Many of the self development philosophies and exercises that have become popular over the past couple of years center around cultivating your ideal feeling. When I think about feelings, I also think about emotions. Neuroscientists and psychologists would argue that the two are distinctly different because they originate from different areas of the brain and blah blah… but for the purposes of what I’m about to say, let’s assume they’re sort of the same.
Yesterday morning I was on my bike trainer watching a line-up of Youtube videos ranging in subject matter from triathlon coverage and training tips to carpool karaoke and self development advice. One of the videos in the queue was a Tony Robbins interview where he said “Emotion is created by motion. The way you move determines the way you feel.”
This got me thinking about habits – habits I have that are constructive and not so constructive. Exercise is an obvious form of movement and it absolutely does create emotions. I’m sure those of you who work out regularly can attest to this. One of my other habits that isn’t as movement-focused as exercise, but certainly is constructive is journalling. I’ve been a big advocate of this for a long time and think there’s a lot to be said for the power of getting your thoughts on paper.
Two years ago (almost exactly) I wrote a post called 15 big questions to answer in your journal. It’s been one of the most popular posts on Eat Spin Run Repeat ever since, something I totally didn’t anticipate at the time of writing it. Some of you might have already answered those questions, and those of you who are newer readers might find it helpful to have a look back at the post. For those of you looking for some fresh new questions, well that’s exactly what I’ve got for you today.
The next time you take a little time out for yourself (which should happen on the regular!), grab your journal, pretty pens, a cup of tea or a smoothie, and whatever else you need to relax. Here’s 15 more questions to answer in your journal, and I hope they get you thinking!
1. Are there any areas in your life where you’re finding it hard to gain momentum? What’s getting in the way?
2. Think about somebody who you’re inspired by or who you look up to. What qualities do you admire in them? If those are qualities you wish to embody, what are 3 things you could be doing now to develop them?
3. What’s one thing you could be doing right now that will contribute towards building the future you want for yourself?
4. What’s one thing you could be doing right now that would make you genuinely happier in this moment? (Note – your answer to this is absolutely no less important than the question above!)
5. What’s one thing you’re currently doing that isn’t getting you closer to where you want to go? Why are you still doing it? What would happen if you stopped?
6. We spend a lot of time doing the ‘shoulds’ instead of the things we actually love to do, or want to do just for the sheer pleasure of it. What are 5 things that bring you joy? Do one today.
7. If you hadn’t gone down your current education/career path, what would you have chosen instead?
8. Fill in the blanks: My theme word for today is ______________ and I want to feel _________. I’m going to say yes to __________ and no to _____________. (This is actually a great one to do every day!)
9. If you had an extra hour every day to learn a new skill, what would that be?
10. Make a list of the people who have positively impacted your life the most over the past year. If you’re up to it, write them a note or send them an email to let them know. (I thought of this one while out running on New Year’s Day and decided to make it an annual tradition!)
11. Write down of how you want to spend your days feeling. Does the way you act, the way you dress, the way you speak, the space you live in, and the way you interact with others make you feel this way?
12. Who are the 5 people you spend the most time with? How do they push you forward and how do they hold you back?
13. Give a compliment to at least 5 different people tomorrow. Journal about what their responses were and how the experience made you feel. How do you respond when people compliment you?
14. What is the most important thing to you this month, this week, today, in this hour, and in this minute?
15. To mix things up: Rather than writing with a pen, grab some markers or coloured pencils. Doodle everything that’s on your mind.
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So tell me…
- Do you keep a journal? Are you the type that likes to get your thoughts out like you’re talking to a friend, or are you more of a creative type that writes more abstractly, doodles, etc?
- Or.. if you feel like answering one of the questions above in the comments, feel free to do that too!