The Morning Journal: What is It and How to Do It (+ 7 Morning Journal Prompts)

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.

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.

Read also: How to Let Go of Everything to Achieve Anything: 12 Things to Free Yourself From

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 journal 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.

7 Morning Journal Prompts

You woke up early, feel super motivated to start the day in the best way possible and are ready to do your morning pages. Or maybe you feel the need to journal your thoughts every evening and thus empty your mind before you go to bed.

You may also be a blogger trying to post almost daily. But sometimes, you just run out of ideas and start looking for things to write about.

Here are some morning journal prompts to help you when you’re stuck but need to put your thoughts on paper and unleash your creative energy:

1. Things you’re grateful for.

List down everything you see and can think of right now that you’re deeply thankful for. You’ll feel great right away and will keep this positive attitude for the whole day.

2. Things that will make today great.

This day is another opportunity you’re given to make the best out of your life and become a better version of yourself. So make a quick plan. Say what you can do to be more productive, successful and happy, and how you can make other people around you feel that way too.

Related: Positive Things to Start The Day

3. Your dream.

If you remember your dream, write it down. Then try to analyze it. It’s a great exercise as you get to know your inner self and can come to interesting conclusions. And even if you don’t, it’s like you’re writing fiction and trying to figure out what made the character do something.

4. Daily tasks.

If you don’t have anything else to write about but still want to do your morning pages, you can make a to-do list. It’s super helpful and lets you know what you need to get done at any moment of the day.

5. Goals.

It’s a great chance to set some big goals and then divide them into smaller ones. Do it again, and again, until you have small steps to start with.

That’s one of the best things to write about that will also help you develop the right mindset to go after what you want in life.

You can also write down your side hustle ideas, narrow them down, and make a plan on the one that feels right. This way you can start a business this year thanks to journaling in the morning.

6. Journal your thoughts.

Just write down everything that’s on your mind. This way you’ll let it all out and will feel freer than ever.

Related: The 17 Benefits of Journaling

7. The ideal lifestyle.

Write about what you want your life to look like a year or two from now, give a detailed description of your ideal day, everything you do in your free time, your daily habits, what you’re working and for how long, etc. Then make a step-by-step plan on what to do today to get closer to it.

What other morning journal prompts can you think of?

Fascinated by the idea of writing in the morning? Here's what the morning journal really looks like + 7 morning journal prompts you can use: