Your morning routine is perhaps the most important part of your day, as it sets the tone and gets your ready for what’s next. One popular trend that has helped people from all walks of life improve their morning routines is morning pages. These morning pages are a form of daily journaling that you do right after you wake up.
Although daily journaling in general is good for you, morning pages are especially beneficial, and there’s a reason so many successful people swear by them.
This post will cover everything you need to know about morning pages, from how you can get started with them to their many benefits.
Keep reading to learn more about morning pages.
- How Morning Pages Work
The way morning pages work is simple enough. While any form of journaling in the morning would work, the most widely known method of doing morning pages has the following requirements:
You must do your morning pages immediately upon waking up.
You write until you’ve completed three pages in your notebook, which is about 750 words.
Morning pages must be handwritten.
You can write about whatever comes to mind. For the first half-page or page, you may find that you’re filling the page with blasé observations, but if you stick with it, you will likely end up with some gems in the rest of your writing. It’s all about being patient and committed.
While how long morning pages take depends on how quickly you write, people typically complete theirs within about half an hour. You’ll likely find that you get through yours a bit faster when you get used to writing them.
Although you don’t need to follow the requirements above, as morning pages can be whatever you want them to be, there are reasons for those requirements.
It’s best to do your morning pages right away when you wake up because at that time, your mind will be too tired to second-guess or censor anything. You’ll be able to put down more honest thoughts from the inner depths of your mind.
The three-page requirement is because that’s a good amount to produce in-depth writing. If you stopped after one page, you’d only be scratching the surface with your journaling.
As far as the requirement about handwriting your morning pages, there are a few reasons for this. Many people feel that the act of putting pen or pencil to paper results in a stronger connection between what themselves and what they’re writing. Computers, on the other hand, can stifle creativity.
It’s also much easier to jump into your morning pages when you wake up if you’re just grabbing a journal, not turning on your computer and loading your word processing program of choice.
That being said, if you prefer using a computer for your morning pages, you can do so. There are even sites specifically for that purpose.
Since morning pages are intended to be private, it’s best not to let anyone else read yours. This makes it easier to write honestly, because you don’t need to worry about being judged for what you write. In fact, you may not even want to reread yours later.
- The Benefits of Journaling Daily with Morning Pages
Morning pages are a great way to encourage you to not only journal daily, but get a lot of use out of them. While there are many forms of journaling, none of which are wrong, journaling in the morning is often great for stream of consciousness, bullet journaling, and planning out your day.
Take a look at the many benefits of morning pages.
It’s Your Own Private Form of Therapy
Since you’re the only one who sees your morning pages, they give you the perfect opportunity write about your thoughts and feelings. With how busy life can get, it’s far too easy to bury your emotions, which can make you unhappy in the long run. Sometimes just focusing on how you feel and what’s bothering you can make a world of difference.
Maybe journaling will help you better understand where your partner is coming from when you two argue and how the two of you can communicate better. Or perhaps when you break down something that stressed you out the previous day, you’ll discover why it bothered you and steps you can take to solve the problem.
You’re Free to Express Whatever You’d Like
Your morning pages are your own world, and you can do whatever you want with them. While writing about how you feel is a popular choice, that’s far from the only topic you can cover. You could use your morning pages to map out goals for the next few weeks and months, or take a more long-term view of what you want to accomplish in life. You could use your morning pages to write your own short stories.
There’s no limit to what you write. If you want to go past three pages, that’s an option, as well.
It Stimulates Your Creativity
It’s not easy to be creative. There’s a misconception out there that artists and other creative types are simply born that way, but in reality, you need to put in the work to develop your creativity. The two most important factors in being creative are devoting time to it and having the right setup. Fortunately, those are two areas where morning pages can help.
One of the most common reasons people fail at creating anything is because they’re constantly waiting for inspiration to strike instead of simply setting aside time and working at it. If you expect it to just happen, it never will. When you do your morning pages, you’re making a commitment to put in the work.
The other roadblock to creativity is your setup. When you’re typing ideas into a computer program, there’s a disconnect between you and what you’re creating, and you can immediately edit anything you don’t like before you’ve even fleshed it out. The same isn’t true when you’re using a pen and paper. The ideas flow much better this way, especially when you’re just waking up.
Keep in mind also that stimulating creativity isn’t only useful for artists. If you’re an entrepreneur, your morning pages could be where you come up with great new business ideas.
You Clear Your Head
Morning pages are great for reducing anxiety and helping you be in the present moment. How do they help with that? They allow you to clear all those little thoughts and stressors from your mind so that they aren’t weighing you down the rest of the day.
Everyone knows how overwhelming it is to have a variety of thoughts flooding your mind as you try to focus on what you need to accomplish that day. By putting those thoughts to paper in the morning, you set yourself up for a more focused and productive day.
It Helps You Value Your Time More
The interesting thing about morning pages is that even though you’re adding a 30-minute task to your daily routine, you’ll likely actually find yourself making better use of your time. One reason is that you’ll have fewer distractions that take you off track, but just as important is that you’ll have a conscious desire to make the most of every moment.
When you see how much those 30 minutes of writing can improve your life, you’ll want to use the rest of your time just as wisely. That means less procrastination and killing time on mindless tasks. You’ll move through life far more efficiently.
- Ideas for Your Morning Pages
Even though there are some recommendations on how you approach your morning pages, there really is no right or wrong way to do them. This is your personal mental playground. However, if you’re unsure how to start writing your morning pages, here are some ideas that could help.
Dig into What’s on Your Mind
This is a popular choice for morning pages, as it’s great for clearing your head and ridding yourself of stress. You’re essentially playing your own therapist here by analyzing how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way.
The key here is to keep asking yourself “why” as you write about how you feel. The first paragraph or two may just be a surface-level look at things, but you’ll make more progress as you break down your thoughts further.
Let’s say you wake up feeling worried. In your writing, you can pinpoint exactly what’s causing that worry and how you’re going to handle it. If you hadn’t done your morning pages, you may have spent your whole day stressed.
Write a Plan of Attack for the Day
Your morning pages are the perfect place to write what you’re going to do that day, including everything from the mundane tasks to bigger goals. By writing all these in the morning, you’re less likely to forget anything.
One trick for improving your life when you plan out your day is to visualize everything as you go, and make sure you have a positive mindset about it.
For example, instead of just writing that you’ll be meeting with your project manager at work, write that you’re going to have a fantastic meeting with them where you’ll confidently explain how the latest project is coming along. Often all it takes is belief that things will go well, and positive results will follow.
Have a Brainstorming Session
If you’re trying to get those creative juices flowing, you could use your morning pages to brainstorm new ideas. Sometimes you’ll find that ideas come naturally even as you’re writing about other things. You could be writing about a recent annoyance, which then gives you an idea for a new product.
It can also be helpful to dedicate entire mornings of journaling to brainstorming, though. Your morning pages give you a place to work through ideas, even ideas that may seem silly at first. Remember that not every idea is going to be brilliant, but you should still give them all a chance.
Combining Different Ideas
As you decide how you’re going to approach your morning pages, consider combining different ideas and giving them each a portion of your writing. You could spend your first page and a half on getting your thoughts down and clearing your head, and then use the next page and a half on what you’re going to do that day or week.
Or, you can just dive in and see where your writing takes you. It’s fine to start your morning pages talking about how tired you are and how much you’d rather be sleeping. The stream-of-consciousness approach tends to work very well for morning pages, and you may be surprised with what you come up with.
- Finding Success with Your Morning Pages
To be successful with writing morning pages, you need to turn it into a habit. Start by carving out 30 minutes in your morning routine, even if that means waking up earlier. If you figure you’ll just fit your morning pages in, odds are that start skipping them because you don’t have the time.
Make a commitment to writing your morning pages for 30 days in a row. Here’s why – it can take time to see the results of your new morning routine. You’re selling yourself short if you stop after five days because you haven’t noticed a difference. When you set 30 days as your first goal, it gives you enough time to see the results in action and make morning pages a habit.
Morning pages are one of the easiest and best ways to lead a better life. All it takes is a notebook, a pen or pencil, and about 30 minutes of your time to make yourself happier and healthier.