Do you like to journal? Or, maybe you hate it? No matter where you land, I think you’ll enjoy these journaling prompts I’m sharing today. I start out (almost) every day by answering these 10 questions in my journal. Some of them I made up, some I got from mentors in my life, and all of them have been refined over time to be the
best possible list of questions.
These are the questions that work for me, and today I’m sharing them with you so you can develop your own fast and easy morning journaling routine! Starting my day with these questions change my mood and help me to not let the day happen “to me”, but instead be completely in charge of my day, my emotions, and my schedule.
I try to journal every day as part of my morning routine, but I definitely miss PLENTY of days and am far from perfect at this. When I do start my day with pen to paper using these journal prompts, I feel focused, I calm my anxieties about any stressors in the day, and I feel gratitude.
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(P.S. Scroll to the bottom of this post to get a free printable with these questions
that you can add to your journal!)
So let’s start with how this works…
The questions are short, simple, and easy. Doing this only takes up one page in my tiny journal every morning, but has a huge impact on my emotional health and focus. So, if you’re thinking “10 questions… I don’t have time for 10 questions!!” — you can make this work. I promise!
To do this, you’ll need somewhere to write your answers. I like to keep all my different journals separate. So, I have a prayer journal, a business dreaming journal, this morning journaling journal, a sermon notes journal, and I have another journal where I keep notes from podcasts that really impact me. So, a lot of journals! I like to keep it all separate because I really love to look back at things. I like to see how things have grown and changed and how God has worked in my life, and that’s easier when it’s all separate journals. So, I recommend a journal for this! Pen to paper is always best, but you can also type your answers in your phone or computer and keep a rolling document with this.
You’ll also need a quiet distraction-free space to write. A big part of how I like to start my morning is alone with the Lord. This journaling prompt time happens usually at the start or end of that quiet time. So, I keep all my morning routine supplies in the same spot in our living room, and I pull the supplies out in the morning, and everything I need is right there. EASY!
Usually my morning routine goes like:
- Fix coffee
- Stretch while it’s brewing
- Morning journal prompts from this episode!
- Bible reading time/prayer journaling
- Reading another book (sometimes)
- Then get ready for the day - possibly go to the gym!
I don’t have a super set in stone schedule. I like to go with the flow! But, those are some things that usually happen. So, when you think about these prompts - think about how they can also fit into your morning routine! These questions are most powerful in the morning.
Now, let’s get into the questions!
1. What does my soul need today?
This is a self care question! What do you NEED!? How often do we forget to ask ourselves this question? I usually like to answer this question with a “way of being” — a way I want to feel in my soul.
Here are some example answers from my actual journal…
- “My soul needs some introverted alone time in the car today after all the socializing!” (This was after a work trip where I was just feeling exhausted!)
- “My soul needs a slower movement into the workweek so that I don’t get overwhelmed.”
- “My soul needs a good, restful workout today.”
So, those are some examples! Answer however makes sense to you!
It’s about asking “What do I need?!”
2. What am I most excited about in my life today?
I used to ask what I was excited about in general, and then I’d focus on stuff far out in the future. But, I want to focus on stuff NOW, not in the future, so I switched it up. Think through what you have going on that day — what on the schedule can you look forward to?
Here are some examples:
- “I’m excited about moving into our new house and packing up today!”
- “I’m excited to go out for a date night with Adam!”
- “I’m excited to work on Ashley’s website design today.”
Answer this one however it makes sense to you. This is your journaling time! It can be something from the day, the week, the year, however you want to look at it.
But, the point is to get yourself excited about life!!
3. What am I ready to welcome more of into the world?
This is my favorite question of all. I love thinking and dreaming about my goals and being intentional about what I want, and this question every morning helps me do just that.
When you answer this, be tangible and specific. This is your time to remind yourself of a big goal, to actually write it down, and by writing it down, it’s one more way you’re working towards it. I ALWAYS write my answers to this one in a full sentence. And I usually write down 2-3 things.
Every month I set a goal for how many website templates I want to sell, and I always write that goal in my journal. Every month that I’ve done this, I’ve hit the goal! I’m not saying it’s magical or anything like that, but I do think that when we set tangible goals, and write them down, it helps us to focus on them. What we are focused on, we work towards.
This question also causes you to have an energy shift. Maybe you typically think “Ugh, I really hope I book some clients this month! I feel hopeless!!!”
Shifting that to: “I am ready to welcome in 3 new clients this month.” is totally different energetically.
So, like I said I do this with my templates. I’m not going to share exact numbers, but I’d write something like “I am ready to welcome X number of new template buyers this month.”
And, wild story: On Saturday when I was doing my journaling, I did this question based on my goal for the month and how many were left to sale, and NO JOKE I made a new sale during my journaling time. It was so cool!
Here are some other great examples:
- “I am ready to welcome a productive workday where I don’t use my phone much.”
- “I am ready to welcome in $X this year.”
- “I am ready to welcome meaningful conversations with friends tonight.”
- “ I am ready to welcome (client who was thinking about booking) as a new client.”
I want you to make these questions your own, but I’d recommend not skipping this one! 😉
4. What are the 3 things I’m grateful for today?
Practicing gratitude is so vital! I like to answer this question specifically about 3 things that are relevant right now in my life. When you’re stressed, nervous, or overwhelmed, this question can be an excellent reminder of all that you have.
Examples from my journal:
- “I am grateful to have a loving husband, for our incredible vacation time together, and that I had fun mountain biking!”
- “I am grateful for our home, my business’s recent growth, and
the Lord’s goodness in my friendships.”
5. What are 1-3 things I could do today to bring me joy? And, 1-3 things I can do to bring someone else joy?
This one is a 2 part-er! You can technically make it 2 separate questions if you want,
but I do it as one.
- To bring me joy: go to the gym, read for 30 minutes, watch Big Little Lies tonight to unwind, ask a friend to go out for dinner tonight
- To bring someone else joy: Be a helping hand at camp today whenever I see someone who needs some help with anything, text mom and dad to check-in, do laundry for Adam so he has clean clothes tomorrow, text friend to tell them I’m thinking of them and praying for them, treat a friend to dinner
It could be stuff for today or this week - just whatever your mind thinks of, go for that! I love this question because it asks you to be specific and make your day HAPPEN versus your day happening to you. So often we end our day with “wishes” and “regrets”, but this question is part of many questions in here that cause you to be super intentional!
6. A praise I have is… A prayer I have is …
In this question, you write a praise and a prayer. Depending on what your morning looks like, you might already be journaling your prayers, spending time meditating, or praying in some other way. But, I still like to add this fast one in no matter what my day looks like. You can write as many as you want, or just stick to one! Just like question 3, I love looking back on this one to see answered prayers later and to reflect even more on the praises I have for what God has done in my life and the lives of others.
7. How do I want to feel at the end of today?
For this question, I typically write just 1 to 2 words to describe a feeling I’d like to be in.
For example: accomplished, relaxed, rejuvenated, prepared for the week,
relationally fueled up, etc.
Sometimes, I’ll go a step further and jot down a couple of things that will help me to FEEL that emotion at the end of today. So, if I wrote down on a Sunday morning that I want to feel prepared for the week at the end of the day, I’ll think through what I can do to get there. Some things I could come up with would be: grocery shop, meal prep, make a schedule for my day on Monday and clean the house.
Again, this question is about thinking ahead and making a plan for your day versus just being passive. Throughout your day try to remember what words you wrote to actively move in that direction.
8. What can I do today in order to make my goal(s) easier?
If you’re like me, you might set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. For this question, I like to think about one of those specific goals and ask “How can I make it easier for me to work towards the goal or hit the goal?”
Typically with this question, it’s easier to focus on a habit you’re trying to form in order to get to a bigger goal like losing weight, growing your business, building a relationship, breaking a bad habit, etc.
Here are some examples of goals and something to make it easier:
- Goal: Weight loss / To not snack tonight after dinner
- Make it easier: Brew some tea immediately after dinner to curb my sweet tooth and then brush my teeth after.
- Goal: Read an entire book this month
- Make it easier: Take a 15-minute lunch break, then spend 30 minutes reading
I like to switch it every day to a different goal and how I’ll make it easier, and then sometimes I’ll focus on one goal all week. Sometimes it’s not even something I have written as a “big goal”, but something I just want to make happen that day.
9. A situation that might trip me today is … and the way that my best self would deal with it is…
I got this question from the High-Performance Planner by Brendon Bruchard, which I love! But, I honestly don’t use it every day because I don’t feel like I need that many questions in the morning and evening, and I don’t always like to schedule my day out so intensely. But, when I’m feeling really overwhelmed I like to pull it out and use it!
This is one of my favorite morning prompts in the journal! This question helps me be proactive with the day, and go ahead and think about what problems I might face.
Here’s an example I think we can all relate to:
- Situation: Stress when opening up my inbox after a long weekend
- Best self: Take a deep breath and take it in small doses until I have it completed. Know that I don’t have to do it all at once.
10. Daily Affirmation Statement
Wondering what an affirmation even is? Here’s the definition from Intelligent Change: “A Daily Affirmation is a simple statement that defines you as you want to be. Every time you write the daily affirmation, you prime your brain to start building this belief in your mind. With consistency, you will begin to create that change from within.”
I don’t think everyone gets the same benefits from affirmations. They are more profound for some than others. I, personally, love affirmations, and have been using them for years to work towards results I want.
I even have a “morning affirmations” coffee mug in my Etsy shop that has an affirmation paragraph on it that I wrote! I love affirmations that start with “I am”, “I will”, or “I can” statements.
Here are some you can try out:
- I am empowered to succeed.
- I have the courage to live my dreams.
- I am attracting new clients each and every day.
- My body is getting stronger and healthier each day.
- I am worthy of love.
- I will move through my day with gratitude,
- I am strong in mind, body, and spirit.
- I am driven by passion and purpose.
- I am capable of anything I focus on intentionally.
- I inhale confidence and exhale fear.
- I am loved, loving, and lovable.
You can find so many ideas for this online. Just Google “affirmations”. Or, be creative and write your own. Another thing you can try is when one really resonates with you, put it on a sticky note somewhere that you’ll see it often like your fridge, desk, mirror.
Extra motivation right there!
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“How you start your day is how you live your day.
How you live your day is how you live your life.”
- Louise Hay
Want an inspirational coffee mug to go with your morning journal time? I've got the perfect one for you!
Check out the Morning Affirmations mug from my Etsy shop! It's definitely a crowd favorite!
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Living A Well-Watered Life As A Business Owner With Gretchen Saffles: This podcast episode dives into things like motherhood, social media boundaries, the mundane moments of life, and how to be strong in our faith life.
July 23, 2019