Journaling is something that has become a bit more trendy in the past few years. Especially with the pandemic, people feel they have more time and energy to connect with their emotions and dive into their thoughts and motivations. A journal, or any paper booklet, provides a great outlet for these thoughts.
However, something that tends to deter people from wanting to establish a new habit of journaling is when they miss a day or feel like they have nothing to write down. Even the thought of “writing to yourself” can be daunting. Or think about if someone else were to find your journal. Would they judge you? Immediately our minds reflect on those high school diaries with our secret crush written all over them in hearts.
To help you get into the habit a little bit easier, we’ve provided some prompts you can refer to. They are meant to help you reflect on your day, on your goals, on anything really! Journaling isn’t the same for everyone and doesn’t have to look the same either. Some people carry their journals in their phone notes, or in a notebook beside their bed. It’s a unique practice that is guided by our individual thoughts, ideas and lifestyle.
Now onto the questions!
What was your favourite part about today?
This is a good one for reflecting on your day-to-day routine. You can dive into work or that monthly brunch with your friends from university. You can talk about how your boss is the absolute worst but you managed to meet someone new at Starbucks on your break and now you’ve got a date for Friday night!
Talking about the favourite part of your day is something that can help bring your mood up at the end of the day. Kind of like ending the day on a high, or on a positive note. It helps us go to sleep happier (or at least in a better mood than before) which leads to a more restful night and a better morning for the next day.
Of course, you’re going to have those tough days where it seems like there’s nothing positive about the day. Maybe your childhood pet dies or you lost a client at work and are now worried about your income or position.
For those days, we suggest thinking about how much you looked forward to your lunch break and how great it felt to just get a break. Or the dinner you made that was some of the best food you’ve ever cooked.
Our brains always want to jump to the big things in our day, but when the big things aren’t always that positive, it helps to find the little things and highlight those.
What is something you’re looking forward to?
This is a good prompt for if you journal in the morning or if you just want to reflect on how you’re feeling about something coming up at the end of the day.
This could be something as big as a move to a new city or a wedding coming up. It could also be something smaller like getting your hair done or meeting up with your friends that you haven’t seen in ages. The scale might be different for everyone but what’s important is that you always have something to look forward to.
The feeling of excitement or just knowing that you have something coming that’s going to improve your life is what gets a lot of people out of bed in the morning. If you’re someone who struggles with depression or anxiety and finds it hard to put a smile on when you’re having a bad day, this prompt is a great option for you. It reminds you that even though today is hard, you have tomorrow to look forward to.
What is something that you dreamed about for years and finally have it today?
And last but certainly not least, this is one of our favourite questions to ask ourselves. It’s also a really cool question to ask someone you’re just getting to know, or even someone you have known for a long time.
If you’re using this prompt to reflect on yourself and on your past, this is a good way to evaluate your goals. It shows you just how far you’ve come and is super motivating. It can also show you how much you’ve changed in however many years or months, and how that can be a good thing. For example, if you wanted to marry your long-time boyfriend from high school, but realize that you two are no longer together and you’re now engaged to someone you love, it’s a really eye-opening experience. You notice how much you’ve healed and how you don’t need to stalk their Instagram any more and it’s okay.
If you go on a date with someone new and you’re curious about where they came from or their goals, but you don’t want to be too blunt, this is also a good question. Depending on their answer, it can tell you a lot about whether or not their career-driven or value their relationships, or how they measure success and what goals they have set for themselves.