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How to Use Journal Prompts

Journaling is my jam. I got my first journal as a gift from a classmate at my eighth birthday party. It had pink and orange flowers, and had a small lock and key, so no one could read my deepest thoughts. I remember the moment I cracked that baby open and wrote my first entry. Replete with grammar and spelling errors, I wrote a few sentences about how special my birthday party was and how excited I was to write in my diary every single day.

I did not write in that diary every single day, but I have journaled on and off since then. One barrier I’ve had over the years to journaling is not knowing what to write about. Sometimes the words just flow, especially when I am experiencing intense emotions or working through things in my life. But other times I sit down to write, and my mind is just blank. I recently discovered journal prompts, and this has completely changed journaling for me. It has become more focused, more productive, and more fun. Sometimes I will have a journal entry that is just a list of journal prompts!

One type of journal prompt I love to use is lists. When I journal with my daughters, I often give them journal prompts along these lines, because it is a bit easier for children to journal without using narrative form. Here are some examples -

  • List of things I (have) want(ed) to be when I grow up

  • List of things I like about myself

  • List of things I’d like to change about myself

  • List of things that stress me out

  • List of things that help me feel calm

  • List of places I’d like to visit

  • List of people I’d love to meet

  • List of things I am most proud of

  • List of things I am grateful for in this moment (I recommend doing this one over and over)

Another type of journaling I love to do is manifesting exercises. Manifesting involves focusing your thoughts and energy on a desired goal or outcome. By directing your mind’s eye toward a circumstance or way of being you desire in your life, you help prime your brain to allow that experience to unfold. I have seen the power of manifesting in my life time and time again. The more detailed you can be in your manifesting exercises the better. Here are some examples of manifesting prompts you can use -

  • My ideal house and home

  • My ideal relationship with my partner

  • My ideal relationship with my children

  • My ideal financial situation

  • My ideal career scenario

  • My ideal vacation

  • My ideal body

Another simple way to use prompts is to pick the first word or phrase that pops into your head, and allow the words to just flow. Some examples that have worked for me in the past -

  • Forgiveness

  • Negative Self Talk

  • Limiting Beliefs

  • Self Care

  • Minimalism

  • Fear

Journaling is a really powerful tool to release emotions, achieve your goals, and track your progress and growth. There are studies that show that journaling can strengthen your memory and reduce intrusive thoughts around negative events. There is no right or wrong approach to journaling. The simple act of turning inwards, observing your thoughts, and committing them to paper can have life transforming effects.


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