I’ve written before about the importance of knowing yourself, and how journaling can be a big part of that process. But what if you’ve never journaled before? What if you don’t think of yourself as a “writer”? The whole process can be intimidating if you’re new to journaling, so here are some prompts to help you get started.
Remember: there’s no right or wrong when it comes to journaling. It’s just a place to note down your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and everyday life happenings. You may naturally want to focus more on one than the other: that’s fine! Journaling is the kind of practice you grow into over time, so start with writing what’s easiest for you to write. There will be seasons of plenty, where you’ll be filling page after page, and seasons where it’ll be difficult to scratch out more than a few lines. Stick with it, and you’ll be able to look back and see the fruit.
The key thing to remember is that no one will ever read this but you. (Unless you decide to share it.) Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or judging what you write. If you’re angry, write it. If you’re sad, write it. If you don’t understand what’s happening in your life, write it.
Lots of popular journaling prompts ask big questions: “What would you do if you could do anything?” Or “What is your favourite place on earth?”. Truthfully I often find those a little overwhelming and hard to answer. What if there are lots of things I want to do, several places I love to be, but all for different reasons?
These questions are smaller, closer to home, and hopefully help you get to know yourself a little better, as you are right now. They aim to help you notice, note, and reflect on your life as it is. Someday (maybe even tomorrow!) your responses to these prompts might be different – but the goal is to get to know you, now.
(NB: If you’re a rule-follower, you might feel like you have to answer every prompt exactly. You don’t! They’re just there to get you started, so if you end up in another direction, roll with it! Take what works for you and leave the rest.)
||ONE|| In this season of life, an average day for me looks like ………., and when I reflect on that, I think ………. and feel ………. because ………..
||TWO|| One small thing I’m happy with about my life, right now as it is, that I wouldn’t want to change at all is ……….
||THREE|| Something I spent time today/this week worrying about is ……….
||FOUR|| Some of the most important people in my life are: ………. I’ve interacted with them recently (in person/ on email/ message/ social media/ phone) ………. Am I content with how and how often we’ve connected? Is there anything I’d like to do differently, if I could? How could I?
||FIVE|| Something that really made me think recently was ……….