So you want to journal. You know that amazing minds and great thinkers always keep a journal. Perhaps you’ve been encouraged by a therapist to keep a journal, but you don’t know where to start. What do you write in a journal? How often should you journal? How can you find the time to write in a journal?
My advice? Take it one day at a time. Find a journal, a notebook that feels write to you. It can be as simple as a 50-cent spiral notebook or an investment of a $50 leather journal. I like journals that have hard covers, spiral binding and a size that fits in my purse. Put the journal in a place that will help you remember to write in it. Set an alarm on your phone to help you remember to write.
And don’t worry. Journaling is best when it’s daily, but any increase in reflective writing is good. I have journals that I write in periodically and others that I write in once a year. I have my working journal that I use to keep track of my current projects and to-do lists. I even have shopping lists and notes to myself in that journal.
But if you are looking to leave a treasure for your children and grandchildren, the journal takes on a different level. If you are working through some difficult emotions and overcoming addictions, the journal is very private and therapeutic. A lock box feels safe for that, doesn’t it? 😊
Here is the key: Just write. Don’t worry, don’t edit your thoughts. Just write. Hand writing is very different from typing and I highly recommend that you buy a great pen and write. Yes, your hand will cramp, but the language styles and the tone of your reflection will be deeper.
Here are a few journal prompts to get you started. If you generate some of your own ideas, please share!
Make a list of things that make you smile.
Make a list of your happiest days.
Remember a time when you really wanted to just get to the end of the day as quickly as possible. Describe that day and what happened.
What do you miss most about being a child?
What virtues do you hold to be the most important?
What makes you strong? List everything that helps you feel strong and brave.
Describe a place you feel safe. It doesn’t need to be a real place.
The only way we grow is wisdom is from learning from our mistakes. What was a mistake you have made, and what did you learn?
Describe the perfect birthday celebration.
What was your favorite game when you were a kid? Describe it and write down what you loved about it.
Think forward five years. What do you want your life to be like then?
What does great parenting look like to you?
If your vanity mirror could talk, what would it say?
A bit of creative writing – If you have a pet, write from their point of view, a typical day.
What surprised you most about adulthood?
The Aboriginal people of Australia believe that our stories are THE most precious possession. What story from your past might help someone through a difficult time?
Make a list of things that you would like to learn more about.
What makes you feel beautiful or handsome? Describe a moment when you felt absolutely beautiful.
Describe a perfect day.
If money were no object, what would you do differently?
What is your favorite Scripture verse? Where did you first read it or hear it?
Write what will happen from today until your very last day on earth. Plan it. Make it happen.
Find a poem that you love. Write it into your journal.
Make a list of your favorite books. When was the last time you read one of them? Maybe it’s time to pick it up.
Do you have a favorite quote? Take a few minutes to look online for inspirational quotes. Copy the ones that really speak to you into your journal.
Who is your Hero? Why? Have you ever met your hero or is it someone from history?
Describe your first kiss. Describe your most recent kiss.