Healthy habits come in all shapes and sizes, but the simple act of journaling is something that almost anyone can do. Just two minutes of journaling can quiet a busy mind and help you to relax and reset. Writing for yourself is self-care at its easiest, and you can do it just about anywhere: in a notebook, on the Notes & Ramblings pages of your planner, or a traditional journal that you can get literally anywhere, from Dollar General to Louis Vuitton.
If using a planner is the roadmap to your dreams (and we certainly hope that it is), then journaling is the compass that guides you on that inner journey.
In this blog, we share five easy journaling prompts for five unique purposes:
- Set intentions for the day
- Decompress from a long day
- For clarity
- To narrow-in on your goals
Journaling your Daily Intentions
Intentions are affirmations or phrases that you can use to set the tone for your day. Begin each statement with "I intend to" or "I want to," and finish those sentences with actions or goals you'd like to achieve. It's not necessarily planning; it's more like visioning. It's using visualization in writing to think about where you want your day to go.
Intentional Journaling Prompts:
I intend to...
I want to...
What emotions do I want to feel today?
What is today's priority?
Where should I focus my time today?
Decompress After a Long Day
The second way to use a journal is to use it to decompress from the day when you leave work—writing what you've done for that day and how it made you feel or how you moved closer to your goals. This allows you to open the work compartment of your life and close it when your journaling is complete. Decompressing after work lets you get those work-related thoughts out of your head and be more centered with your family. It can also help you sleep better at night.
Note: Our Daily Download Notepad offers this exact decompression experience in easy notepad form.
Decompress Journaling Prompts:
What did you accomplish today?
What feelings did you experience today?
What was your biggest challenge and how did it end?
Who helped you or made you feel happy today?
What do you need to do tomorrow?
When we journal, we move through ideas we often can't (or don't want to) express verbally. Journaling allows us to clarify thoughts that occupy our mind and understand where we've been, what we've done, and where we're going. It increases focus and gives you that sense of stability we all crave.
Clarity journaling is also a great way to release your thoughts and emotions, allowing you to detach and let go of what holds you back.
Clarity Journaling Prompts
What do you want to achieve?
What's holding you back? What's preventing your growth?
What are the pros and cons of this goal?
Who can help you achieve this goal?
What is the worst thing that could happen if you do not achieve this goal? What is the best thing?
If you used the Clarity prompts to identify goals, the following prompts will take you a step further. Studies show that writing down your goals makes us 42% more likely to achieve them, so journaling them is a no-brainer.
Goal-Setting Journaling Prompts
What actions make me feel fulfilled?
Who has achieved this goal already? How can they help or inspire you?
Write three reasons why you want to accomplish this goal.
What changes will this goal require you to make?
What action steps are needed?
Expressing gratitude is one of the quickest, easiest, and most popular journaling practices. It promotes optimism and helps us look on the bright side of lousy results, challenges, and failure. People who journal their gratitude often come to the same realization: they have much to be grateful for.
Gratitude Journaling Prompts
What made you smile today?
What did I learn from today’s challenges or failures?
What is the best thing that happened to me today?
Congratulations to me for ____
Tomorrow, I look forward to ____
Journal writing strengthens our sense of self and affirms our thoughts and ideas in words. Set aside two to ten minutes each day to journal your thoughts, ideas, dreams, and musings. With or without prompts, we hope that journaling helps you see yourself and your future with newfound joy.