Good morning sunshines! Today I want to share one of my favorite practices/habits with you: morning journaling. (You can journal at any time, I just love starting my day with it.)
I first got into journaling in 2015 because my Grandpa said I’d look back and be glad I started. He was right – thanks Gramps! In the beginning I just wrote down daily thoughts, what happened throughout the day, etc. with a sprinkling of random to-do lists throughout (because it was the closest paper I could find.)
Then, life got really busy. All of a sudden I didn’t have 20 minutes every day to document my life and journaling to a back seat. I won’t pretend my quality of life plummeted after this, but I will say I noticed a difference. I was less calm, less centered, and genuinely felt something was missing.
So, I found a more concise format that allowed me to get thoughts on paper and appreciate life more. Here’s how I do it.
I start with gratitudes. Or, what I’m thankful for currently. Some people find it helpful to shoot for a certain number every day, I just let them spill out and go from there. An example from last week:
- My warm cozy bed – best sleep EVER lately
- Knee has felt lots better – allowing me to workout without pain
- Visit from my sisters – I’ve really missed them
- Food – enough said
- Having a good job – steady income, great co-workers, love the location
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be sloppy, choppy, and altogether random. But getting your gratitudes down on paper makes you stop and think about everything you have to be thankful for and start the day on a positive note.
Then I jot down intentions. Intentions are your goals for the day. Whether they be concrete or mindset goals. These give your day direction and focus. For me this typically looks like:
- Love myself – even when it’s hard
- Say thank you
- Leave the gym feeling like I’ve given it my all
- Network with at least one new person at work
Intentions are vitally important, and writing them down forces you to acknowledge your goals and sets a fire under your butt to get them done.
Next, I pick connections. Ever feel like your day is full of talking to people? Constantly texting and communicating via social media, but not really connecting? Connections are a few names of people you want to reach today, whether that be setting aside time for a coffee run, phone call, or writing them a handwritten letter.
Sometimes we simply forget to check in with the ones we care most about. Life gets hectic and schedules fill up quickly. By writing out your intended connections it’s easy to pencil in time and make the most of it.
Lastly, a to-do list. I’m a list-er. Always have been, probably always will be. However, who wants to start their day thinking about everything they’ve got to get done? Not me. That’s why this one comes last. This is where you’ll typically find:
- Grocery shop – stick to list this time!
- Vacuum bedroom and clean bathroom
- Buy Oliver new toys – where the heck are all of his anyway?
Since following this format, my daily journaling takes less than 10 minutes, leaving me with no excuse to skip it. I feel focused, calm, and ready for my day. It’s my best mental health weapon and I fully intend on using it the rest of my life.
If you give this a try – let me know what you think! And if you have a different way you like to journal, I’d love to hear!
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