Ideas for Journaling

This documents a couple of prompts I found while researching journaling as a new technique for selfimprovement.


Here we go.

Becoming Your Life’s Historian

  • Things you’re working on
  • Recent “wins”
  • How you’re spending time
  • Relationships
  • Mistakes or missteps
  • Who you’re surrounded by
  • New experiences
  • Current emotional state
  • What you’re planning

Documenting Lessons Learned

  • “Yesterday (or today) I learned…”

Chronicling Your Dreams

  • Describe your dreams
  • Keep journal on bedside table

“Morning Pages” and Getting It All Out

  • 3 pages of freestyle writing
  • No theme or structure
  • No filters

Your Daily “Why”

  • “My ‘why’ for today is…”
  • Higher purpose for today’s actions

Goals, To-Do’s, and Progress Tracking

  • Today’s 2-3 “crucial results”
  • Tracking daily habit compliance

Gratitude Journaling

  • “I’m grateful for…”
  • As many items as you can
  • As detailed as possible

Gratitude Journaling

  • “I’m looking forward to…”
  • As many items as you can
  • As detailed as possible

Training Your “Want Muscle”

  • “I want…”
  • Dream as big as you can
  • Avoid shallow wants

Working Through Frustrations, Anxieties, & Emotions

  • Describe the situation
  • “Why might I feel this way?”
  • Move past rumination
  • Describe your feelings in detail
  • “How am I responsible for this?”
  • Seek to understand or solve
  • Ask challenging questions
  • “What can I do about it?”
  • Try before conversations

Solving Specific Problems With “Thinking Time”

  • 45 min, no distractions
  • Write question on header line
  • Add bullet after each line

Safeguarding Your Best Ideas

  • Write out new ideas in detail
  • Bookmark or dog-ear the page

Keeping Track Of Your Goals & Aspirations

  • Write out 6-12 mo goals
  • Break down into small habits
  • Bookmark the page

The Power Of Reviewing & Summarizing Over Time

  • Flip through previous entries
  • Missteps or the unexpected
  • Major events or accomplishments
  • Growth as a person
  • Most grateful for
  • Wishes going forward

First-Draft Journaling Ritual

  • When are you going to journal?
  • Where will you journal?
  • How will you make it easy, obvious, and enjoyable?
  • What will be the “cue” or existing habit that will trigger a journaling session?
  • Which, if any, prompts will you do on a daily basis?
  • How long will you journal?
  • What other habits or “good multitasking” activities will you combine?
  • What will be your “reward” for journaling?

3 Good Things

  • write 3 good things from today, one thing per line
    • sun was shining when I walked here
    • had tasty vegan food
    • tackled that one $task for my customer
  • “cheat mode”: take things from yesterday

Tedious Task List (1)

  • write a list of (at least) 5 items you:
    • are procrastinating on
    • “should already be done”
    • “dislike doing”
  • each task gets a tiny bulletpoint as a prefix

Uncover YOUR Values

Take a moment and think about the values which are most important to you. Write them down.

If you do not know where to start, check the following clusters and pick one value per cluster if appropriate.


Accountability Candor Commitment Dependability Dignity Honesty Honor Responsibility Sincerity Transparency Trust Trustworthy Truth


Acceptance Comfort Compassion Contentment Empathy Grace Gratitude Happiness Hope Inspiring Irreverent Joy Kindness Love Optimism Passion Peace Poise Respect Reverence Satisfaction Serenity Thankful Tranquility Welcoming


Adaptability Altruism Balance Charity Communication Community Connection Consciousness Contribution Cooperation Courtesy Devotion Equality Ethical Fairness Family Fidelity Friendship Generosity Giving Goodness Harmony Humility Loyalty Maturity Meaning Selfless Sensitivity Service Sharing Spirit Stewardship Support Sustainability Teamwork Tolerance Unity


Accomplishment Capable Challenge Competence Credibility Determination Development Drive Effectiveness Empower Endurance Excellence Famous Greatness Growth Hard-work Improvement Influence Intensity Leadership Mastery Motivation Performance Persistence Potential Power Productivity Professionalism Prosperity Recognition Results-oriented Risk Significance Skill Skillfulness Status Success Talent Victory Wealth Winning


Creation Curiosity Discovery Exploration Expressive Imagination Innovation Inquisitive Intuitive Openness Originality Uniqueness Wonder


Amusement Enthusiasm Experience Fun Humor Playfulness Recreation Spontaneous Surprise


Alertness Attentive Awareness Beauty Calm Clear Concentration Focus Silence Simplicity Solitude


Brilliance Clever Common-sense Decisiveness Foresight Genius Insightful Knowledge Learning Logic Openness Realistic Reason Reflective Smart Thoughtful Understanding Vision Wisdom


Ambition Assertiveness Boldness Confidence Dedication Discipline Ferocious Fortitude Persistence Power Restraint Rigor Self-reliance Temperance Toughness Vigor Will


Independence Individuality Liberty


Bravery Conviction Fearless Valor


Accuracy Careful Certainty Cleanliness Consistency Control Decisive Economy Justice Lawful Moderation Organization Security Stability Structure Thorough Timeliness


Energy Vitality

Unsorted list

Achievement Adventure Authenticity Caring Courage Creativity Efficiency Encouragement Enjoyment Excitement Feelings Fitness Forgiveness Freedom Friendliness Health Integrity Intelligence Intimacy Open-mindedness Order Patience Present Purpose Quality Romance Self-Care Self-development Sensuality Spirituality Strength Supportiveness Traditional Tranquility

Tackle that Tedious Task List (2)

  1. take the page with the “procrastination tasks”
  2. take your 3-5 values from the last exercise
  3. try to match the tasks to your values (“cluster the tasks”)

Monthly log

Value-based Weekly Log

How I care for me

To be at my best possible version, as of today ($date), this is what I need …

  • … every daily
  • … weekly
  • … monthly
  • … a couple of times per year

And this is what is completely NOT HELPFUL for me:

  • “not to do list”
  • energy suckers, …

Revisit this page at last once a week.

What matters

A: What matters

(e.g. values or needs or anything else where you feel change is emerging)

  • my Physical & Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Friends & Social Relations
  • Family relationships
  • Intimate relationships
  • Recreation, hobbies, leisure
  • Self-development, personal growth, learning
  • Career & Work
  • Spirituality
  • Being part of a community

B: Your current importance

How important is this to you? (scale: 1 to 8 )

C: Your current Attention / Efforts

How much attention / effort do you currently spend? (scale: 1 to 8 )

D: Hints for next action

How big is the discrepancy? (between your intention (B) and your current Now (C))

E: One small (and actionable) next step for me is…


Just empty your mind by writing everything down you currently have in your head.