Why Focus on Habits?
We talk about the transformational power of habits all the time here at The Way of the Tortoise. Why? Because they're scientifically proven to work.
Implementing daily positive actions start off as simple ideas but can quickly become 'your life' by simple repetition. Follow 3 simple rules and help yourself to adopt habits (to replace negative and often detrimental ones).
Trigger, Repetition, Reward.
1: Use a trigger (put your way of the Tortoise happiness journal by your bed as a reminder to journal).
2: Repeat your habit at the same time every day to reinforce repetition.
3: Give yourself a reward after you have completed the habit. We are no different to children, or lab rats when it comes to cause and effect. Our brains crave positive reinforcement so rewarding yourself with a piece of chocolate (not a whole bar!) or a cup of coffee, or whatever gives you comfort or pleasure will trick your brain into repeating the process. Or promise yourself one for later in the day (you decide, but don't make it too sugary!)
Very soon it will become part of your routine.
That's it. You'll be amazed at how simple it is to help yourself if you apply these 3 simple rules. This can be applied to exercise, meditation, affirmation, anything really. Powerful stuff.
Why Should I Journal?
We all want to be happy. It’s a human desire that unites every person on the planet. However there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to being happy, and many of us could use some guidance on how to achieve it. But that’s the tricky part because if we’re all unique then there is no single instruction manual to follow.
The good news is you write your own by journaling.
When we talk about achieving happiness we must first accept a fundamental that happiness is already there. It may be hidden beneath responsibilities, life changing events, and daily pressures but it’s important to know that everything we need to be happy is inside us, and we can employ some simple tools to uncover it.
You could spend your life seeking the answers ‘out there’ and become distracted by believing that “one day I’ll be happy when I achieve this, or learn that, or go there”. Instead you could accept the empowering belief that you already know the answers, you just need to uncover them.
The habit of journaling (alongside a few positive daily habits, such as mindfulness, gratitude and meditation) can bridge that gap to uncover who we are and keep us mindful of the present moment. Journaling will help you to learn about yourself; your desires, goals, passion, emotions, thoughts, and your own inherent wisdom. Journaling will prompt you to ask yourself the right questions. Once you have clarity on what is going on for you as an individual (your values, goals, feeling, wants and desires) then you have the insights to take practical steps towards setting and achieving the things that give you balance harmony = happiness.
Having used these tools to overcome major life changes in our own lives, we know it works. Our mission at The Way of the Tortoise is to create a collection of scientifically backed tools and tips to help you get happy and stay happy.
Why do the journal pages include daily and weekly questions?
Good question. Personal development coach and author Tony Robbins sums it up nicely…
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result get better answers.”
Questions are essential. If you visit a consultant for medical treatment and they prescribe medication before diagnosing your condition you would have questions about this person’s methods. Yet we so often take action ourselves without establishing the root of the problem. Why? Because we all want results fast, but this is the way of the hare, not the tortoise.
In life, long lasting change will not happen quickly. An oak tree will not grow overnight. The acorn will grow into an oak tree but the kind of tree is determined by conditions. With space, time, sun and rain it will flourish and grow mighty. If crowded or starved of the essential elements it will grow into a very different tree.
We know the importance of nurture but so often fail to care for ourselves, either because we don’t fully understand our needs or we are too busy in our hectic lives to value the importance of our actions. That is where a carefully structured journal can help. By following the wisdom within the pages for just a few minutes every day, you will begin to flourish, to grow, and uncover your inner happiness.
Questions allow us to see things differently. In the case of journaling and self-expression the prompts in this journal help you to gain personal insights by changing your perspective from what happens in the outside world to how we feel about it. A simple step but often difficult to achieve. Events out there, huge world events, or even how someone speaks to you can affect your day, your mood, and your happiness. If you are aware of your own needs, perspective, and emotional responses (you may not be able to change what’s out there but) you can manage your response to it, and get back on track, focussed and enjoying a happy life much quicker. It’s essentially a management tool to help you enjoy your life.
What will I find out about myself by journalling?
Imagine this: you are in an unfamiliar city. The good news is that you have a map with your destination marked clearly by a cross. Phew. The bad news is you don’t know your current location. What is your first action? Logic suggests you should get your bearings in order to work out where you are right now.
In other words, to reach your destination you must first know where you are. It makes no sense to just start walking. Imagine how many wrong turns you might make. It’s the same with your life. Why leave it up to chance when there are tools that can help you?
‘Know thyself’ is arguably the cornerstone of all personal development. Establish a realistic and honest sense of who you are and then you can explore where to go next to benefit your own development.
Is there scientific proof that it actually works?
Dr Martin Zeligman, the founder of positive psychology carried out extensive research into the science of personal happiness to uncover which activities brought the most significant life satisfaction. The results of one study of over 600 participants showed that 2 activities proved conclusively successful at maximising happiness. Those who carried out the following 2 exercises (daily) were measurably happier than before (after only 1 week):
- Documenting positive things that happened throughout the day
- Writing a letter of gratitude or thanks
Over an extended period the participants who undertook these two self-reflection and gratitude exercises became even happier when tested at intervals of one, three, and six months. That’s why we journal, and why gratitude (amongst other daily habits) is a key focus. Because it works.
How will journaling help me?
A journal can be useful in a multitude of ways; Jotting down creative ideas, a diary to chart your emotional responses, a keepsake of your thoughts as you go through your day, your week, your month, your year and your life.
The Way of the Tortoise – Journal to Happiness takes a lettuce leaf from the wise tortoise Philosophy of ‘slow steady is the way’ and is carefully structured to offer you the insights you need to make a difference in your life.
The daily journal pages will ask you questions, remind you to be grateful, maintain a positive mindset, contribute to others, create and repeat affirmations, set daily weekly and monthly goals, track your positive habits and happiness levels, inspire you with daily quotes and include space for capturing your own thoughts, ideas and musings. All this within a beautiful soft feel cover and adorned by our lovely logo which combines the wisdom of the tortoise with the ancient Koru symbol from Polynesia - a curved silver fern that represents new life, growth and peace.
In short. This small book is a constant companion, a source of wisdom, and a life coach all in one.
How is this journal different from others?
The Way of the Tortoise – A Journal to Happiness strikes a beautiful balance between practicality and ease-of-use. Some journals can be over complicated and leave you overwhelmed, or too simplistic. Our careful, gentle guidance written in a light hearted, positive and encouraging way is always supportive no matter how incremental your daily steps are. We know the challenges and pitfalls of managing our daily lives and so this journal is designed to help. We use it ourselves so we know it works.
- 60+ page introduction supplying valuable bit size information, scientific research, information, explanations
- Real life Anecdotes, stories, tips, tricks, tools and explanations why each of the powerful habits will make a positive difference to your life.
- 4 months of daily journal pages,
- Monthly habit assessments to track your progress
- Inspirational quotes on every page
- Bonus affirmation list