Journaling prompts for self discovery
35 Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery and Personal Growth – Silk + Sonder
Having journal prompts for your self-discovery journey can be incredibly helpful. There are so many aspects to understanding your character. And doing the much-needed journaling and reflection to experience personal growth is part of the process.
Depending on your mood -- whether you’re feeling overwhelmed or excited to dive in -- you may want to focus your self-discovery journaling on different topics.
Self-Discovery Journal Prompts For You to Try
We’ve put together a list of 35 prompts broken down into seven different categories. These are designed for you to pick and choose from. Don’t feel like you have to work your way through sequentially.
Start somewhere, and see which of these journal prompts geared towards self-discovery flow the best.
Limiting Beliefs & Thought Patterns
1. What’s keeping you from living your dream life?
2. What makes you feel powerful?
3. What makes you feel powerless?
4. Name someone else who inspires you? What makes you different from them?
5. What belief are you holding onto that is holding you back?
6. What is stressing you out right now?
7. Which areas of your life are the most overwhelming?
8. What keeps you from experiencing peace?
9. What’s your favorite way to relax?
10. What’s one thing that happened last year that made you truly happy?
Setting Personal Growth Goals
11. List 10 things you want to accomplish this month.
12. Describe who you want to be in 10 years.
13. What is one goal you set that you did not achieve? Why?
14. What is something you’ve always wanted to do?
15. What is your dream job or dream hobby?
Path to Becoming Better
16. What parts of your daily life need to change for you to achieve your goals?
17. What things do you need to make more time for?
18. What things do you need to let go of?
19. What have you accomplished in the last year that you’re proud of?
20. What book do you want to read next?
Establishing a Daily Routine
21. List three things that you want to add to your daily routine.
22. List three things that you want to eliminate from your daily routine.
23. What is your ideal day?
24. What is something you can do every day to stay focused on achieving your goals?
25. Pick one daily self-discovery practice you want to try.
Positive Affirmations & Self-Love
26. What makes you feel alive?
27. What would your closest friends and family say is your best quality?
28. What do you like most about yourself?
29. What is your favorite quote, word, or phrase?
30. Write down how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Write down what you're feeling now.
Living Your Best Life
31. What is something you want to work toward?
32. Name someone else you want to get to know better.
33. What is one great way to show kindness to others?
34. What’s something new you want to try?
35. Why do you want to improve your life?
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Journaling for Self-Discovery Is a Process, But It's Worth It
Wherever you are in your journey, the desire to become a better version of yourself is one that drives you to make decisions and changes. But it’s not always that simple.
For many of us, self-discovery means looking back at our childhood and pasts. It also means analyzing our habits and assumptions about ourselves. It can also mean figuring out what we really want in life.
One of the best tools we have to document this journey is journaling. But, as we’ve said before, journaling can take many different forms. So, give yourself time and space to figuring out what type of journaling is right for you.
Then, begin working through some of these prompts. Comment to let us know what prompts resonated with you.
Need more prompts? Check out our other blog. Subscribe to our newsletter for more topics on journaling, wellness, personal growth, and more.
64 Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery
Your journal creates an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and explore difficult emotions.
Many people keep a journal in their teenage years, either by choice or due to a school assignment. Perhaps it’s been years since you’ve considered putting pen to paper and expressing your thoughts and dreams. But journaling can have benefits for anyone at any stage of life.
For centuries, people around the world have turned to journals as trusted friends.
Reflecting on daily experiences, relationships, and personal values can help you get in better touch with your thoughts and feelings. It can lead to greater peace of mind.
“I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn,” wrote Anne Frank, who kept a now-famous account of her daily life and dreams for the future while in hiding during the Holocaust.
A journal also offers a safe space to express difficult emotions, making it easier to work through distressing thoughts that you might struggle to share out loud.
Are you interested in giving journaling a try? Do you feel a bit stuck when it comes to getting started? Try the 64 prompts below to kick-start your creativity and write your way toward well-being.
You can certainly learn more about yourself by reviewing what you do each day, but journaling often goes beyond keeping a log of daily events.
Journal prompts offer specific themes and topics to reflect on, which can be helpful when you:
- want to make writing a habit but never know what to write about
- have a lot of conflicting thoughts to sort through
- feel as if you could write all day and want help narrowing your focus
Some prompts can even help you collect your thoughts on a recent conflict with a friend or partner. For example, writing about specific relationship challenges can help you get more clarity on your emotional needs and how to make sure they’re met.
Journaling generally proves most helpful when you do it regularly, though you don’t necessarily need to write every single day. If you’re short on time, you might aim for 3 days each week and pick one prompt to write about each day.
Evidence-backed benefits of journaling
In a small 2020 study, mothers of children with emotional or behavioral concerns wrote in a journal three times a week for 6 weeks. The results suggest that keeping a journal led to more optimism and gratitude, both of which can boost well-being.
A 2018 study suggests that writing about positive experiences for just 15 minutes a day three times a week may help ease feelings of anxiety and stress and boost resilience.
Research from 2002 suggests that when your writing focuses on exploring and making sense of what happened, writing about a traumatic or stressful experience can help you heal and recover. Although expressing your emotions also has value, writing only about distressing emotions may not offer the same benefits.
We’ve organized these prompts into categories that focus on relationships, emotions, how you feel about work, and more.
Love and relationships
Having strong, supportive relationships can help improve overall well-being, protect against mental health concerns like depression, and boost resilience, which refers to your ability to weather life’s many challenges.
Writing about relationships with loved ones provides the opportunity to:
- explore the ways these bonds strengthen you
- express your gratitude for loved ones
- recognize when relationships no longer serve you
- explore what you want out of future relationships
Consider giving these prompts a try:
- Who do you trust most? Why?
- What are your strengths in relationships (kindness, empathy, etc.)?
- How do you draw strength from loved ones?
- What do you value most in relationships (trust, respect, sense of humor, etc. )?
- What three important things have you learned from previous relationships?
- What five traits do you value most in potential partners?
- How do you show compassion to others? How can you extend that same compassion to yourself?
- What are three things working well in your current relationship? What are three things that could be better?
- What boundaries could you set in your relationships to safeguard your own well-being?
- What do you most want your children (or future children) to learn from you?
- How can you better support and appreciate your loved ones?
- What does love mean to you? How do you recognize it in a relationship?
- List three things you’d like to tell a friend, family member, or partner.
Work and career
If you work full-time, you spend the majority of your waking hours on the job. That makes your career a pretty significant part of your life.
Having a fulfilling job can promote a sense of purpose and satisfaction with life. On the other hand, having a job that demands too much of you or fails to utilize your unique talents can wear you down and lead to burnout.
Taking some time to explore your current career can help highlight what you enjoy about your job and when it might be time to pursue a change.
Here are some prompts to consider:
- How do you use your personal strengths and abilities at work?
- How do your co-workers and supervisors recognize your strengths?
- How does work fulfill you? Does it leave you wanting more?
- What part of your workday do you most enjoy?
- What about your work feels real, necessary, or important to you?
- Do you see yourself in the same job in 10 years?
- What are your career ambitions?
- What three things can help you begin working to accomplish those goals?
- What can you do to improve your work performance?
- What does your work teach you? Does it offer continued opportunities for learning and growth?
- Does your work drain or overwhelm you? Why? Is this something you can change?
Exploring your values, opinions, and personality traits in writing can teach you more about who you are as a person.
This in-depth reflection can strengthen not just the relationship you have with yourself, but also the connections you build with others.
Some ideas to explore include:
- What values do you consider most important in life (honesty, justice, altruism, loyalty, etc.)? How do your actions align with those values?
- What three changes can you make to live according to your personal values?
- Describe yourself using the first 10 words that come to mind. Then, list 10 words that you’d like to use to describe yourself. List a few ways to transform those descriptions into reality.
- What do you appreciate most about your personality? What aspects do you find harder to accept?
- Explore an opinion or two that you held in the past but have since questioned or changed. What led you to change that opinion?
- List three personal beliefs that you’re willing to reconsider or further explore.
- Finish this sentence: “My life would be incomplete without …”
- Describe one or two significant life events that helped shape you into who you are today.
- When do you trust yourself most? When do you find it harder to have faith in your instincts?
- What three things would you most like others (loved ones, potential friends and partners, professional acquaintances, etc.) to know about you?
Journaling can help you express and begin to navigate difficult and painful emotions. That’s part of what makes it such a valuable exercise.
Burying unwanted emotions and thoughts can seem helpful at first. Pushing those feelings away means you avoid the pain and discomfort they cause, right?
Not always. In reality, avoiding emotional distress can intensify it. That pain lies dormant below the surface of your everyday thoughts until you can’t keep it back any longer. When it finally comes bubbling up, it may feel more overwhelming than it did originally.
These prompts can help you explore and process challenging emotions productively:
- What difficult thoughts or emotions come up most frequently for you?
- Which emotions do you find hardest to accept (guilt, anger, disappointment, etc. )? How do you handle these emotions?
- Describe a choice you regret. What did you learn from it?
- What parts of daily life cause stress, frustration, or sadness? What can you do to change those experiences?
- What are three things that can instantly disrupt a good mood and bring you down? What strategies do you use to counter these effects?
- What are three self-defeating thoughts that show up in your self-talk? How can you reframe them to encourage yourself instead?
- What go-to coping strategies help you get through moments of emotional or physical pain?
- Who do you trust with your most painful and upsetting feelings? How can you connect with them when feeling low?
- What do you fear most? Have your fears changed throughout life?
Note: If writing about painful emotions makes you feel even worse, there’s no need to push yourself. It may help to establish a regular journaling habit before you turn to more challenging topics.
Living your best life
Writing about the little things that add meaning to daily life makes it easier to notice just how much they boost your mood and overall well-being.
Recognizing what you enjoy most about life reminds you to keep making time for those things. It can also promote feelings of gratitude and contentment, as exploring what you love about life can help you realize that you may already have much of what you desire.
Here are some prompts to try:
- Describe your favorite thing to do when feeling low.
- What three ordinary things bring you the most joy?
- List three strategies that help you stay present in your daily routines. Then, list three strategies to help boost mindfulness in your life.
- How do you prioritize self-care?
- Describe two or three things you do to relax.
- What aspects of your life are you most grateful for?
- How do you show yourself kindness and compassion each day?
- Write a short love letter to some object or place that makes you happy.
- What place makes you feel most peaceful? Describe that place using all five senses.
- List 10 things that inspire or motivate you.
- What are your favorite hobbies? Why?
Personal growth and life goals
Getting in touch with who you are now doesn’t just help you recognize key strengths and values. It can also help unlock a deeper understanding of who you want to become and what you want from life.
As long as you live, you can continue to pursue change and growth.
Try these prompts to explore your dreams and outline potential paths toward change:
- What parts of life surprised you most? What turned out the way you expected it would?
- What three things would you share with your teenage self? What three questions would you want to ask an older version of yourself?
- List three important goals. How do they match up to your goals from 5 years ago?
- Do your goals truly reflect your desires? Or do they reflect what someone else (a parent, partner, friend, etc.) wants for you?
- What helps you stay focused and motivated when you feel discouraged?
- What do you look forward to most in the future?
- Identify one area where you’d like to improve. Then, list three specific actions you can take to create that change.
- How do you make time for yourself each day?
- What do you most want to accomplish in life?
- List three obstacles lying in the way of your contentment or happiness. Then, list two potential solutions to begin overcoming each obstacle.
If you’ve never kept a journal before, writing on a regular basis might feel a bit challenging. Even with prompts to help prime your thoughts, you might find it tough to get started.
The best way to start is to pick up your pen and start scribbling away. Your journal is just for you, so there’s no need to worry about your handwriting, grammar, or spelling. The important part of journaling is getting your thoughts onto the page.
Some people find that it helps to start with a “stream of consciousness” approach. This means writing down whatever comes to mind on a topic, exactly as it pops into your thoughts, without stopping to worry about punctuation or complete sentences.
A few more tips to help you find your flow include:
- Find a quiet place to write. Outside noise and other distractions can disrupt your thoughts, especially if you’re new to journaling. If you can’t find a quiet space, try listening to instrumental music (anything without vocals) as you write.
- Don’t worry about getting it “right.” When it comes to journaling, you can’t really go wrong. If your writing helps you process emotions and learn more about yourself, that’s what matters.
- Write regularly. You might set aside 15 or 20 minutes to write several days a week. It’s OK if you can’t find time to write every day. Writing at a specific time each day, such as after dinner or just before bed, can help the habit stick.
Journaling can help ease stress and uncertainty and teach you more about yourself and what you want from life.
That said, writing may not always feel fun or easy. It’s normal to experience a little discomfort when writing about painful emotions and frustrating experiences. But venting this distress can often lead to healing and growth.
When your writing continues to bring up distressing feelings or memories, a therapist can offer guidance with exploring these emotions and experiences in more depth.
how to keep a diary with benefit - Personal experience on vc.ru
A system of notes that reveals a person from a new side and gives food for thought.
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Translation of the material by Sylvia Bastos for the Better Humans project was prepared by the Ideonomics publication.
Tracking and analyzing behavioral, mental and physical data allows us to see patterns, identify problems and strengths, and make effective changes in our lives. This is great!
But what about data that can't be measured in numbers, symbols, or binary yes/no answers?
Imagine being able to easily access all of your past brilliant ideas, thoughts, and insights—which are now either forgotten or lost in a battered old notebook—and use them to make better decisions. Yes, you may not be able to collect data from the past, but today you can start collecting data for the future.
Why do we remember, track and learn things? Because we want to grow. Growth means becoming a better version of yourself every day, and learning means providing your future self with valuable data on which to make the right decisions.
So I came up with a system for how to do it. I call it the 5-Point Diary, and it consists of writing down five short answers each evening to the following question:
"What should I write about today to benefit me in the future?"
There are two important things to remember about this question.
First: the future self
This future self can be you two days from now, a month from now, or thirty years from now. Thinking about what is happening in terms of the future helps to appreciate the importance of what you are recording. Will it really matter to me to read this tomorrow/in a year/when I have grandchildren? If not, skip.
Second: 5 (or so) points
The bottom line is that there should not be exactly five of them - there may be a little less or a little more. Personally, seven is best for me, but I recommend starting with five to make it easier and then adapt it to your preferences.
The point here is to prioritize and choose only what is important. Prioritization has its own advantage: it forces you to think, to choose, and to realize what is really important to you.
If you could write down everything you wanted, important things would get lost and your future self would get nothing from reading it. If you feel that the number 5 limits you too much, that's great - it means you are full of ideas. Just write them down somewhere else and then choose the most important ones to keep in your diary.
As you can see in the illustration, I use symbols to represent each element depending on the type of information:
- Inverted solid triangle for creative ideas
- Regular triangle for big wins
- Eye for clues and signs
- Spiral for important findings and questions for reflection
- A square (you can check it later) for the actions and experiments I want to take.
I will talk more about each of these categories in the next section. You can come up with your own character set or other categories if you like. These are the ones that work for me and you can use them to jump straight into practice and then eventually find the right ones for you.
For the rest of this article, we'll look at:
- the types of information you can include in your journal;
- how to improve the efficiency of memorization and information processing;
- how to make this system pleasant, attractive and easy to use.
What can be written in a diary?
"What can I write about today so that I can benefit in the future?"
How can the information you write down benefit your future self?
In my experiments, I have found that there are five categories of information that have the most impact on me when I reread my diary.
1. Creative ideas
Benefit: creation and inspiration
As a creative person, you probably have a lot of ideas for creative projects that you can implement during the day.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, considered one of the most successful entrepreneurs in modern history, attributes much of his success to writing down his ideas.
I often write in my diary my ideas, as well as quotes, concepts, or inspirational sayings from other people. However, only a select few make it into my 5-Point Diary, and I select them by asking the following question:diary?"
Will an article come out of it? Book? Project? Will it inspire me to make a decision that will change my life? Change the course of my business? If the answer is yes, I include the idea.
Research shows that nurturing ideas and processing them unconsciously improves creative thinking. So take note of your idea, give it time, and let your future self decide when to use it.
2. Big wins
Benefit: confidence and achievement
My biggest problem in life is feeling like I never do enough. This is such a prejudice that does not allow you to realize your achievements and constantly makes you doubt yourself.
Therefore, I make sure to include "big wins" in my journal. I reflect on the past day and find 2-3 achievements that I am proud of.
It's nice even just to write down, but my future self gets the most bonuses. Whenever I doubt my worth and start asking, “What the hell have I been doing the last few weeks?” I just skim through the notes. This is a simple, no side effect remedy for the low self esteem I suffer from all the time.
3. Hints and signs
Benefit: Self-Awareness, Change, and Growth
Throughout the day, you may notice relationships, patterns, or areas of potential growth or change (especially obstacles).
In Paulo Coelho's book The Alchemist, the protagonist goes on a journey following his life mission or "personal legend". He eventually achieves this because he has a good understanding of signs - signals from the universe (people who appear in his life, changes in his environment, and even his own feelings) that help him make decisions.
Everything we feel, think, and experience is an opportunity for us to learn and grow. All we have to do is seize this opportunity.
Recently I have been feeling very unproductive. I wrote it down. Then I noticed that the reason was that I was distracted by various objects and the mess around. Because I shared a workspace with another person, I couldn't change anything. So I changed my own position - moved and renegotiated our arrangement. I continue to work with the same team on the same project, but since I listened to the prompts and dealt with the problem, my productivity skyrocketed.
Usually the most powerful signal for change is the obstacles we face, but there are other extremely informative signs:
- Desires: Are you longing, longing or dreaming about something very strongly?
- Emotions: Do you feel particularly angry? Consistency? Anxiety? What is the reason? Have you experienced any emotional highs or lows recently? Has anyone or anything made you feel intense?
- Changes: Has anything changed in your environment recently (location, relationships, opportunities, major events)? Have you changed (behavior, thoughts, physique)?
- Symptoms: Has your body changed in any way? Do you feel unusually tired or energized? Any unfamiliar pains, aspirations or sensations? Are you eating more? Are you moving less? Are you crying more?
- Dreams: How did you feel when you woke up? What is your subconscious trying to tell you? When I started keeping a dream diary, I received a lot of meaningful information about myself.
These are just a few examples, but feel free to add your own if it answers the following question:
“What is happening in my life right now that could motivate me to make a decision and take some action?”
This will prompt useful data that will help you set goals and make decisions in the future.
For example, if you constantly write about your dream of living on a tropical island, you might get more sun exposure, book a vacation, or even make the crazy goal of starting a remote job and moving to Thailand.
Sometimes it's good to just let your intuition go, even if you don't realize the reason. For example, the other day I met a guy who lives with one backpack and sleeps in the fresh air, hiding behind a piece of tartan. I don't know why, but I felt the need to write this down in my diary. A few days later, I began to rethink my concepts of comfort and minimalism, which lead to important conclusions about my lifestyle and possessions. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
Recording the signs and sightings has dramatically increased my level of awareness, which, as it turns out, is directly related to overall well-being. Here is an example of what I noted and my findings:
Observation: I get hurt when my partner and I are talking to someone and this person directs their attention first of all to him (or, as I say, when I get upset, "looks at him as the leader of the couple").
Conclusion: This is a reflection of my own insecurities. What to do: 1) accept your closed nature and encourage other qualities, or 2) work on your activity, presence and listening skills, viewing your partner as a role model, not a reason for competition.
4. Important findings and issues
Benefit: Seeing the bigger picture
There are moments when suddenly everything becomes clear or when we have an unexpected connection in our head. Epiphany. An important realization.
There are times when we begin to ask important questions that can change the course of our lives.
Some time ago, while taking a walk during a break from work, I suddenly realized:
I subconsciously define success as popularity and a lot of followers. But it's not something I truly believe in, and it wears me down. My real goals are wholeness, love and spiritual development.
This thought might have slipped by. But I knew I had to write it down, so I kept it in my mind for the rest of the day, and then I wrote it down. And that thought completely changed my approach to life.
The purpose of this section is to put aside daily activities and intellectual thoughts and reflect on issues such as your life mission, place in the world, or spiritual growth. Some of the insights may seem too obvious when put into words, but the diary serves to remind you of the moment when you understood it on a deep emotional level - and return you there.
5. Activities and experiments
Benefit: new knowledge and pleasure
The best way to find out what works for you is to try it.
In this section, I come up with actions based on signs (solution to the current problem) or testing other people's ideas (I heard about the Uberman sleep routine on Tim Ferriss's podcast and since then I really want to try it).
You can choose small actions that help you achieve big goals, get inspired by what feels good, or set goals for yourself. As Matt Damon said in We Bought a Zoo:
“Sometimes all it takes is twenty seconds of crazy courage. Literally 20 seconds of just indecent courage. And I guarantee something great will come of it."
This section helps me not get too caught up in my thoughts, get paralyzed by big, intimidating goals, and keep trying new things. It also makes the 5-Point Diary more fun and interactive. Tip: I like to add an empty checkbox to each action. This increases the likelihood that my future self will want to implement the idea.
How to remember more and choose what is important
The best way to save ideas until the evening is to always carry a notepad, piece of paper or phone with you.
However, if you're like me, sometimes it's uncomfortable. For example, when I'm reading a book, it annoys me to have to stop to jot down a note, so I first highlight what I need, and when I finish reading, I come back and write.
So I started applying the same principle to conversations, events, seminars, and other activities: I listen carefully, mentally highlight what's important, and when I'm alone, I write it down. The bonus is improved memory and listening skills.
If you prefer not to take notes at all during the day, you can reminisce in the evening about the events of the day that might trigger important ideas. These can be:
- conversations and social events;
- educational content - books or documentaries;
- emotional ups and downs;
- peak experiences;
- any important changes to your schedule.
As you go through these events in your mind, write down all the important ideas they evoke, and then choose the most important one and put it in your diary.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to write a lot only to discard the majority, it is an extremely useful practice.
I was inspired by Mortimer Adler's concept of "shallow reading": when reading a book that is above your level of understanding, you must first read it from beginning to end without worrying that you understand only 25%, and only then proceed to deeper analysis.
This is what it looks like when applied to a diary:
- First, you train your memory by doing the "surface reading" of your day so you don't miss anything important.
- Second, you force your brain to see the bigger picture of things - what have you really learned and accomplished? What is really going on in your life?
- Third, you begin to understand your own values by noticing which of these things you prioritize—what does that say about you?
A small bonus for additional ideas
To think more deeply, I use Julie Cameron's "Morning Pages" ("three pages of stream of consciousness handwritten first thing in the morning"). Research shows that our brains are at their most creative right after waking up.
In the evening I go through these pages and write down the most important thoughts (if any) in my diary.
You could even benefit from a kind of feedback between the diary and the morning pages: if you write down problems that need to be solved or creative ideas that need to be worked on in the evening, then you will “pump” - your subconscious mind continues to work over problems while you sleep. Recording your first morning thoughts allows you to formulate solutions.
I prefer to keep a diary by hand in a notebook, because it allows me to remember information, I can create my own symbols and layouts, and besides, I keep almost everything else there.
But you can use digital apps like Evernote, which let you move things around and organize your thoughts into tags.
You can use individual cards instead of a notepad or a calendar or whatever you like. You will notice that your diary will change over time and this reflects your own ever-changing human nature.
The use of the diary is up to you, so tailor it to your personality and preferences. Whatever format you choose, it should be easy and enjoyable to use, otherwise it won't become a habit.
Before you start...
Here's a little secret I've discovered after using this system for a while: it's not really the future self that benefits the most from this practice—it's the me of today, right now.
Of course, it is useful to have access to all this data. But it is even more useful to have a mental structure that helps you think, consolidate and generalize information.
I live differently because I know that in the evening I will have to fill out a diary. I am constantly looking for signs and opportunities to improve. I notice good ideas when they come up and remember them. I ask more questions. I'm thinking about things I didn't even notice before.
Sometimes evening comes and I feel that I have nothing to write in my diary. However, I write whatever comes to mind—even if the most important things I can think of that day are about grocery shopping or cleaning the house.
Don't worry if at first glance you don't have anything to write, or if you have so many things in your head that it's hard to choose. It's all part of the process and will change over time, as will your approach to life, memory and note-taking.
For me, the benefits of keeping a diary are invaluable, and more are added over time. Here are some of them:
My goal setting methods are based on solid data and are more effective.
Every week I set goals for the week and month. Before, I was based solely on feelings, thoughts, or other people's approaches to setting goals. Now I'm based on real evidence.
I can't run away from my own problems.
And that's great. Some time ago I noticed: every day I write in my diary that I don’t read enough, I don’t study enough, I don’t devote time to studying. I got so frustrated that I wrote the same thing in my diary every day, and eventually included time for study in the morning in my schedule. The problem was solved. The same thing happened with emotional eating and improved communication skills.
I come out of emotional troughs faster.
Remembering my achievements and conclusions, I see what I have actually achieved. It shows me that everything is temporary and reminds me of the skills and lessons needed to overcome any challenge.
I am more consistent.
In essence, the "5-point diary" is a daily practice that requires consistency. After I decided to make this procedure non-negotiable, I became more consistent with other habits - taking notes after conversations and events, tracking habits, and journaling in general.
But first of all it helps me to separate the wheat from the chaff. I have a lot of ideas and observations, but having to choose the most important ones every day says a lot about what I value in life, what my current goal is, and what I should give up.
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29 journaling tips to help you keep a journal every day - The Idealist my practices in life.And in this article, I share my best tips for it.
Since I started diary, I improved my self-knowledge, became happier and achieved more career success. I highly recommend this to anyone who is serious about personal growth.
But in my experience, keeping diary works only if you do it constantly. Otherwise, this not the best use of your time.
Tips you will find in this article are intended for you if you are experiencing difficulties, or are a beginner and want to get started. But first, let's talk about the benefits of keeping a diary. This will help us develop additional motivation.
Why is a diary useful?
For many years people used the diary as a way to relieve stress. Joshua's In-Depth Study Smith, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that written expression of emotions can significantly improve physical health, psychological well-being, physiological state and general human functioning. Keeping a diary not only improves the general condition happiness, but also has a positive effect on career-related skills such as decision making and critical thinking.
When I started, I didn't know about all these benefits. But as I continued to keep a diary, I noticed that my life is improving. In retrospect, it can be said that the study is indeed has the meaning. Knowing this definitely helped me keep going.
Many readers ask what to start. That's why I've put together 29 of the best journaling tips that I learned by studying such well-known followers of this practice as Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Helen Keller, Anne Frank and many others.
I apply each of these tips. I hope they give you come in handy!
1. Set a clear goal
Someone keeps a diary for entertainment, someone analyzes their decisions. I keep a diary for self-improvement. It is a tool that allows you to get to know yourself better, to know your thoughts and manage your habits. In my experience, you can turn journaling becomes a habit only if you have a clear goal. What are you for want to keep a diary? Answer this question and you will most likely continue this practice.
2. There is no universal way to keep a diary
What you see is all these fashionable, well-groomed diaries on Pinterest or Instagram doesn't mean you should too do also. It doesn't matter if your entries represent a collection of stories, journals actions, decision plans, album art, etc. It is important that you regularly write down their thoughts, ideas and feelings. How? How do you like.
3. Be honest
You are not trying to produce impression of his diary. There is no need to "curate" with someone. it a place where you can be honest and true to yourself without weighing opinions other people.
4. Start small and simple
Most management tips diaries that I read on the Internet only make the practice more difficult. Doing journal is a habit; so start small. If you choose to write 500 words a day, you're just putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Just tell yourself "write". Write for two or ten minutes about anything that comes to mind, and continue if the impulse persists.
5. Entries can also be long
After you start keeping a diary, you can write longer entries. In fact, some of the long articles that I write are very therapeutic. The thing is, you can do whatever find it useful. Would you like to write some sentences? Do it. Want to write more? Take action.
6. Keep it close to you
Ideas and "inspiration" sometimes visit us at unusual times and in unusual places; While waiting in lines at the grocery store, at the bus stop, in the middle of the night, etc. News the diary becomes easier when it is at arm's length. You don't want to miss a good idea when it comes. That's why I like use Day One, a dedicated diary app.
7. Keep free form
be made up of words. Feel free to leave it free. Want to draw or make a photo collage? Please! Perhaps you prefer use charts or graphs to illustrate your thoughts. Not must be limited to words.
8. Keep confidentiality
Sometimes it's tempting to show someone else's diary. This is fine. Just be true to yourself. If in your there is a passage in the diary that you want to show, it is best to take a picture it or take a screenshot instead of giving away the whole diary.
9. Don't turn it into a to-do list
Journaling is reflective activity. Do not clutter up your diary with to-do lists (which I don't like) and others. Keep it personal. That's why I suggest keep a diary for the first 30 minutes or so after waking up to you could hold on to your innermost thoughts.
10. Use a platform that works for you
Some prefer physical media, others refuse paper. I do both. me especially I like to use a notepad and a pen because I don't have to look in screen to keep a diary. In addition, the pen and paper are pleasant to the touch.
If you are new to diary, experiment. Try different paper options. Try note-taking apps on your laptop or smartphone. Find what you need fits.
11. Write when you want
Although it is preferable to write every day, it is important to keep it a habit. And stick to that habit.
But you don't really need write every day. If you miss a day, just redirect your thoughts to next. The goal is to find time to keep a diary without scolding yourself because of lost habits.
12. No need to write in the morning
tell you to NEED to write every morning, and this puts many away from doing diary. You really don't need to keep a diary every day or every morning. If you prefer to do it at night or during lunch, that's fine.
One good tip for doing diary - to diversify your practice. Perhaps you are tired of sitting at your table; go out on the terrace or in a cafe to write. Take your diary back to work and do a couple of lines during your break.
Continue at night and draw until watch Netflix. Flexibility refreshes your senses and inspires your thoughts. I don't fan of multitasking at work, but keeping a diary is not one of them. So it's all right.
14. Create a sense of responsibility
Journaling is a habit, and habits are best maintained when you are in charge of them. In my experience an online community of like-minded people is one of the best places to get support and responsibility for their habits. You can join a group writers, online call, or use an app that tracks your progress and time.
15. Get rid of distractions
Your diary is time reflections. You cannot do this when bubbles or notifications pop up, to distract you. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb or not at all turn off Wi-Fi. Don't check your email. Just write.
16. Anxiety on paper
If something is bothering you, write in your diary. It doesn't have to be literally on paper. Note apps can also work. Write it down, explore options. Stress and anxiety often come from unfinished business. By writing down your worries in a diary, you will be better able to deal with them.
17. Think about solutions
Maybe you are thinking about career change or weighing the pros and cons of your current relationship. When you have an important decision to make, it is helpful to put it down on paper (again, this does not have to be paper literally).
18. Ask yourself: Are you where you want to be?
No need to ask everyday. But it might be a good idea to ask yourself this question weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. Describe your life situation work and relationships. Are you where you want to be?
19. Look at things from different points of view
It is useful to have different points of view in different areas of life. You get annoyed with that customer rep who pushed you away? Think about things from their point of view. you also can show ingenuity.
20. No ideas? Use diary prompts
If you can't think of a nothing good to write about, rely on a list of questions. I made a list of questions that make you think. you can use these tips for inspiration. Again, there are no strict rules for keeping a diary. You can also create your own hints.
21. Write one correct sentence
One of the best writing tips I've learned is comes from Ernest Hemingway: "Write one correct sentence." I also I use this for journaling.
The goal is to force yourself to write. Once you start, you often continue out of inertia. What if No? At least you have one suggestion that is better than nothing.
22. Do not edit yourself when writing
You want to free your thoughts, when you keep a diary. You want to think on paper. But often we edit ourselves while writing. Avoid it. Don't correct your grammar. What meaning? You don't write anything formal.
23. Write about your successes
What are the victories in your life? You made a deal? Have you dealt with your back pain? How did you achieve this?
Statement of what you are doing well turns out in life, no matter how little, can help you study this for future ideas. This activity also makes you feel more upbeat and positive.
24. Choose a philosophy and write about it
Philosophy helps us to study our values and direction in life. Choose the one you like the most: existentialism, stoicism, christianity, buddhism, etc. if you can't identify with one of them, feel free to experiment. Also it's good to be inspired by different philosophies.
25. Are you stuck? Write about gratitude
If you have applied all the world diary tips and absolutely nothing to talk about, take the time to write about what you are grateful for.
Letter of thanks may help your thoughts flow again, cheer you up and even help you through the days when you doubt yourself. This is a very useful practice.
26. Try to write in third person
Sometimes there are things that are difficult to talk about. May be, it's an injury or something you're not proud of.
When this happens, try write in the third person, as if you were telling someone else's story. For most people, this is easier. It gives you detachment and a new perspective. Write down what you have learned about yourself.
27. Write about everyday details
Maybe you had a fun conversation with your best friend. Nothing special, right? Do you often lead conversations. But in a few years you won't remember it. Details bring life memories. Write down the place, time, who you were with, what clothes you wore, how it is felt verbatim words, etc.
28. Write unsent letters
There are things that we sometimes would like to say or not to say. These moments can haunt us even when we can't do anything about it. This is where the unsent ones appear. letters. Write to someone, specific people, maybe even yourself, and say whatever you want to say. Unsent emails can become a therapeutic tool for your most honest thoughts.
29. Always end on a positive note
Although this is a great place to statements, the diary becomes more effective if used in as a learning tool. Don't just write about how bad your day or how you annoy yourself. Negative thinking affects your decisions. Always end on a positive note.
Bonus tip: keep journaling
We will see real benefits keeping a diary only for a long period. If you plan to write several days a year, what's the point? This practice can change your life only if you stick to it. But that's not a surprise, is it? it true for most things in life.
And one more thing: I hardly reread your old records. Some people are surprised. For me, journaling is a process. When you write down your thoughts, you learn better.