Morning journaling is excellent for the brain, and people who do it are rewarded with heightened organizational prowess, increased emotional control, and better decision-making skills.
So why is it so powerful?
Decluttering our minds upon waking boosts self-esteem and allows you to set your intentions for the day.
It also helps with reaching your goals.
To that end, let’s look at how to start and maintain a daily journaling habit.
Then, we’ll dive into a few dozen daily journal ideas.
How Do You Start a Journal Every Morning?
Like meditating or exercising, daily journaling can be challenging at first. But just like meditating and exercising, once you get the hang of it, you’ll discover its restorative magic and look forward to it each day.
But how does one get into the swing of things?
Working with prompts pushes you out of the starting gate — as do these five simple tips.
Commit to a Prompt
Before you go to bed, pick one of the morning writing prompts below — then stick to it.
Set an Alarm
If your mornings are full, setting the alarm for 20 minutes earlier will help make time for journaling. Plus, it trains your body to wake and write.
Permit Yourself To Write Terribly
Journals are only for their authors. Some people choose to share them with therapists, but generally speaking, your journal is for you alone.
Resultantly, it doesn’t need to contain Pulitzer-worthy prose.
Give yourself permission to write poorly. Keeping your pen or fingers moving matters most.
Are you most comfortable lying in bed or at a clean desk? Whichever the case, assume the position when journaling.
Don’t Give Up
Giving up is easy — especially in the beginning. But force yourself to stick with it for at least three weeks. If, at that point, it’s an unpleasant, laborious chore, try a different method.
What Should I Write in My Journal in the Morning?
Figuring out what to write about is step one in the journaling process, but creating a content calendar can be overwhelming initially.
To simplify the task, let’s break down potential topic categories.
- Organizational Prompts: Planning and organizing help many people achieve their goals and live a more satisfying life. Thinking about how to approach the day first thing in the morning can help the next 24 hours go a lot smoother.
- Goal Setting: Setting and achieving goals is a wonderful way to boost your self-esteem. Doing so releases feel-good chemicals throughout the body.
- Letter Writing: Scribing letters to ourselves about unconventional topics can help us look at life from a different — and better — perspective.
- Idealizing: Idealizing is a form of visualization. If you can picture how you want your life to be, you’re much more likely to achieve your dreams.
- Being Present: The jury is in, and it’s determined that being present is one of the best ways to maintain good mental health. When we worry about the past and future, we rob ourselves of the now.
- Life Assessment: Objectively taking stock of your life “as is” will help you pinpoint where changes are needed.
75 Morning Journal Prompts to Start Your Day Mindfully
A blank page staring back at you can be one of the scariest things in the world.
That’s where daily journaling questions and prompts come in to save the day.
So, to help you get started, we’ve created this list of morning journal prompts. Each one won’t be appropriate for every person.
So take what works for you and leave the rest.
1. When I woke up, the following thoughts topped my head…
2. Today, I plan to…
3. What would make today perfect?
4. I hope that…
5. Today, I intend to…
6. Say good morning to your alter ego. Ask if it wants to take the reins and lead the show today.
7. What do I want to happen today?
8. What is the funniest thing that could happen today?
9. What is my mantra for today?
10. What is the most important thing to remember about today? This week?
11. Give yourself a morning pep talk.
12. What small step(s) can I take toward my goals today?
13. What are my best qualities, and how do I intend to use them today?
14. How can I be better today than I was yesterday?
15. Write yourself a forgiveness note and tell yourself how much you rock.
16. Remind yourself that every day is a new start.
17. Think about what it means to be present. How can you bring yourself back to the present today?
18. What special thing will I do for myself today?
19. What do you think your cat/dog will do all day when you’re gone?
20. In what season of life am I?
21. What did I not know last year that I do today?
22. How can I eliminate distractions today?
23. How can I be more in tune with myself?
24. Am I holding onto unnecessary grudges or emotions? How can I release myself of them?
25. Will I take my ego with me today or leave it on the shelf?
26. What can I do for someone else today?
27. I am…
28. For whom do I want to make special time today? (The answer can be “me!”)
29. How will I work to control my emotions today?
30. Have I done wrong? Is there anyone to whom I can apologize today?
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31. What small win can I celebrate right at this very moment?
32. What can I do better today than I did yesterday?
33. What makes me happy lately?
34. If today could have a soundtrack, what would I want it to be?
35. What is one responsible thing I can handle today?
36. How is my health? Is there anything I can do today to feed my body and mind better?
37. Invite something good into your life this morning (patience, harmony, perseverance, focus, et cetera).
38. Write a letter to self-confidence and ask it to spend the day with you.
39. What am I going to let roll off my back today?
40. What can I refrain from doing today to help me reach a goal?
41. What’s my plan for the day? Map it out this morning and stick to it. Doing so will provide you with a sense of accomplishment.
42. Brainstorm short, confidence-boosting mantras you can use all day.
43. If I could have lunch with anyone in the world today, who would it be, and what would I ask them?
44. How can I put my values into action today?
45. What am I most fearful about today? Why? What can I do to overcome it?
46. Write your pet an apology letter telling them how much you love them and how you’ll miss them when you’re gone.
47. What past challenge has made me who I am today?
48. If I could tell someone off today, who would it be? Clear your body of frustration by venting in your journal.
49. Write a note to the annoying voice in your head and tell it to take the day off.
50. What will be my guiding energy today?
51. Make up the perfect horoscope for the day.
52. Brain Game: Read an article in the newspaper and summarize it.
53. Brain Game: Think of every detail you can about the previous day.
54. Write a letter to your mother or father telling them how much you appreciate what they do for you.
55. Who do I most trust in the world and why?
56. What do I value the most in relationships — both platonic and romantic?
57. What seven traits am I looking for in a long-term romantic partner? What can I do today to find them?
58. What does compassion mean to me? Could I stand to cultivate more?
59. Are there any boundaries I need to set to make today successful?
60. Am I using all my best skills at work lately? If not, how can I remedy that?
61. Do my actions align with my conscious values?
62. Think about an opinion you strongly held in the past and no longer do. What led to the change?
63. What are three opinions I currently have that I’m willing to reconsider?
64. My life would be incomplete without…
65. What is something I did yesterday that I don’t want to repeat today?
66. What healthy thing(s) will I eat today to serve my body well?
67. What bonds do I share with your closest friends?
68. What does love mean to me? How do I express it?
69. Do I ruminate? What thoughts usually arise?
70. What can I do today to diminish my stress quotient?
71. Inventory your favorite coping mechanisms. Could they serve you today?
72. What are my biggest fears, and what can I do to temper them?
73. How do I plan to show myself compassion today?
74. For what am I most grateful?
75. Write a love letter to an object that fills you with joy.
Journaling does a mind and body good, so why not give it a try. You may discover it kick-starts your journey down a healthier and more productive life path. Start with 10 to 15 minutes a day.
Over time, you may choose to bump it up — the choice is yours.
Keep with it, and in a few weeks, you’ll likely notice that journaling makes a huge, positive difference in your life.