Morning Journaling: How to Start This Amazing Healthy Habit Right Now

Last Updated on March 23, 2022 by Stephanie

Do you struggle with goals?  Does your morning start out with chaos right off the bat?  Is your to-do list a mile long and you see no end in sight?  Then it is time to start adding journaling to your routine.

Before you even start with the excuses of no time, I’m going to stop you.  Five minutes, maybe ten can start this healthy habit.  It will be a game-changer for you.  If you feel like you don’t have 5-10 minutes to sit for a moment in the morning for yourself, then make that time.  Your family, your work, and your other obligations are secondary to your health and mindset.

Journaling; morning journaling; person writing in a journal.

The Benefits of Daily Journaling

If you were to search about the benefits of journaling, you would find site after site praising this habit. Why? 

Journaling daily can reduce stress, help improve memory, help with goals, boost your mood, and strengthen the function of your emotions.

In researching for this post, because every blogger does it, I searched the keywords. The top things I found were people asking about stress, mental health, and if journaling is therapeutic. There is a lot that journaling can do, but it is probably best described as something that will help your mental state in the long run.

Put Away Your Old School Picture of Journaling

Do you remember going to the book fair as a kid and getting your first journal? You remember, don’t you? It had a special lock and only you could have the key. It was so private and special. Or as you grew older, it was a notebook you hid under your mattress. You put your crushes in there and all the gossip of that day.

This is a very basic and old-school mindset for journaling, but it is often all we know. As a grown individual, this should be different. Now, let’s talk about how journaling looks as an adult.

Types of Journals

There are so many different types of journals out there, and I’m not talking about paper types. Yes, there are big journals and small journals and lined journals and hardcover, etc. I’m talking about what you put in the journal. This post isn’t really about the different types, but take a moment to peruse Google or Pinterest for information about these different types of journals. A word of caution though: People posting their journals on Instagram and Pinterest are probably doing this for their job or as a serious hobby. Your journal does not have to be beautiful… it has to be you. This is not an exhaustive list, but can help you see what kind of grown-up journals are out there for you!

  • Traditional Journal
  • Art Journal
  • Bullet Journal (this one is a hybrid of a planner, journal, art journal, and sooo much more)
  • Gratitude Journal
  • Reading Journal
  • Travel Journal
  • Fitness Journal
  • Goal Journal

I could go on and on! There are so many different ways to look at journaling. There are also so many different ways to journal as well! You can even do it digitally! Check out my digital notebooks here on the site:

Digital Notebooks Pastels

My Personal Journal

So, here we go with my story. I tell you my story and what I do because I really believe that the best way to get started is for someone else to tell you what they do so you can understand it a bit better. Journaling is a part of my morning routine. If you would like to know more about my morning routine, check out my post about it here. Every single day, I write in my journal. Here is a picture of one of my daily pages. This time around, I’m using this set of cahier notebooks from Moleskine, but I just find a nice notebook to write in… nothing special. I told you that I would be real with you, and this is it… it has one sticker on it for the date and that’s it. The only thing creative about this journal is that I change pen colors every day to do my writing.

Journaling; picture of my own journal
A peek into my own morning journal!

My journal consists of the same format every single day (with the exception of either Saturday or Sunday, but I’ll tell you why in a moment).

  • Reflection on the day before.
  • Top few things I want to get done for school and business stuff today.
  • Goals (yup, EVERY DAY)
  • 3 Pieces of Gratitude.

It takes me about 10 minutes to do every day, again, with the exception of Saturday or Sunday. Now, I want to tell you a bit about each of these pieces and why I do it.

Reflections/Top Few Things

My reflection can be about personal stuff like what happened the day before (this one was all about my daughter catching a bug the weekend before) or it might be about how I felt my productivity was the day before. It is short. I sometimes add in what I want to get done that day here and I sometimes list that out separately.

I do this because it grounds me. It helps me realize where I came from and where I’m going every morning.


Then, I write down my main 4 goals. I have health, family, finance, and business goals that I write down every day. My main goal is first, then I write what the monthly benchmarks/goals are, and lastly, I write what my weekly benchmarks/goals are.  For example, my health goal looks like this:

“I am healthy and my body looks and works the way I’ve always wanted. This month I went to CrossFit 16 times. This week I had 5/7 days where I had only 1 treat and I did 2-3 sets of 10 push-ups every morning.”

This is the part that makes me take a bit longer on Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday or Sunday, I always update my goals. In my goal section, I will write down if I accomplished that week’s goal or not and I will create a new set of goals/benchmarks for the upcoming week. At the end of the month, it is the same process with looking at my year and 6-month benchmarks and updating my monthly goals. It is always the same 4 goals though. Check out my shop for a set of goal-setting printables or check out my post about setting goals if you want to up your goal-setting game!


Lastly, I write out three pieces of gratitude. These are not meant to be long and drawn-out thoughts. If you are thankful for the ice cream you had last night, write it down!  One of my gratitude thoughts this week was “I’m thankful that we (my hubby and I) are a great parenting team.” Again, the little one was sick… so that was definitely on my mind. Flip back a few days and I had “I’m thankful for Friday” and “Thankful for no staff meeting this morning.”

Journaling; phone and computer with an open journal

Next Actions

So, what are you thinking? Are you ready to try this out?

If you are someone who feels stressed out, honestly, this can absolutely help. Take 5 minutes out of your morning to write down how you are feeling that day. Take 5 minutes to write out three things you are grateful for from the day before. I am not saying that you have to write a novel. That is not sustainable or realistic. However, taking a step back for 5 minutes in the morning or evening to gather some thoughts and feelings is a step in a great direction for your stress level and your mental health.

Go grab a notebook and start today. Do the extraordinary and go for it, even if you are hesitant. Be awesome and take that time for yourself.

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