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Start Your Day Off Right with Morning Pages

Morning Pages

Your morning routine is perhaps the most important part of your day, as it sets the
tone and gets you 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
guide will cover everything you need to know about morning pages, from how you
can get started with them to their many benefits.

Coming up, you will learn:

  • How Morning Pages Work
  • The Benefits of Journaling in the Morning
  • Ideas for Getting Started
  • How to Be Successful with Them

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.