October 5, 2018  

Creating A 10-Minute Morning Journaling Routine For Self Reflection & Goal Setting

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TeaProudly #FallforBigelow #CollectiveBias

Today I’m sharing my ten-minute morning journaling routine and how it’s become the perfect way to begin my day. If you want to create a more intentional morning routine, journaling while sipping a warm cup of tea is a great way to settle into the fall season.


As the seasons change, so do our routines. Our energy shifts and our days may look a little different, making the start of fall the perfect time to evaluate and refresh our daily routines.

The cooler weather has me craving more quiet time to relax and reflect. As a busy working mom, I often forget to stop and be still with my thoughts which is why I’ve started journaling every morning with a hot cup of tea by my side.

I don’t have a ton of time to spare in the mornings, but I’ve come to love the few minutes I have to write in my journal every day. David does daycare dropoff and leaves before me, giving me 10 to 15 extra minutes of quiet in the house before I need to head to the office. I try my best to be dressed and ready to go by the time they pull out of the driveway so I can curl up with my journal before I have to leave for work. It’s such a great way to begin the day!

Today I’m partnering with my go-to tea brand, Bigelow Tea, to share the 10-minute morning journaling routine I’ve developed. It’s not complicated, it’s just enough self-reflection to start your day off on the right foot. I’m excited to share the journaling prompts I use with you!

But before you begin worrying about what to write in your journal, you’ll need a warm beverage by your side. Seriously, something warm to sip makes all the difference, especially now that cooler weather is here. Although I totally drink tea all year round!

A great cup of tea is the perfect way to relax before I rush off to a busy day at work. I’ve been loving Bigelow Tea’s classic Peppermint flavor lately. It has a way of instantly making me feel warm and cozy. Hover over the image below to pick up a box of Peppermint for yourself.

And have you seen all of the seasonal flavors Bigelow Tea has out right now? When I was at Walmart stocking up last week, I had such a tough time choosing just a few flavors. With Pumpkin Spice, Salted Caramel and Toasted Coconut Almond Bark, you really can’t go wrong!

Visit Walmart.com to see all of Bigelow Tea’s classic and seasonal flavors.

Creating A 10-Minute Morning Journaling Routine

I have benefited so much from my morning journaling routine that I wanted to share it with you! It really is a fantastic way to ease into the day by gathering your thoughts and setting goals before you jump into the crazy day ahead of you.

I’m going to share the specific journaling prompts I’m using every day, but I first want to address a few common questions.

Supplies: All you need is a notebook and writing utensil. These don’t need to be fancy, although I’m a huge fan of a cute notebook and colorful pen. I also recommend a mug of tea to sip while you write.

Location: You can journal anywhere. I love to do this at home when the house is quiet before I go to work. Choose a place where you can reliably find a few minutes without distractions. This could be on the bus on the way to work, in bed when you first wake up, in your car in the office parking lot, or wherever works!

Time: The time of day isn’t as important as consistency. I prefer mornings because it helps center me and prepare me for the day ahead. But if it’s too crazy in your house in the mornings, evenings may work better for you. You could even journal during your lunch break at work.


10-Minute Journaling Prompts

Although I love writing, I don’t have time for long-form journaling every day.  I prefer something quick. I did some research earlier this year into recommendations for journaling prompts to help guide my journaling practice.

After some research and testing out prompts, I landed on the 7 prompts below. These help me intentionally reflect on the prior day and look forward to the day ahead. They are short enough that I can finish journaling in less than 10 minutes each morning.

1 | On My Mind

This is the brain dump section where you literally just scribble down everything on your mind. It’s so helpful to get it all on paper! Your to-dos, your worries, your ideas, your random thoughts.

Related: How To Declutter Your Mind With A Brain Dump

2 | Wins

Think back to yesterday and write down the highlights and things you achieved.

3 | What Would Have Made Yesterday Better?

Take a second to think about what would have made yesterday better. Could you have handled a situation differently? Did you skip your workout? Did you go to bed too late and not get enough sleep?

I love this question because it helps me identify ways to make today even better and prevents me from slipping into bad habits and routines.

4 | Gratitude

Jot down a quick 3 things you’re grateful for. Rather than generic answers like being thankful for your family, health, etc., try to think of something really specific from the past day. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing the same few things every day and that’s not all that useful.


5 | Lessons

This is a good place to record any great quotes you heard, takeaways from books and podcasts, etc. I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of blog posts and love having this place to save any big takeaways or ‘aha’ moments.

6 | Needs Attention

Now turn your attention to the day ahead of you and write down all of the things on your mind that need attention. This is a good way to assess what you need to focus on for the day and you can create your to-do list accordingly.

Also quickly think back to your larger goals for the month and jot down any areas that you need to refocus on.

Related: Why You Should Have 90-Day Goals (And A Goal Setting Worksheet)

7 | Daily 3

Lastly, write down three things you will do today no matter what happens. They can be anything, but really try to limit yourself to three. These should be things that will make you happy even if you accomplish nothing else for the day.

After I’m finished with my morning journaling routine, these three things immediately get added to my planner so I can check them off throughout the day.

Related: Organizing My New Inkwell Press Planner (Tips From A Planner Rookie)


I hope you enjoyed this peek into my morning journaling routine. If you feel like you are scattered and having a hard time slowing down to focus or if you just want to become more self-aware, journaling is a great way to slow yourself down and really reflect on things.

Now go find a notebook and pick up a couple boxes of Bigelow Tea and you’ll be all set to start an intentional morning journaling routine!

Want to establish better routines? Take a look at these blog posts:

If you’re ready to overhaul your daily routines so you can intentionally set aside time for journaling (and tea sipping), be sure to enroll in the FREE 5-day Organize Your Week course.

Happy journaling!

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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a working mom juggling two young kids, a corporate job, and all that goes into managing a home. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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