Imagine this: You’ve picked up a lovely new notebook. It sits on your bedside table with a pretty pen perched at the ready. You scroll through Instagram and see bullet journal artists creating the most enviable layouts. You keep hearing that journaling is good for mental health and creativity and a million other things.
Yet, every time you pick up that beautiful notebook or planner, you find yourself at a loss for words.
Let’s get practical: when you’re staring at a blank page, it can really help to have a prompt to get things moving. Working with prompts can give a certain intention and direction to your words, as well. Depending on what your journaling goals are, using specific prompts can help you get the most out of your daily journaling habit.
But wait! There’s one more fun feature of working with consistent journaling prompts. If you answer the same question in your writing every so often, you’ll be able to look back and compare your entries. You’ll be able to get a feel for how you’ve grown, or how your past self has responded to different events over time. That is incredibly valuable information…and all it takes is some strategic, prompt-driven scribbling.
Okay. Have we convinced you yet? We’re SO EXCITED to get started. Here are the prompts we’re using to level-up our journaling this year!
A lot of the time, we forget that having fun is a hugely important part of life. It can feel frivolous, but keeping fun as a goal keeps a gorgeous smile on our faces! Use these prompts to figure out how you can inject more happy-making activities into your everyday.
- What were you oddly obsessed with when you were a child? (Stamp collecting? Becoming an airplane pilot? Being a famous artist?) Is there anything you can do today to spend a little time following those old dreams?
- What’s a new album, show, book or movie you’ve heard about but haven’t made time for? Write it down; it’ll be easier to remember it next time you have free time.
- If you could be famous for anything in the world, what would that be? Something you're already good at? Something completely different? Does your answer change depending on the day?
- Imagine that you're at home and the Internet's gone out. Brainstorm a list of all of the things that you could do to have fun without your apps or your devices. Revisit this list as often as possible!
- What would your perfect morning look like?
- What would your perfect weekend look like? (More time, more possibilities: What do you do?)
- If you found out tomorrow that you were inheriting a large amount of money, what would you do with it?
Here’s a fun fact: The human brain tends to overestimate how often we complete healthy habits. This can make following our progress difficult! Honestly filling out a record of the steps we take towards health, every day, can make it easier to see what we’re actually doing - making it easier to switch up strategies if need be.
It’s also SO satisfying to be able to write down, in ink on paper, that we’ve completed a workout, right? That little yay feeling also helps you want to keep moving towards your fitness goals - so lean into it!
- How does your physical body feel today? This can seem like a trite question, but it’s easy to overlook soreness or odd pains - or, on a brighter note, more strength and flexibility. Take a moment, do a body scan, and write down whatever you find.
- How did you feel about the types of movement you took on today? Working out can feel like a chore. Do you notice yourself getting excited about different types of fitness activities? Write that down.
- What is your least favorite exercise? Why? Do you find yourself dreading it? Did you skip it or power through - and how did you feel afterward? (No judgment…this information is just for you!)
- Did you reach your fitness goals for today? Why or why not? How did you celebrate after you hit that milestone?
If you like these types of questions and other easy ways to track your progress, check out our 90 Day Journal - it's got tons of simple ways to make seeing your growth fun!
You don’t have to be a budding novelist to have a magical daydream inside you! Every once in a while, it’s fun to explore the what-if side of life with an out-there prompt. It’s silly. It’s satisfying! Just do it - trust us! Here are some prompts to get started.
- If you had five other lives, what would you do in each of them? What would a day in those other lives look like?
- Say you get one wish a day. What’s today’s wish?
- Take a moment to think about where you would travel to (in an instant) if you could, right this very second. Beach or mountains? Hot or cool? City or country? Free-write a paragraph about what you’d do if you were there.
- What’s something you really want your future (or past) self to know? Write it down. Pretend that time-travel is a thing. Get specific - you never know what might help!
- Imagine that your life’s a book. What’s the title of today’s chapter? (Is there a cliffhanger? What’s the next chapter about?)
- If you could have one magic item (or one ultra-futuristic piece of tech) what would it be? Does your answer change depending on the daily challenges you face?
You’ve heard it before, but it’s still absolutely true: Taking time to remember what we’re thankful for makes us calmer and happier. Use these prompts to help you do just that!
- What is a tiny thing that happened that you were grateful for today?
- Brainstorm an accomplishment - something you’ve worked toward and completed - that you’re insanely proud of. Write it down.
- Think about everything your body does for you on a daily basis. What’s an extra way you can show your body some self-care today?
- What’s something that you’re looking forward to? Or, even better, what’s something on the horizon that’s filling you with hope and happiness - even though it hasn’t happened yet?
- Who is a person that made you feel beautiful, cared-for, listened-to and loved today? Is there something you can do for them in return?
- What’s something that makes you completely special and unique? Is there a way that you can work more ways to celebrate that into your day-to-day life?
Let’s be real: We’ve all got stuff we’re facing. Writing that stuff out has been shown to be one way to work through hard emotions. If you’re up to it, consider answering these prompts.
- Write a letter saying sorry to or forgiving someone for something difficult in your shared past. (No need to send the letter - again, this is just for you.)
- Write yourself a permission slip for something you’ve always wanted to do - but you’ve never quite felt like it’s time to do it.
- Write a letter to your inner critic. That little voice in our heads can be pretty harsh, sometimes. Giving ourselves room to talk back can be very powerful.
6. Tiny Freebies
These mini journalling prompts take the anxiety out of journalling. If you have two minutes, you can jot down the answers to these super-brief questions - and you’ll still reap the benefits of routine writing. Win-win!
- Write an overview of what your day felt like in just six words.
- What was the most seriously delicious thing you ate today? Note it down.
- Write one line of a fantasy story. Keep it simple; what happens after ‘once upon a time’? Keep yourself to just one sentence. Then, tomorrow, write another.
- What was one funny thing that happened? (A meme you noticed? A goofy meet-cute? A hilarious line from your fave TV show?) Just write that down. Easy enough - and having that memory written down will make you happy both now and later.
- Write down one thing that has changed in the last year. Or month. Or week. (We get used to change really quickly. You’d be surprised at the things you almost forget!)
- Write down the very first thing you thought of when you woke up. (Spoiler alert: This can also be a window into how stressed you might be - definitely an interesting insight!)
PRO TIP: Need some help being consistent with writing? USE MATERIALS YOU LOVE. Let’s be real: You could use a regular notebook and pencil to get this done. But. If you invest in completely adorable stationery and pens that glide flawlessly over the page, you’re gonna get so much more satisfaction from the activity. Journaling will feel less like a chore, and more like a self-care action. You’ll elevate your routine into a ritual.
What are you waiting for? Two minutes a day. Let’s do it!
What has journaling done for you in your life? Or - what’s standing in your way of establishing this easy, fun, and therapeutic habit? Let us know in the comments below 💛