The DailyGreatness Journal: A Review of the Ultimate Habit Builder
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"A practical guide for consciously creating your days..."
I remember when I read that description on the Daily Greatness website for the first time.
"Ummmmm - yes! That's exactly what I need."
It was December-ish and I was finishing another whirlwind of a semester, and, with the New Year rollin' in, it was one of those moments when I knew that I had a lot I wanted to do, but no concept of when or how I was going to do it!
Until I got the Daily Greatness Journal...
This journal has been a game changer for me, and figures prominently into my morning routine as I described previously. Every morning since the start of the new year, it has become a crucial part of some of the progress I've made over the last few months. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to REALLY use this planner before I wrote anything about it. But that doesn't mean it hasn't made it's way onto my social media...because long story short, I'm totally obsessed!
I've mentioned that this has been a total game changer for some of my daily habits! But, before I get into some of the important daily activities, I want to lay out some of the pre-work incorporated into this journal.
Hitting the ground running...
I knew this journal wasn't messing around the moment I opened it! I got it a couple weeks before the new year, which was the perfect amount of time to really go through everything before the new year kicked off!
The first 10 pages of this journal are all about how to use it! Some of the stuff may be a little cheesy for some of you. The people who created this journal are yogis and very much into the yoga philosophy. It may be really easy to roll your eyes at some of the activities and ideas, like Dharma, self-mastery, etc. But I say give it a chance!
They then break into what they call the 8 Daily Steps, which is where this journal really shines. The 8 daily steps include:
- Meditations & Visualization
- Inspired Actions
- Evening Power Questions
Each of these 8 things are incorporated into the journal in a manner that allows you to seamlessly incorporate them into your day through routines & rituals! We all know new habits are hard to incorporate, which is exactly where this book comes in handy. If you keep it accessible and prevalent, on your nightstand, desk, or wherever you're going to see it each and every day, that's where it's going to be the most effective! I personally keep this journal on my desk, where I sit every morning while I drink my coffee, and where I'm usually working right before I go to bed!
After the how-to spread, there's a billion activities which I personally love because it REALLY forces you to get to know yourself! These are things like listing your achievements, (so when you're down on yourself you can be reminded of all the great hings you've already done), values, dreams, goals, a why statement and mission statement, and what they call a "Greatness Blueprint" which is probably the crux of everything moving forward. This is where you set your goals!
Now, when you are filling out your Greatness Blueprint, make sure you follow their directions! It will be so helpful, and it's something I didn't do! You want to set your BIG, Audacious goals in this section, and then you can break them down as you start tackling them over the next year!
90 Day Goals & Weekly planner...
Before you move into the daily activities section, you'll do a 90 Day Goal setting activity. I love this section because it allows you to, as I said, break your goals down! Not only that, but it uses a bit of the SMART goal setting system I've talked about before! The 90 Day goal planner is split into 9 sections, enough for 9 big goals. At the top of each section you right your specific (S) goal and what project it pertains to (health & fitness, spirituality, etc.), and the target date (T) you want to achieve that goal by. Then you list a handful of actions that you need to complete to complete your goals. Those actions can then become your weekly actions/focus goals to work toward. You'd then explore why you wanted to achieve this goal, and what achieving this goal will allow you to feel! Attaching a feeling to a goal is a great habit to get into!
Now, as I said, I loved this section because I thought it was great pre-work to really force you to evaluate things about yourself. What I didn't like were:
- Some of the activities felt a little redundant - like there was a page to write out your "why" and then another page to write out a "Why Statement"
- There weren't directions with some of the activities, and I found myself grasping at straws and guessing regarding what in the world I was supposed to use this section for
- There really wasn't enough room sometimes to properly go into some of these things. Like:
- The 90 Day Planner could have fewer goal sections but more room to hash out each goal
- The Greatness Blueprint maybe should've been a multiple page spread
Then, there's the Weekly Planner before each week. It's a two page spread where there's space to review & plan! This is something that I love to do anyway, but there are definitely aspects of the Daily Greatness planners weekly review that I love, and of course some that I don't love.
The weekly check-in is made up of review questions asking about not only what you have achieved that week and where you've made progress, but what is and isn't working so that you can adjust your routine accordingly! It's meant to be a place where you can evaluate and adjust your routine and habits. The overall point of it is great, but I have a fair number of things that I love and don't love about this section!
I love the questions, asking you to look at what you achieved and what you can adjust, and I love the random questions like "how can I have more fun?" and "What do I need to make a decision about?" I also love the little appointments section, which makes it so that you can use this really more like a planner if you decide to. I also love the check boxes at the top of the page essentially walking you through the process, and also suggesting you review your goals, greatness blueprint and personal statement which are important things to review to really keep that fire burning toward that life you want to create! I also love, in the weekly planner section where you plan out the next week, the idea of selecting major goals to focus on! When you've set 9 goals for 90 days, this 4 weekly focuses approach allows you to prioritize your different 90 day goals depending upon what's going on in your life!
What I don't love about this section is that the habits section at the bottom of the page is very redundant. I like the idea in concept, but some of the sections are redundant. I think it could be shrunk to two sections (old habits and new habit), thereby giving you more space to write. I also don't love the weekly planner section. It's oddly split into two sections - one for appointments and projects and the other for actions. If there had been some example of how they envisioned this section being used, maybe it would make more sense to me.
Now, we get into the Daily Activities...
In the morning, I would always sit down with my cup of coffee and putter for a while before I went to work out, but now the Daily Greatness journal has really helped me refine my morning routine by incorporating some really important, productive habits into my morning.
Each day is a single page spread, with questions to answer for the morning and evening routines! The morning routine covers the majority of the 8 Daily steps -- meditation & visualization, gratitudes, intentions & inspired actions, and affirmations. Some of the daily activities, such as exercise (or energy), and inspiration just have a check box, so it's not necessarily important you do these activities in the morning. But, this is what I do...
While I'm drinking my coffee I pull out this journal (which is beautiful by the way!), and I start answering the questions...
The first questions are usually something random like what are you going to "accept" about today, what are you going to "create," "today is my opportunity to...," etc. There's also a space at the top of the page, and it's use varies from page to page. Sometimes it's a Dream, Invention, or Creative space, and other times it's open.
Next are the gratitudes. I've known for a while that practicing gratefulness is important, especially for putting things back into perspective when something bad happens! We always have something to be grateful for, right? Well, there are actions health benefits to expressions of gratitude and expressions of optimisms, such as a higher level of well-being. Other resources on the benefits gratitude and happiness to health can be found here.
Next, I set my intentions and actions for the day. This is something that has surprised me how important it is! I used to be one of those people that really never felt like I'd done enough or was productive enough over any given day. Let's face it - there's always more work to do! But that can put you in a state of chronic dissatisfaction if you never feel like you're getting enough work done! So, I set 3 intentions every morning - actions that, if I accomplish them during the day, will mark my day as productive and successful. This has been a game changer for me! I check off activities that I have been trying and failing to implement into my life....like stretching and daily exposing myself to my goals inspiration.
Next, I write out my affirmations. Affirmations refer to essentially giving yourself daily support and encouragement, and building yourself up with expressions of self-compassion. Such expressions can quell self-criticism in those of us that are negative nancys, and may even help buffer symptoms of depression. Some of my go-to affirmations are things like:
- I am worthy of love & belonging
- I perfectly flawed
- I am a beautiful work in-progress
- I am unrelenting in my pursuit of the life I want
- I am good enough (a definite insecurity of mine!)
That's where the morning questions end, but there are other daily activities that I personally like to build into my morning, such as meditation & visualization. I'm new at the whole meditation thing, so my focus is to focus on my breathing and clearing my head. That's really all I do right now! The DG creators also have some instructions and ideas for meditation in the back of the journal. The next activity I then do is my workout! In DG, they call this the energy or exercise activity of the 8 Daily Habits. 80% of the time I workout in the morning.
After I workout and while I'm getting ready, I'm getting my inspiration on. I glance through my vision board (desktop background!), review my goals, personal mission statement, and listen to my manifesto and daily affirmations on my iphone! Then I'm off to work.
Then i come back to the journal in the evening...
Right before I go off to bed, I pull the journal back out to finish off my day. This was the part that I had read the most negative reviews about. Why? Because these questions are "redundant." But, I personally didn't see them that way.
The Evening Power Questions are essential in my opinion, and if you're using them effectively and really taking them seriously, they are helpful. They might seem redundant, pretty consistently responding to questions like "what went well?" or "what did I love about today?", for example. "What would you have handled differently?...Where would you like to grow?"
I read somewhere in a review that no question is repeated twice. I don't think that that is true, and if they are they're worded only slightly differently. But the gist is the same...and I don't think that's a bad thing!
Why? Because I do think that there's something you can take away everyday. Even if it's something along the lines of "I need to learn to be more patient" if you got aggravated waiting to use the bathroom. The people who find these questions redundant, I think, really aren't taking the chance to fully embrace the fact that there is a lesson, a place to improve in every single day. I truly believe that!
There's also a 4th - unlabeled - check box that you can use to incorporate your own habit that you want to focus on! For me it's things like drinking enough water and stretching!
I love this DailyGreatness journal! It has been a game changer for me to incorporate all of those little habits like daily affirmations, gratitudes, meditation, and my miscellaneous habits. Yes, there are parts where the question are redundant, but if you're really taking advantage of the lessons and the things you can learn from those lessons then you won't find them to be cumbersome.
The things that I don't like and I wish there were were some guidance on some of the early activities, and that the weekly planner layout was more refined. But, the Daily Activities, which are the bulk of the journal, are fantastic!
I highly recommend this journal if you have BIG goals you're working toward that you need help breaking down and staying accountable to, you have daily habits (like any of those listed above!) that you want to incorporate, etc. If you need help deciding or have questions, drop a comment below! I would happy to answer based on my experience with this journal!
It really is one of the most recommended products I've ever used! I highly recommend it!
Bonus - Check out the App Journey, in conjunction with the daily greatness journal!
If you find that you just have too much gratitude to include in the gratitude section, you just want to elaborate more on the notion of gratitude, or you want to associate your gratitude with a specific place or photograph, I love moving into the app Journey, especially when I'm traveling and just can't bring all the notebooks with me! ;-) Not only does it remind you to actually do your gratitude and ritual practices, which is super handy for those of us that just have a lot on our place, but you can include a photo or an audio note with your gratitude in app! And Bonus - it tracks your post by location, which serves as an awesome memory keeper and road map of all the places you've been which is something to be grateful for in and of itself! Check out more about this app in my Fave Apps & Podcasts page (Coming Soon!).