The actions you take when you first wake up every morning set the tone for your day. Whether that means you hit snooze, get up right away, go about a calm and easy morning routine, or wake up late rushing to get out of the door. Last summer, I found myself feeling particularly wary about the day ahead. I would set five alarms to get up just in time to get ready for work and hit snooze every time. I skipped breakfast and rushed out the door. Throughout the day, I was scattered. Chasing one task until I had to complete another and by the end of the day, I was exhausted.
My problem was that I wasn’t utilizing my morning time to help me succeed for the day. One day, I woke up earlier than usual (before my alarm woke me up) and I decided to grab a piece of paper and pen and start writing anything that came to mind. Tasks for the day, places I had to go, errands I needed to run, and 3 things I wanted from that day that would make me happy. I kid you not, I kept that piece of paper in my bag and went about my day as usual. I did not reference that piece of paper once and yet I knew exactly what I had to do and where I was supposed to go. I had a sense of being able to take on the day and a sense of direction that kept me moving towards my goals. I was positive and content the entire time and I want to show you how to do the same.
There are many ways to add journaling to your daily morning routine. Whip out plain pen and paper, keep a physical journal by your bedside table, download a daily journaling app (I use the Five Minute Journal App), or the notes on your phone. I challenge you to make it the first thing you do every morning. Instead of checking your e-mail, your texts, or social media – get into the habit of clearing your mind and letting your thoughts flow.
Let’s talk about why adding this routine could help you take on your day and stay positive too! Here are 7 ways journaling daily helps bring you positive vibes all day long:
1. It Clears Your Mind
The best way to clear your mind is either in the morning or at night by putting your thoughts and ideas out there (whichever way you decide to do it). Often we are so caught up in our day to day activities that we forget or don’t even realize that we have not taken the time to reflect and refocus. I get it. Assignments, workload, and even personal responsibilities pile up. Clearing your mind helps you figure your goals through those areas in your life and college career.
2. It Sets You Up for Success
When you sit down (in bed or at a desk) in the morning to write out what you have to do for the day, you are already taking the first step to accomplishing those things. Putting it down on paper or text helps you visually understand what you need to be doing that day thus setting you up for success to accomplish those tasks.
3. It Gets Your Ideas From the Night Before on Paper
Did you know that the more rested we are – the better our memory performs? The same goes for those lingering ideas and thoughts from the night before. We remember them best the morning after we wake up. Get those ideas ready to take on the day!
4. It Allows You to Set Focus
We are focused when we are able to prioritize the areas of our lives that we must focus on and divide our days into areas where we need to focus the most. Putting your tasks and things you may want to do that will make you happy will help you visually set focus in those areas so you know exactly what you need to do and can balance it with things you want to do. Setting focus in the right places is hard on a day to day basis with all the distractions we have – but doing this first thing in the morning will keep you focused on what’s important.
5. It Helps You Show Gratitude
The best way to bring positivity into our lives is to show gratitude. Throw in some things you are grateful for, a few things that you want to improve, and a few things you want to do that will make you feel grateful for the day while you’re journaling and you’ll be shooting positive vibes all day. This small dose of gratitude will help you show more of it daily.
6. It Eases You into the Day
Checking your e-mail, social media, or your texts first thing in the morning is less productive than you think. It’s actually distracting and takes away from the organic thoughts and ideas you wake up with. You can check your phone if you need to before your commute, but easing yourself into the day by journaling will help you stay positive and focused on making the day great instead of derailing you from what you need to do.
7. It Makes You Accountable for Your Day
Journaling daily keeps you accountable to yourself and your own day. Once you write down the things you need to do, want to do, and what’s expected of you, you will be forcing yourself to be accountable for those things. At the end of the day, you are responsible for building your best self and your most positive self. Writing it down keeps a log of that responsibility so you are reminded to get those things done and you can keep moving in a positive direction.