I wrote a post in 2017 about my experience that you can find here. Of all of the productivity tools and planners out there, this one is my favorite and during these difficult times, I’m incredibly thankful to have one. Here’s Why. 

There’s Power In Ritual

Using a Best Self Journal requires that I write in it at least twice each day: first thing in the morning and last thing each night. This creates a ritual that puts me in control of not only how I spend my time but how I see my day when I start it and allows me to reflect on how I spent it when I’m finished. It sets me up for success and allows me to find areas of improvement when I’m done. 

Every morning starts with finding three new things to be grateful for and during times like this, keeping my focus on the positive is pretty helpful. The next step is rewriting the three goals that I’m working on for this quarter which in and of itself is motivating. The last step of the morning ritual is defining three targets that I will hit though out the day and by getting these three wins, I get a feeling most of us are lacking right now and that’s the feeling of achievement.  

Every evening starts with identifying what my wins for the day were and this can be mood shifting. Next, I look back over my day and find areas where I can improve. And then the last thing I do every day is find three new things to be grateful for before I shut my eyes. My Best Self Journal forces me to bookend my day with rituals that keep me focuses on the positives in my life. 

It Provides Space To Block Time

Yes, I’ve covered this at length. I think blocking our days in times like these is an invaluable way to move past anxiety and fear and into a place of control and courage. The zero-based calendar allows me a place to store my blocks and reclaim my agenda. This puts me in control of how my day goes. 

I Get To Learn From Me

One thing that has been surprisingly helpful during these uncertain and difficult times has been rereading and studying some of my old journals. I have an entire shelf that is made up of nothing but my journals and since I’ve had plenty of time on my hands I’ve gone back through them while I’ve been home. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I’ve had to face adversity or difficult times and there have been several key lessons that I’ve picked up going back through my old journals. That’s where my five keys came from, to begin with. 

During this crisis, I’m convinced my Dad was right; the right tool makes all the difference. I’m grateful that I’ve had my Best Self Journal because I’m sure I’d be lost without it. 

P.S. Get yours from Amazon. I don’t make any money suggesting it, but you’ll thank me later.

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