As we discussed, journaling is a great way to reset your mindset and take control of your life (1). Finding time to do it each morning can help you feel more productive throughout your day, and writing at night can help you take a step back and be more introspective about your life and experiences.
For some of us, being an early bird isn’t in our nature. However, adding something like journaling to your morning routine may help you become more excited to start the day. One benefit of doing your writing in the morning is that it can help you lay out your intentions for the day. By journaling before you start your tasks for the day, you can think through what you need to get done and make sure you allow enough time for everything. This way, you’ll be more productive since you’re starting the day with a plan.
You might also have a more positive outlook if you choose to write in the morning. Many people use their journals as a place to express gratitude, and doing so before you start the day may help you take on the day with a smile on your face. In addition, it can be hard to start the day when you have a million things on your mind. By laying out your thoughts first thing in the morning, you will be able to focus on what really matters (2).
Prompts to start your day:
- How do I think I will feel at the end of the day?
- What are my top priorities for today?
- What is one thing I can do today, just for the sake of having fun?
- What am I most worried about today? How can I best tackle this feeling?
- What is something I can do today to make tomorrow easier?
If you’re more of a night owl, there are some great benefits to writing at night, too. First of all, journaling before bed can help your sleep quality. This is because writing down your thoughts and feelings can help remove stress and worry, which will leave you feeling peaceful as you drift off to bed (3). Some studies have shown that what really helps you get rid of your worry is by planning your next day in writing, rather than conceptualizing the past day. It can give a sense of confidence to know what you plan to tackle the next day, and your sleep will be improved because of it. However, it can also be beneficial to take note of some of the occurrences of your day, too. Focusing on the good parts of your day, and being brief about the negative parts, will help you get the most out of this pre-sleep habit.
Prompts for journaling at night:
- What do I hope to get done tomorrow?
- What went well today?
- What am I worried about right now?
- What are some things I can do tomorrow to combat stress?
- What was the best part of today?