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Building A New Morning Routine - Part 2: Journaling

Last week, I posted about building a new morning routine. In contrast to previous attempts I had made at the endeavor of crafting an effective way to regularly start the day, one of the things I focused on was portability. The new routine is still a work in progress, but as of now, all it requires is my journal, a pen, and a few minutes.

I can't count how many people I've seen and heard extol the benefits to daily journaling and I definitely see the positive effects of it. In the past, I've had trouble with the daily part though. The dates on my entries would sometimes span gaps of weeks and months, but for the past couple weeks, I've managed to write almost every day. I'm just writing about a page worth of stuff and most of it is more or less guided, but I've found that I feel more focused on the goals I set for the day and really just more focused in general.

My morning writing is guided by three prompts that I just try and get a couple sentences each on: things I'm grateful for, affirmations, and recounting my dreams. Again, these categories were heavily influenced by stuff I heard some of the guests talk about on The Learning Leader Show podcast.

The hardest one for me is remembering my dreams, but some days are easier than others and it seems like my recall is slowly getting better. It's also great to wake up and immediately think about what I'm grateful for and why that day is going to be awesome. Even when I've got things I'm not looking forward to, starting my day with that kind of positivity has helped me to attack my workouts and my work tasks with more energy and enthusiasm. Not to mention the fact that I just feel better about the world. The morning writing usually takes about half a page for what I'm doing now.

At the end of the day, before I read to help get to sleep, I look through what I wrote that morning and write out a general reflection on my day that responds somewhat to the material from the morning. I also write out three to five goals at night that I want to accomplish the next day and I try to have at least one goal in each category of something productive and work related, something that nurtures my own psyche, and something that furthers at least one of my interpersonal relationships. Another part of my writing at night is responding to my goals from the previous night in terms of whether or not I fulfilled them and any related thoughts.

Next Tuesday, I'll post another update on what I've learned so far about meditating and what I've gotten out of it even as an extreme novice, but in the mean time, I'd love to hear from anyone that has thoughts on this kind of journaling or their own writing regimen. Leave a comment below or feel free to contact me here!

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