The Morning Journal: What is It and How to Do It

The morning journal is another name for morning pages. That’s probably the simplest exercise you can do that has a powerful effect on every other area of your life, and changes you as a person too.

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It’s not just about sitting down to write a page or two. It’s much more than that.

Putting your thoughts, ideas or plans on paper in the first hour of the day lets you get inspired, clear your mind, be creative, build discipline by making it a habit and writing for a while even if you don’t want to.

Does the morning journal exercise really work?

Yes. Here’s how morning pages improve your life:

  • they are a therapy – you let things out before the day has officially started and can be more peaceful and relaxed for the rest of it;
  • you let your creative energy out – you spend some time writing in the morning and that develops the creative part of your brain. Even if you write down your plans for the day, some life goals or what happened yesterday and how you felt about it, you’re still doing a pleasant, inspiring activity that awakes the creative genius inside;

Related: 6 Creative Ways to Express Yourself in Writing

  • you generate ideas – another way the morning journal helps you is by making you think of new ways to do regular stuff. So don’t be surprised when while you’re just journaling your thoughts in the early hours, you come up with new ideas on how to be more productive, where to spend your vacation, how to monetize your hobby, etc;
  • you learn to focus more easily – writing down for a while right after you wake up requires a bit of willpower, and also focus. That’s why many people don’t find it that easy in the beginning. But it’s just like meditation – you start by doing it for a few minutes, then add some more after some time. And soon you can concentrate and remember stuff more easily.

Such is the power the morning journal. Now let’s get to action and see how to do it the right way.

How to keep a morning journal?

zen habits

The most important thing about morning pages is to sit down and write when you wake up. As long as you’re doing that daily, you’ll be able to feel the benefits of this simple but powerful exercise.

However, if you want to do it right, get maximum results and be even more productive, you can consider the following tips:

1. Eliminate distractions.

If you’re up early, there probably won’t be any people to bother you, or other things you should be doing, or notifications on the phone. So you’ll be able to focus more easily.

But distractions can take many forms. That’s why it’s best to remove any noise, be alone, and not to have many things around you that need your attention.

Related: How to Stay Focused When There Are So Many Distractions

2. Do it before everything else.

If you want to make the best out of this practice, then do it before taking a shower, before breakfast, before checking emails and social media, and before even going out of your room.

3. Use pen and paper.

That’s not a must. But it’s proven to have a more profound effect as you don’t need to use any technology and can just write slowly, take your time and experience the process.

4. Let go of perfectionism.

Don’t think about making mistakes, following the rules, or whether someone else will read. Ignore everything else, and just pour your thoughts out.

5. Make it interesting.

If you write about stuff that excites you – even if it’s simply positive affirmations about the following day – you’ll be looking forward to doing it every morning. And will have a reason to get up early.

Related: How to Use Success Affirmations Effectively

6. Don’t think too much.

You don’t need to plan what you’ll be writing about in the morning journal. Just let the words flow. Write down everything that comes to mind.

7. Prepare the night before.

Take the decision to write in the morning the evening before. Include it in your to-do list and make it a priority.

Put a notebook and a pen, or even a note/reminder beside your bed. This way it will be the first thing you see in the morning and you’re more likely to do it right away.

8. Have fixed hours.

This way you’ll build discipline, won’t need to plan it as you’ll have a set time.

Which of these do you find most useful? What other tips can you add that can help you make the most of the morning journal?

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Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

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