Starting a morning journal will improve your life.
Don’t worry, I’m not selling you a journal but let’s talk about how starting to journal every morning can help you “win the morning, win the day” as they always say.
What Is A Morning Journal?
A morning journal is a practice of writing down your plans, gratitude and thoughts every single morning. This allows you to clear your head, set priorities and get in the right headspace for the day.
Tim Ferriss is known for his journaling and the style he goes for, called morning pages, is a great method. It requires you to sit down with an a4 notebook, or you could go digital, and write for 3 pages long. Even if you write:
I don’t know what to say.
Over and over again. Hopefully, after a while your brain will find something to write down that’s different and you can go off on a tangent.
This style of journaling does one thing really well.
It clears your mind for the day
It gets all the nagging bits off your mind and lets you then begin to focus on what is really important to you. Our brains are great for creating ideas, but they’re a little unpredictable when it comes to storing them – they either never stay or always bother you.
So Why Should You Have A Morning Journal?
It’s simple. A morning journal will:
- Focus your day
- Allow you to practice gratitude
- Let you get thoughts off your head
- Hone your writing and clarity
How To Start Journaling?
First of all. I’ve written how you can start journaling before.
Choose a notebook or platform.
There is no problem with handwriting or typing. One may work better for you, or one may be more practical. As a whole, I prefer pen to paper but you may like being able to journal on your phone, laptop and tablet.
Start with some prompts.
There’s no point trying to reinvent the wheel. The easiest way to start journaling is to follow some prompts. My favourite journal prompts are those used by Benjamin Franklin which I’ve covered on Learned Men before:
From here you can write every morning.
Set your priorities, clear your head and write down what you are grateful for.
To take your journaling a step further you can revisit it later in the day.
You can reread what you was worried about in the morning, check in whether you accomplished what you set out to do and write down what has happened in the day.
What About If A Morning Journal Won’t Work For You?
If the above doesn’t appeal to you, then you can go for something with more structure.
I’m talking about Bullet Journaling.
I’ve tried bullet journaling before but I’ve always found a blank page, or even just a single piece of paper to be the most effective for myself.
How Do I Approach Journaling?
When it comes to my own approach. I have two methods.
The Pocket Notebook.
I collect pocket notebooks (like Field Notes – 3.5 x 5.5 inches).
And these fit into all my pockets, from here I can write in them any point of the day. When I’ve filled them up, I’ll have journal entries, to-do lists and ideas from that time period.
Now, I can read through years of notes (even though there are some gaps in between).
The Single Sheet.
I like to get a piece of paper and fold it into quarters.
From here I can write on the full side, fold it in half and have two sheets inside to write notes and ideas on.
Then on the outside I can write quotes or priorities.
I can then keep this paper with my phone.
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