Minimum Viable Journal Entry

Most mornings, I get up and have a bowl of oatmeal. Then, while eating it, I open my journal and write down “Oatmeal” in the right margin of my daily journal entry. This is my minimum viable journal entry.

The idea comes from BJ Fogg and the Fogg Behavior Model (and described in Tiny Habits). To change your behavior, he recommends that you follow a formula that is patterned like this: “After I do [thing I do automatically], I will [do a very tiny version of the new thing I want to do]”. I use “After I eat oatmeal, I will write the word oatmeal in my journal” as a way to get myself journaling every day. After I write down “oatmeal”, I rarely stop.

I write down as much as I can from this list:

  • My appointments
  • My exercise plan
  • Three things I want to accomplish that day
  • What I will have for lunch and dinner

But, I’m ok with my journal entry for the day being “oatmeal”.