The Ultimate Morning Journal

I am always looking for ways to improve my mindset and effectiveness. I have found that the morning is an excellent time to set yourself up for the day ahead, and one of my favorite morning routine tools is a short journal entry.

I began journaling regularly at the beginning of 2016. What started as a New Years Resolution became a favorite habit and a record of the year's highs and lows. I spent 3-5 minutes each morning jotting down several free form sentences and a few things I was grateful for that day. This strategy worked really well for me. I loved connecting to gratitude first thing, as it helped me lay a positive foundation for every day. 

This year, I've optimized my morning journal habit, combining inspiration from Julia Cameron's "Morning Pages" exercise from The Artist's Way and Tim Ferriss's 5-Minute Journal (5MJ)

The "Ultimate Morning Journal" combines artistic elements from Julia Cameron along with tactical, highly outcome-oriented exercises from Tim Ferriss. It looks something like this:

  • 3 sentences to 3 pages of unedited, stream of consciousness writing on anything from yesterday evening's date to what you want for breakfast this morning. 
    (This segment allows you let go of any idle thoughts or rumination and paves the way for peak creativity. Julia Cameron calls her morning freeform writing "spiritual windshield wipers.")
  • 3 things you are grateful for this morning. 
    (To avoid repeating the same things every day, Tim suggests you list items from the following categories: relationship that has been influential in your growth, physical object near you, opportunity you have today, and/or something great that happened yesterday.)
  • 3 things that, if you accomplished them, would make the day great.
    (This has been a game changer for me. As I mentioned earlier, my 2016 journaling was focused on feeling grounded and positive to start the day. This daily goals segment has given me focus and clarity on what is actually important. I have doubled my effectiveness in just the first month of using this format.)
  • 1- 3 affirmations or positive statements for the day. 
    (This can be hard at first, so feel free to choose just one and use the first one that comes to mind. E.g., "I am beautiful inside and out" or "I create my opportunities by asking for them.")

That's it! The above Ultimate Morning Journal is my template for success-- yours might look a little different. Spend at least a week of consistent morning journal practice and see how it affects your mindset and effectiveness. Pair the journaling sessions with your favorite morning beverage-- new habits have more staying power when we combine them with other anchored habits, like morning tea or coffee. For more ideas on creating your ultimate morning routine, check out this article from No Meat Athlete



Dorsey Standish