The year 2019 was full of experiments and new habits. To fully experience the effects of those habits, I even did a few monthly challenges (like running every day).
There is one habit that stayed with me for over six months now, and I dare to say that it has the biggest impact on my quality of life and overall happiness.
It's simple — I have a big mason jar at home and whenever something that makes me feel happy, grateful, or otherwise excited happens, I write it down on a piece of paper, fold it, and throw it in.
I stole this idea for “Jar Of Awesomeness” from Tim Ferriss.
From the start, I decided to keep it as simple as possible and set no rules as to when, or what I should write. In my case, the more rules and complexity there is to a habit, the faster I stop doing it.
As simple as it is, here are the benefits after six months:
1. Celebrating the small wins
I was never big on celebrating achievements.
It was always “Ok, cool” and then I just jumped straight into more work.
Now, this ritual of writing it down and throwing it into a jar is a small celebration in itself.
2. It's easier to find “jar-worthy” moments
I gradually trained my brain to search for and remember the positive more than the negative.
Having this optimistic perspective on life as the default setting in your brain is priceless.
3. Happiness Kickstarter
Whenever I feel down, or unhappy I have 400+ grateful moments I can browse through and experience again.
This is a figurative line of cocaine for your happiness levels.
Not to mention the slight gratitude spike whenever I see the jar full of cool moments.
4. Paper has a better memory
Most of the awesome moments of your life quickly slip past you before you can fully appreciate them and feel grateful that you've experienced it.
Today I can travel back in time just by opening my notes app and experience it again, with a bit of hindsight as a bonus.
And finally, here's my process:
- When something cool happens, I open the default Notes app on my phone and write it down together with the date e.g. “Writing an article while drinking a cup of espresso (08/01/20)”
- Once a month, I sit down, go through my notes, put them on paper and throw them in the jar.
Total time investment: 1.5 hrs/month
Make this experiment yours and make your own Jar Of Awesomeness. Put your twist on it and personalize it so it fits your needs.
Also, you can get all these benefits with just your default notes app and a few minutes a day.