Journaling has been a big part of my personal development journey. It’s how I get things off my chest, focus on my goals and try to stay in alignment with what I want in life. Journaling ideas are great to help you get started.
Journaling is therapeutic to me now and something I do every day. Today I want to share some of the ways I use my journal in hopes that you can find some motivation to start your journaling practice. Try one or multiple journaling ideas to see which ones make you feel good and help inspire you to keep writing.
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Journal Prompts You Can Use
1. Daily Log
Sometimes the difficulty in starting a journal or keeping up with journaling is figuring out what to write about. A daily log is a great way to start. It can be point form or complete sentences. Even if it seems silly to jot down that you had a coffee and a vegan smoothie for breakfast, you will soon see your journaling evolve into so much more. A daily journal can be a lot of fun.
Remember that taking small steps in ensuring the practice will stick is critical to any new habit you want to incorporate into your life. So, write about the mundane activities or events that happen daily and feel comfortable knowing that this is the start of building on your journaling expertise.
2. How You Feel
Journaling about how you’re feeling is an excellent exercise in tracking your emotions, mainly when you include the events that may have triggered those emotions. Keeping a diary or notebook describing how you feel may help avoid a particular reaction or emotion if triggered by a similar event.
It can also help identify patterns in your life that positively or negatively influence you. Journaling about your feelings may lead to a path of self-discovery as you begin to recognize that you need to take the first step in making positive changes in your world.
3. A List of Things That Makes You Smile.
Writing about things that make you smile is a fun and inspiring writing activity. Fun, because we all have things that have made us smile in the past and things that made us smile in the present moment.
Inspiring, because looking back on the things that make you smile reminds you how much fun you had, how hard you laughed, the beautiful memory you made, or how happy you made someone feel. And then you want to do all that you can to make sure these moments happen again and again.
4. Brain Dump
Need a writing prompt that requires no effort? Write down whatever is on your mind right now. It doesn’t matter if it is good, bad, or ugly. It doesn’t matter if it’s not complete sentences. It doesn’t even matter if it makes zero sense. The point is, just write.
Some of the best stories came from individuals who wrote about whatever came to mind.
A brain dump is an excellent way to tackle writer’s block. We tend to overthink things, and an activity such as a brain dump helps overcome whatever is blocking you from putting pen to paper.
5. Your Favorite Memory
Keeping a journal filled with favorite memories is a beautiful way to share bits and pieces of your life with your children or grandchildren.
It is also a great way to remember the people with you building these memories.
We forget the people, places, and things that made us happy as we get older.
I love this journaling idea because it can help you visit so many areas in your life that you might want to dive deeper into.
If you have faced trauma, heartache, loss in your life, this is an excellent way to remember the amazing things that happened to you and with you.
6. Your Favorite Quotes
Need to feel inspired or to inspire others? Making a list of your favorite quotes is a great way to help motivate you or others. Keeping this in a notebook that you carry with you is one way to ensure that if you ever need a pick-me-up, your favorite quote is right at your fingertips.
7. Your Best Motivators
Keeping a personal journal filled with what motivates you best is a way to help these reminders front and center in your life. It can be specific words or phrases or even a letter written to yourself, emphasizing how extraordinary, strong, fierce, and talented you are.
Whatever motivates you may also motivate someone else. Writing it down may be the start of a blog, story, or essay that you can share with others.
8. Angel Numbers
Making a list in a journal or diary of the Angel numbers is essential because to understand and receive your Angels’ message, you need to know where you were, what you thought, and how you were feeling. And because each Angel number can influence your life in various ways, keeping a log will help decipher why you keep seeing the same numbers at the same time on the same day.
9. Your Goals
When was the last time you wrote down what your goals were? It’s probably been a while. And it’s probably an activity that can be daunting. Writing down your goals makes them real. Writing them down requires you to think about what you need to execute to achieve those goals. That can cause a bit of anxiety for anyone.
So, take a deep breath, and as Desmond Tutu once said, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
When writing down your goals, make sure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound, aka, S.M.A.R.T
10. Your Desires
Your desires can be realistic, or they can be out of this world’s dreams or wishes.
Journaling about your desires is where you can let your creativity flow and imagine yourself in a different city, working for your dream boss, having coffee in a cafe with your favorite author/actor/political leader talking shop.
Your desires can also be about what you truly want in life, such as where you want to live. How many children do you envision having? The partner you want to speed the rest of your life with. These are more private journal entries, dreams, and wishes you don’t necessarily want to share with just anyone. Only your closest friends will know of these desires, or maybe only you will.
11. Your Family
Your family is a topic worth writing about for many reasons. It could be that you are proud of the family you have created. Your children’s antics make you laugh, you have a partner that goes through the ups and downs of life with you right by your side, or they all drive you nuts, and you need an escape!
Your journal entries could also be about the family you wish to create. Or the family members that you miss because they moved far away or have passed on.
You may also want to write about the family members you don’t get along with or are estranged from. It may help to heal or better understand why there is miscommunication. You may find a way to make the first step in restoring relationships with your family in your journaling.
12. Your Friends
Celebrating your friends’ accomplishments or special events, like the birth of their first child, is a beautiful way to remember that you were a part of these big moments in their lives.
And truth be told, writing about the crazy things you did with your friends, the arguments, the late nights, the travels, and the times you almost got arrested (LOL!) can be the basis of a great first book!
13. What Makes You Sad and Why
Writing about what makes you sad and why is just as important as writing about what makes you smile. We can’t always be happy. Sadness is a part of life and something that needs to be embraced.
Some experiences that make us sad we may want to avoid entirely. Some sad moments can also be teachable moments. Either way, it’s never a wrong topic to have in your repertoire of journaling.
Keep a journal with positive affirmations that you can use to boost your mindset and use anytime you need to revisit affirmations. Affirmations can help you stay positive and make you feel happier if you’re feeling down.
Repeating affirmations is a great mindset tool to use in your journal. You can add any affirmation to your journal to keep them all in one place, or you can use a daily affirmation and write it out many times until you feel like you’ve connected to it and believe it.
15. Write out Your Secrets
Just like a diary, you can journal about your secrets and the things you might not want to tell people. Journaling about your secrets will help you feel better simply because you’re writing it all out and getting it out of your head and onto paper.
It will help you feel lighter and less overwhelmed like a brain dump.
Journaling doesn’t have to be all writing. You can use your journal to doodle and color instead. Drawing can help you feel relaxed, and some prefer to draw vs. write. Whatever gets your creative juices flowing, you can add that to your journal.
Let your journal be an expression of yourself and how you feel.
Keeping a gratitude journal will change your life. Practicing gratitude will bring you more of what you’re grateful for. Gratuities are one of the first steps to manifesting and accomplishing your goals.
Each day writes out three things you’re grateful for and see how you feel and how your life will change for the better. Keeping a gratitude journaling is a great way to implement this mindset into your life.
18. Don’t Fear the Blank Page
If you have a day where you don’t want to journal, and nothing feels inspiring, that’s ok. Let it be, and see how you feel the next day. I recommend writing out some gratitudes each day if you can, but a blank page is nothing to worry about.
19. Your Morning Routine
You could write about your morning routine in your journal and see how you feel and if there is room for improvements that you’d like to make. You can also do this with your evening routine and weekend routine.
20. Eating Habits
Journaling about your eating habits can help you eat healthier because by writing down what you eat, you are being more intentional about what you’re eating.
A journal with your eating habits can help you see where you might want to change your habits.
21. Self Reflection
Journaling about yourself, where you have been in life, and where you want to go is a great way to self-reflect and journal. Self-reflection allows you to see where you might want to shift your attention and where you want to go. It also might help you to plan your future.
22. Bullet Journal
Keeping a bullet journal is a newer way to keep your life organized. You can find many excellent bullet journaling templates online to create fun pages in your journal. You can track things like your to-do list, goals, water intake, and so much more.
Bullet journals are great because there is no right or wrong way to create a bullet journal. Let your creativity be your guide.
23. Your Favorite Movies
Journaling about your favorite movies is a fun, easy way to journal and make you smile. It will be fun to look back at all the movies that you’ve loved and enjoyed. You could also write about the movies you didn’t like and why. Have a little more fun and write about what you would have done differently in the movie.
24. Daily Life
A day in a life. Keeping a log of your day-to-day that includes what you did, how you felt, what you didn’t do is a fun way to keep a diary of your life. Who knows, one day you might have all the content you need for an autobiography or book. You never know!
25. Favorite Things
Take some time and write about your favorite things. Your favorite foods, colors, games, people. Anything at all. Create a journal full of things that bring you joy and make you feel good inside.
26. Mental Health
Mental health is essential, and you could benefit from journaling about it in a journal. We all struggle with mental health sometimes, and writing it down could help you reflect and look back on your journey.
Writing out your feelings and thoughts on mental health and your mental health can also help you feel better by writing it all out frequently.
What do you find inspiring? Keep a journal full of things that inspire and motivate you. You could add inspiring quotes, people, and situations that inspire you. Where do you want to go in life? What experiences would inspire you to do more?
28. Long Term Goals
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? What do you feel like when you are there? Where do you live? Who are you with? Daydream and journal about all the places you’ll go to and the people you will meet. Create a life for yourself in the future and enjoy the memories that you can make a reality one day.
29. Self Care
Keep a self-care journal that records everything you’ve done for yourself. What treatments do you love and why? How often do you take time for self-care? Implement self-care into your daily routine because it’s essential. You can’t fill an empty cup. Self-care can include treatment, reading a book, or an experience. Self Care looks different for everyone.
Kids Journaling Prompt Ideas
Many of these journaling ideas can be used as journaling prompts for kids. Ask them to write about their favorite game or activity. You can ask them to write about what they’re feeling or what makes them happy.
For kids, journaling can be an effective tool to help them get in touch with their feelings. There are many great articles about journaling for kids, and journaling has shown to have tremendous benefits for your little one.
Creating a Journaling Habit
Journaling has so many excellent benefits, from making you feel better, connecting with yourself, and helping you relax. Implementing a daily journaling practice can help you grow and plan for your future. It’s a great way to stay positive and expand your mindset into a positive one.
If you’re looking for an incredible guided journal to help you implement many of the positive journaling prompts we’ve reviewed, I invite you to look into The Beautiful Mind Journal.
The Beautiful Mind Journal includes daily journaling prompts for affirmations, desires, gratitudes, and your daily to-do list.
In less than 10 minutes, you will feel a boost of positive energy and set yourself up for a great day full of beautiful possibilities with your positive mindset.