The List I Write Every Morning

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I’m a big believer in journaling and over the years I’ve tried all kinds of techniques for what I call “writing therapy,” . . . lists or statements or free writing that help me stay in a positive mental place, deal with stress, or plan for big things in life.

I’ve done the ten things I’m thankful for, I’ve done the list of things stressing me out with possible solutions, I’ve done more to do lists than any one human should probably ever do, I’ve done the free-write journaling that almost causes more anxiety because you feel you’d just die if someone read all the thoughts you just poured out onto a literal or virtual piece of paper.  But I’ve recently learned — as your seasons of life change, your writing therapy needs to change with it.

Aside from my daily one to two lines a day in my five year journal that allows me to document the big events of my life, I’ve found a new writing therapy technique that has changed my morning routines, and essentially my whole outlook for the day.

When my alarm goes off (set an hour earlier than I previously woke up), I immediately get my phone and climb back into bed.  After a couple minutes of mindless scanning and waking myself up, I go to the notes section of my phone and type these items every day . . .

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Three things I’m thankful for . . .

I try to keep these to small and specific things which allows me to focus in on moments I have recently enjoyed vs. always stating the same people or things everyday that are large that I’m thankful for.  These things are oftentimes the taste of my coffee the day before, the fact that I got to bed early and slept through the night, the weather, a compliment someone gave me, an unexpected hour of free time in my schedule, etc.

Three things that would make today awesome . . .

The first tip here is to keep it to things within your control.  This is something I also try to keep to the smaller details of life.  I typically write down things like making someone laugh that day, spending an hour getting my email organized, calling one of my grandparents, planning to arrive somewhere early, etc.

One thing I’m looking forward to that day . . .

This one item has added the most value for me, because . . . realistically, sometimes in the thick of a busy week it can be hard to find one thing you’re looking forward to that day (which sounds sad, but we all experience it).  So I find if I think about my day and let’s say I have lunch with a friend scheduled and I write that thing down — by the time lunch rolls around, I feel I make the most of it and am more fully engaged because I know for the whole day that was the moment that stood out as what I was looking forward to, so I want to make sure it lives up to being the best part of my day.

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These are all tips inspired by Rachel Hollis from The Chic Site and her #last90days challenge.  She is constantly giving her readers/followers inspirational advice . . . and this is one that has worked best for me that I felt was worth passing along!