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The 5-Minute Daily Ritual That Will Change Your Life

A couple years ago I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life. I was experiencing new motherhood while going through a marital separation, I was being overworked and hardly sleeping and I was enduring a pretty significant hormone imbalance. I was diagnosed with PMDD, which meant that about a third of every month I was severely depressed, angry, irritable and cried about everything. It overwhelmed me, and I didn’t know how to find happiness amongst what life had thrown my way. So I asked myself, how can I achieve happiness despite any hardships? How do people heal from pain and live joyfully no matter what? I set out to answer that question.

I began researching the human experience of recovering from pain. I learned about sitting in your suffering, resilience, responding to adversity and rising strong. I read many books, conducted interviews, received mentorship, coaching and counseling from incredibly smart people and from what I learned, I came up with a daily ritual. At the end of every day I put everything away, slowed down and asked myself 5 questions to reflect on today and plan for tomorrow. After just a week of doing this, the results were incredible. I woke up in a better mood, looked forward to every day and felt like I could accomplish anything. I finally was in control of my life. Most importantly I learned what it takes for me to be happy.

The following questions are ones I continue to answer every night before bed to stay my happiest self.

1. What is your intention for the day?

a. Goal - To be mindful, present, and purposeful in your everyday decisions.

b. You can ask yourself -

i. What is a setback I might face and what one word could help me through that


ii. What kind of person do I want to be for the world today?

iii. What happened today that I can improve tomorrow?

c. Examples -

i. My intention is acceptance because I have a very busy day tomorrow.

ii. My intention is to be present because I’ve been focusing too much on work.

iii. My intention is patience because tomorrow is a full day with my toddler and his


iv. My intention is courage so that I can accept any new challenge at work

2. What were my two happiest moments today?

a. Goal - To recognize even the smallest moments that bring you joy in your day, so you

can do more of it.

b. You can ask yourself -

i. Which moments of the day, whether big or small, brought me the most joy?

c. Examples -

i. Waking up to a delicious cup of coffee

ii. Driving in the car singing my lungs out

iii. Getting recognition at work

iv. That FaceTime call with my family

v. Getting that big bear hug from my son.

3. What was one thing I accomplished today?

a. Goal - To notice seemingly small things that we’ve put effort and energy into

everyday to help us recognize our worth. To boost confidence.

b. You can ask yourself -

i. What did I do today to take care of myself?

ii. What did I do today for someone else’s happiness?

iii. What did I do today to make my day better?

iv. What difficult or annoying task did I take care of?

c. Examples -

i. I Left on time for work or an appointment

ii. I helped out a co-worker who was having a rough time.

iii. I thought of a new game with my child.

iv. I walked my dog extra long this morning to get a workout in.

v. I made dinner for the family.

vi. Planned a night out with my your significant other.

vii. Finished that chore that I’ve been meaning to get done.

4. How did I feel?

a. Goal - Give a label to emotions so you can better regulate them. Recognizing

negative emotions allows us to create solutions. Recognizing positive emotions

encourages us to incorporate those people, places, foods and activities into our daily

routine more often.

b. You can ask yourself -

i. How did I feel during different activities?

ii. Was there anything that made me feel anxious, scared, or annoyed today?

iii. Was there anything that made me excited, joyful or at peace?

c. Examples -

i. I felt overwhelmed with my morning routine. I can try to wake up earlier.

ii. I felt stressed about my upcoming presentation. I can practice in front of friends.

iii. I was ecstatic to have 20 minutes alone in the car. Take the long route and make

that 30-minutes to get in some solitude and a good podcast.

5. How did I nurture what matters to me?

a. Goal - Give energy to what matters most to you and stop spending so much time on

things at the bottom of your list.

b. You can ask yourself -

i. What do I care about the most in this world? Write down a list of all areas in your

life: relationships, friendships, money, career, health, fitness, passions, self-care,

personal environment. Give yourself a score on how important each thing is from

1-10, and then a score on how much time is given to each of those areas.

ii. If you notice gaps, ask yourself: What can you do to better nurture them this


c. Examples - Every week, write down that same list and think of one thing you’ll do for

each of them that week. When you do them , you can even add them to number 3,

your accomplishment for the day.

i. Relationships: I plan to give my significant other a compliment every day for a


ii. Self-Care: I’m going to schedule time to get a massage.

iii. Friendships: I made a lunch date (or a phone date) with a friend I haven’t caught up with in a while.

iv. Passions: I’m going to schedule an hour per day to create a business plan for my passion project.

Some of these (or maybe all of them) can feel difficult or awkward in the beginning. Many of us don’t often check in with ourselves about what made us happy. We don’t typically think of everyday tasks as accomplishments. We don’t take the time to recognize feelings and more often we bury them deep so no one can see. But taking 5 minutes every day to identify these will spark a kind of self-awareness that you’ve never experienced before. It will help you to be intentional in how you handle setbacks. And it will help you discover what matters most and what truly brings you happiness, so you can start spending your energy on what you genuinely love… intentionally.

Michelle Blackshire is founder of Intentional Co. and creator of the Intentional Daily Planner. Intentional's mission is to create products that allow you to craft your happiest life with true self-awareness. The blend of a planner and journal is designed to infuse reflection, intention and self-awareness into your daily routine with 5 quick daily practices.

Want to win your own Intentional Daily Planner? Head to our Instagram TODAY and tell us how you live a life of purpose. Good luck!