I love habits and routines. I love them because when you build good habits, they support you and reduce the decisions you have to make. 

I have a good morning routine, one that includes journaling. I am lucky that my mornings are not rushed, they are relaxed, and I get to dedicate an hour to myself before I start the day. So giving myself time to journal in the morning is easy. 

However, I know that only some have this freedom or want to give a significant amount of time to a morning routine. 

If you only have a few minutes for a morning routine, I recommend you use that time for journaling.  

One of the things I’m trying to implement this year is journaling at night (in addition to the morning). I’m struggling with this habit because I want a fast night routine. This led me to learn how to journal if you only have a few minutes.  

Let’s start with the benefits of journaling, and then I’ll share a way to journal very quickly in the morning and at night. 

Benefits to journaling

Journaling has many benefits, and I will share three that are the most significant benefit for me. 

  1. Reduce stress and overwhelm. Many thoughts are running around in my head. And getting my thoughts and feelings out onto paper gets all that noise out of my head. When my head is much less noisy, I feel less stressed and less overwhelmed.   In addition, one of my journaling practices is to express gratitude. This reminds me of all the good things I have in my life. 
  2. Helps me process my emotions. Often in the morning, as I think about the day before, I realize that events are “stuck” inside me. Usually, this is something that is bothering me or something I didn’t have time to think through or process. When I write about it, I get to deal with them. Also, writing helps me slow down and not let the negativity run away with me. It’s an excellent way to ensure I’m not hiding from things that can be hard to think about or process.
  3. Helps me figure out my next steps.   Once I’ve had a chance to write out what is bothering me and explore why, I can think about what I want or need. Once I know what I want, it becomes easier to see how to get from where I am to where I want to go. 

These are the big reasons I journal.  

However, how do you get these benefits if you only have a few minutes? 

Quick morning journal practice

The best way to journal when you only have a few minutes is to do guided journaling. This is where you answer specific questions. Usually, the questions are the same each day.  

Having specific questions to answer saves you time and energy. 

Here are three quick journaling questions to get you started in the morning: 

  • Where do I want my energy to focus on today? Or what are my intentions for today?  
  • How do I want to feel today? 
  • What do I feel truly grateful for right now?

I like these for a quick morning setup because they get you thinking about your day ahead and clearly defining what you want. 

Quick evening journal practice. 

If you use these as guiding questions at the start of the day, you can then finish your day with these quick journaling questions: 

  • How was today?
  • What great things happened today?
  • What was challenging, and what is it teaching me? 
  • What other things about today do I want to remember? 

I love these simple questions because they can give you great learning and self-discovery without wasting time. It also serves as a way to capture some terrific memories or events.  

The morning practice can be done in a quick 2 minutes. The evening practice might take five minutes, but if you are tight on time, you can keep your answers short and to the point. 

With only 5 minutes daily, it’s hard to say you don’t have time to journal.  

Do you journal?

If you do, when and how do you journal?

If you don’t, will you start?  

[Journaling] is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.

Mina Murray, Dracula

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