(Morning Pages and all other things are better over a flat white)
Pinterest is constantly making me look good. 90% of what I make or bake I find on Pinterest. It taught me to wash my flip-flops in the dishwasher (magical, y’all, magical). And this year it taught me about morning pages, which have changed my life quite literally.
Mornings are important to me. I rise before the sun to have time to read my bible, read educationally for 20-30 minutes, do a few chores, and still make it to work on time or early. If it’s important to me, you can pretty much bet it’s done first thing in the morning. This is in large part because I’m worthless after 9PM during the week but I digress.
The pin I found had a picture of a notebook, a pen, a cup of coffee, AND a glass of water. This is how my mornings already start so I was curious. While I liked the ideas the author of this particular article on Morning Pages suggested (do it first thing, on real paper, just write, make a to-do list out of it) I’ve made it my own. So here’s my suggestions for morning pages:
- Have a pretty notebook. I love new notebooks. So be it a moleskin, a notebook with a great quote, or something simple like my current grey and white notebook which reads: ‘Believe’ – choose something you like.
- Do it early and do it often. I write Monday-Thursday. I give myself Friday-Sunday off but sometimes I find I want to do them anyway. I do not skip a single workday, though. I do it early in the morning, before I get dressed and leave the house.
- Vent. People (especially in the workforce) are inclined towards venting. But as you work your way up the corporate ladder and find yourself, like me, in management – you have to be very careful about this. While I get frustrated , part of my job is to keep my opinions separate from the vision and mission of my company. So morning pages is a good space to work through what (or who) frustrates me but keep it professional at work.
- After venting I write specifically what I am going to do to make the situation better. For example: I was recently extremely annoyed with a certain situation at work. I wrote out exactly what about it bothered me and how it had affected the way I felt about the involved parties. Then I took my emotions out of the equation and I wrote how I would address the issue with facts only. Next, I wrote how I would move forward whether or not my opinions were honored. You know what? It worked. My confrontation was well received and my suggestion was honored. Even had it not been, though, I would have been prepared mentally to handle it in a way that kept the workplace peaceful and my relationships intact.
- Even if your work is peachy all day everyday – this may also be a good place to work through your frustrations in relationships, friendships, or with your family. I find that writing is therapeutic but also rereading my words and asking myself if they are A. True and B. Fair is a good way to know how to proceed. If I’m right (which sometimes, I am) then I still require myself to write out how I will proceed with the best possible outcome in mind.
Here’s the theme, if you didn’t catch it: be intentional. Morning pages is 15 minutes a day where I remind myself who I will be in my role at work, in my relationships, and in life.
Then, I write Today I Will… and I jot down bullet points of what I would like to accomplish. I make sure to cover what I want to do work wise but also a good balance of chores, social events, and keeping up with the important things going on in the lives of my loved ones. I’m a ‘doer’. Or as some would call it: a task-oriented person. So I find that it helps me to make items like: send birthday card to so-and-so, FaceTime my nieces and nephews, and call so-and-so to ask about their job interview, first date, doctors appointment, etc. I’m BIG on handwritten cards (yes, including thank you notes) and on remembering important events.