Daily journaling is a habit all successful people share.
Writing down roughly 3 pages right after you wake up is a sure way to make your whole day better. You’ll be energized, motivated and inspired, and will get more done without being stressed.
That’s the daily journal exercise.
It’s quite simple – you open your eyes in the early morning, grab a notebook (you can type too) and put your dreams, fears and worries, or just current thoughts on paper.
Let’s look at this practice in details now and see what we need to do in order to make the most of it.
Why Daily Journaling is Best Done in The Morning
The first hour of your day is a sacred time.
It defines the course of the rest of the day. It’s time only for yourself. And it’s when your mind is most susceptible and whatever you engage it in, affects you strongly.
I believe that if you change your morning ritual, you can change your life.
Especially if you spare ten minutes for writing down what’s on your mind. And that’s what journaling is all about.
I, like many others, have tested different versions of doing morning pages. And the beginning of the day always proves to be the best possible time for that.
The earlier you get up, the better. And it’s really important to be serious about doing this and put it before everything else.
Here’s why I suggest you do daily journaling right after you wake up:
• the benefits of being an early riser are many and even by only doing this, you can become more successful in general;
• doing morning pages first thing in the morning means not letting anything that comes later in the day get in the way of your writing;
• your mind is susceptible to whatever you indulge it in first and such an inspiring activity is a great choice;
• there won’t be any noises or people interrupting you and so you’ll be able to think more clearly and focus easily;
• you can turn that into a whole morning routine by simply spending some time meditating, adding a healthy breakfast and a quick workout after your morning pages;
• you won’t be exhausted as you’d be in the end of the day;
• your creative energy is at its highest level;
• your willpower hasn’t been used for anything else yet and you can get up early and write down a few pages without any hesitation;
• you build discipline over time.
Why Journaling Works
It’s a successful technique because each of its elements is powerful. Here they are:
1. Early morning.
Establishing a routine is so worth it. But there’s something absolutely amazing about doing it in the early hours.
All great people, the creative ones, those in the business world, and everyone who can be considered productive, know the benefits of a morning routine.
It helps you kickstart your day, get stuff done, fill yourself with energy and positive thoughts and get out there more confident and fresh than ever.
You don’t need to be a writer, or to even enjoy the process in order to do daily journaling right and feel all its benefits.
But if you start doing it, if you start writing down the things that go on in your head all the time, you’ll do the right thing.
It’s a therapy. It helps you get things out and even find out new things about yourself.
If you want to write short stories, work on your book, make poems, start a blog or create content that you’ll eventually share with others, leave it for later.
Because the routine I’m talking about here is specific – it includes getting up early, sitting down, eliminating distractions and writing down a few pages with personal notes.
It’s all about you. No one else. The others are probably still sleeping at that time.
So be brutally honest and write down the exact thoughts you have at this moment. Do that for a few minutes.
Share ideas that pop up in your mind, something you dreamt about, dreams or goals, opinion on something that bothers you, the tasks you have to do today, which ones are more important and why, what makes you happy and what doesn’t, etc.
You may feel some resistance when you first start journaling, especially if you don’t write regularly. It’s normal. That’s how the body and mind react to every new behavior we introduce to them.
But keep doing that for a week and you’ll find yourself being more open-minded, writing more freely, having more to say, and feeling much better after that.
After some time you’ll start feeling some changes:
- you’ll look forward to journaling daily;
- you’ll have an established morning routine;
- you’ll focus more easily;
- the problems later in the day won’t affect you that much any more, nor will people and their drama;
- you’ll be more creative;
- you’ll begin to prioritize and know what’s essential;
- you’ll leave the house energized;
- your mind will be clearer;
- keeping a journal will help you organize your thoughts;
- it will make you see your life from another point of view;
- you’ll come up with new ideas.
A good life consists of good days. If you start each one of them with energy, focus, positive attitude and successful rituals, you’ll surprise yourself by the progress you’ll make in a few weeks and that will affect so many other areas of your life.
And if you add to that the simple and yet brilliant habit of journaling your thoughts in the early hours, you’ll change your life in more ways than you can imagine.
And if you want to see how someone successful actually does that, here’s what Tim Ferriss writes about right after he wakes up.
What to Write About in Your Daily Journal?
A great way to start the day is to write down things that will make it successful. Make a list of what you can do today to be super productive, to improve yourself and your life, to get closer to your goals.
Describe your ideal lifestyle, if you feel like it. I believe that if you do it every morning, you’ll start visualizing it more clearly too, and new opportunities will start coming your way that, if taken, can soon make this dream life a reality.
You can write about whatever comes to mind, if you can’t really think of anything else.
Just put pen to paper and ideas will start popping up in your head.
If you want to begin the day in a positive way, make a list of the stuff you have in your life that you’re grateful for. Thank for it, feel the abundance you live in, and let it raise your level of happiness.
In time, this journaling exercise improves your imagination, creative thinking and writing.
How Long Should Your Daily Journal Be?
Having a hard time writing your first sentence is normal if you’re just starting. So don’t feel bad if you can only come up with a few paragraphs in the first week or so.
A solution to that is to think of a few positive affirmations (simple optimistic statements about you as a person and your life in general) and use them as a starting point every morning. Then, you’ll be able to write for longer periods.
You should aim for 750 words, which is roughly 3 pages or daily journaling.
That’s considered enough to let you clear your mind, feel better and be ready to jumpstart the day.
Benefits of Daily Journaling
Here are some ways in which this practice improves your whole day:
Journaling your thoughts and clearing your mind brings some peace in your day. And you enjoy the early morning, the silence and calmness it has.
Do this daily and you’ll find yourself being less stressed and overwhelmed, dealing with other people and problems during the day more easily.
In a nutshell, you’ll have a sense of peace with you wherever you go.
Getting up early itself is a way to kickstart the morning and feel energized and ready to be productive.
If the first thing you actually do is a powerful exercise like journaling, this creates a momentum in your day and you’re ready to jump onto the most important tasks on your to-do list.
If you manage to build the habit of daily journaling, you also make it easier for you to develop other successful habits. You improve your discipline and willpower.
Some of the results of this exercise also include being focused, becoming more expressive and thus improving your relationships, getting clear about what you want in life, generating ideas and unlocking your creativity and potential.
And all that can be the reason you become a better person and move forward to your goals.
So what do you think? Will you give daily journaling a try? And do you think 750 words a day can change your life?