You have finally made the good decision to start a morning journal. Fantastic! But there’s one small problem — you don’t know what to write in a morning journal.
Or perhaps you’re a veteran morning journal writer but you need some fresh ideas.
There are plenty of thoughtful morning journal prompts that will help you get your morning started off on the right foot.
Keep reading to see some of our favorite prompts. Whether you are new to journaling or your filled journals are piling up, these morning journal prompts are sure to get you thinking.
Why is Journaling Great for the Brain?
Routinely writing in a journal has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety among certain groups of people.
It also gives you a chance to set your intentions for the day and have a mindful moment to be grateful for everything you have.
World champion tennis player and coach Martina Navratilova puts it simply,
“Keeping a journal of what’s going on in your life is a good way to help you distill what’s important and what’s not.”
Your morning journal doesn’t have to be the best morning journal ever written. There’s no pressure. It’s a private place for you to express your thoughts and feelings and doesn’t require any special formatting or skill.
21 Morning Journal Ideas to Get the Brain Ticking Over
There are lots of healthy morning routine ideas and writing in your journal should be one of them.
Writing in your journal every morning can improve your mood, and help you work through anything that is troubling you.
Here are 21 morning journal ideas to help you get started.
1. Open the day with gratefulness
A morning gratitude journal entry is a mindful way to start your day. When you are being grateful, there is no space for negative emotions.
Gratitude helps us to notice positive outcomes whereas something like optimism is more about expecting positive outcomes.
So, take a few minutes and reflect on what you are grateful for and enjoy those few minutes of positive vibes.
2. List your day’s intentions
This is one of the most popular morning journal topics.
Taking the time to set some intentions on what you hope to achieve for the day is a great strategy to ensure you feel motivated to reach your goals all day.
3. Write a to-do list
If listing your day’s intentions is the strategy, your to-do list are your tactics to accomplish those intentions.
Writing down a to-do list can help you organize your day in a way that helps you maximize productivity.
Plus, it feels great to check things off one by one!
4. Ask where you’ll find joy today
This is just a really lovely thought to ponder. Joyfulness doesn’t have to be something big and complicated. It can be something simple like exchanging a smile with a stranger, petting a dog or getting your favorite cup of coffee.
There’s joy everywhere if you just take a moment to find it.
5. Set goals and plan strategies
Similar to listing your day’s intentions and making a to-do list, journaling about your goals and strategies in one entry can help you to visualize exactly what you need to do today.
Writing these things down on paper makes them less dreamy and more real.
These could be big goals for your life or small goals to achieve each day.
6. Set new personal boundaries
Setting boundaries for ourselves can be challenging.
By journaling about what kinds of limits you are going to set for yourself today, you reaffirm your values before the day has a chance to set you off track.
Set boundaries about how you’re going to spend your time and energy and where you’re going to start saying ‘no’.
7. Write daily affirmations
Choosing a daily affirmation is like a rock to hold on to when you feel like you’re floating down a river. As the day gets more stressful, you can return to this affirmation to center yourself and help you feel under control.
It doesn’t have to be something particularly profound, it can be as simple as “you can do it.”
Other great affirmations include:
- I get what I work for
- I look within to find treasures
- I deserve to feel happy
- I am loved, I am worthy, I am enough
- I choose positive thoughts so positivity will find me
8. Identify ways you want to grow
Personal development is something that you may be striving for.
Whether it’s professional, physical, emotional, spiritual or some other area, try writing down a list of ways you want to grow.
This could be about developing skills or it could be about reframing the way you approach problems.
9. Create future memories
This sounds a bit oxymoronic, but it’s simple.
Think about what you did yesterday and try to point to a couple of things you would like to remember about the day in the future.
That way, the little things don’t get lost along the way and you have a book of memories to look back over.
10. Letters to your past self
Writing to your past self can help you to process and heal emotions that may be holding you back from things.
It can also spark joy as you stir up fond memories of things from the past.
Write to your inner child and tell them whatever they need to hear, whether it be advice, words of encouragement, funny anecdotes, or soothing words to heal trauma.
11. Letters to your future self
What are your hopes and dreams? What would the you of five years from now like to remember about this moment you are currently living in?
Perhaps you’re struggling with a tough break up and you want to write to yourself in a year so you can look back someday and see how far you’ve come.
Or maybe you are just starting out on a new venture and you are excited but nervous. Write out how you’re feeling.
Then in a year, take a look back! You could even ask yourself questions that you answer in the future when writing letters to your past self.
12. List your recent inspirations
Your inspirations aren’t limited to people. They can be book characters, stories, nature, art, music, or whatever lights your fire.
Think about moments, objects, or occurrences that you’ve found inspiring recently and document them.
Listing your inspirations can help you to refocus on what motivates you and remind you of something that makes you feel passionate about something.
13. Write a self-care recipe
Sometimes you get so busy taking care of everyone else, and telling everyone else how they should take care of themselves that you forget to look inward and do it for yourself.
Writing a recipe for your own self-care can spur you to take action and take care of yourself.
You can’t fill others’ glasses if your glass is empty so make sure to take time for self-care (hint: a morning journal routine is a great self-care ingredient already!).
Try writing morning or bedtime routine ideas for self-care that can help aid your sleep quality and overall restfulness.
14. Plan your bedtime routine
Bedtime routines are an essential component for a good night’s sleep. Having a plan in place can make it much easier when you’re tired and your brain is shot after a long day.
If you can refer back to the steps you outlined in your bedroom routine journal entry, it will make drifting off to sleep all the easier.
Complete the circle and add planning your bedtime routine to your morning journal routine.
Need bedtime routine ideas? Check out our list by clicking here.
15. Write what you’re looking forward to today
Even if it’s just a regular old day, there must be something you’re looking forward to, even if it’s just the end of a tough work day.
Tony Robbins, one of the most iconic self-help gurus of our time, puts it simply,
“Always have something to look forward to.”
Looking forward to something inspires hope and that’s the kind of emotion that you want to start your morning with.
16. Draw out your support network
This is a great way to remind yourself that you aren’t alone in whatever you’re trying to tackle.
You have people that you can ask for help. This is a very reassuring thing to consciously recognize first thing in the morning.
Plus thinking about these people will bring a smile to your face and add some pep to your step.
17. Reflect on yesterday’s highlights
Self-reflection is something that is not only critical for growth, but also for good mental health.
If you find yourself reflecting on stressors from yesterday rather than highlights, don’t worry! Research shows that self-reflection on your stressors is important for resilience.
Write down what went well, what went badly, and what you’d do differently next time around.
18. Create a bucket list
This morning journal prompt can help you look forward to things in your life.
By writing out your bucket list, you’re more likely to check it off.
Sky diving? Seeing the Eiffel Tower? Running a marathon? Whatever your dreams are, start writing them down today.
19. Note down last night’s dreams
People who record their dreams in a dream journal will dream more and be able to remember them more often.
No matter how wacky it may be, jot down what happened in your dream last night and over a couple months. Compare how vividly you’re able to recall the chariot driven by a teddy bear on Mars.
See if you can find patterns in your dreams as these may point to worries within your life.
20. Describe your perfect day 5 years from now
This prompt lends itself to the good old-fashioned daydream.
While many people have a vague idea of what 5 years from now will look like, writing down your perfect future day can make it more real and give you the motivation you need in the morning to make that dream into a reality.
It also helps you create a step-by-step plan to work out how to achieve this daydream.
21. List what you’d like to make time for
The chances are that the things you’d like to make more time for are things that are important in your life.
This morning journal prompt helps you to consciously recognize what those important things are and take the first step to making space for these important things.
To sum up…
These prompts can serve as your morning journal template so that you can spend more time writing and less time thinking of what to write in a morning journal.
Taking the time to do a daily morning journal has all sorts of positive effects so it’s worth it, even if you only have a couple minutes.
And remember that the best morning journal is just a place for you to express your thoughts and feelings privately. There’s no pressure to be a talented writer.
Check out Snoozerville’s comprehensive guide if you need more healthy morning routine ideas to kick your day off with a bang.
Welcome to Snoozerville! I’m Dr. Alex Hartley, your guide to the world of restful sleep. With a Ph.D. in Sleep Science and years of experience as a sleep therapist, I’ve dedicated my life to understanding and improving sleep quality. My passion lies in uncovering the mysteries of sleep and sharing practical, science-backed advice to help you achieve the best rest possible. Beyond my academic pursuits, I’m an advocate for mindfulness and relaxation techniques, which I incorporate into my daily routine. At Snoozerville, I aim to transform your nights, combining the latest research with easy-to-implement tips. Whether you’re a chronic insomniac or just looking to improve your sleep hygiene, join me on this journey towards peaceful, rejuvenating sleep.