If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I’m a huge proponent for journaling. I started keeping a journal (or diary as we used to call them) when I was in middle school. Since then, I’ve lost interest and gained interest, and lost interest again.
However, last year when I did a life coaching program, I began journaling every day about what I was grateful for and what I learned. Thankfully, it seems to have stuck this time. However, journaling doesn’t always come easy to everyone. Many people turn to use journaling prompts. To assist you in your journey, I’ve come up with over 50 journaling prompts for self-discovery and self-reflection.
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The Journaling Prompts
Mental Health and Personality
- Make a list of 15 things that you are grateful for
- When I am feeling (name the emotion) these are the things that help me feel better…..
- What positive qualities do you possess?
- What negative qualities do you possess?
- What helps me to clear my mind?
- Make a list of everything that you’re worried about.
- What things are you doing that negatively affect your mental health?
- What things are you doing that positively affect your mental health?
- Make a list of your favorite positive affirmations.
- Write a letter to your younger self
Physical Health and Wellness
- Make a list of the foods that you eat that make you feel sick
- What ways can you touch or move your body that make you feel good?
- What are your favorite physical characteristics?
- Make a list of the foods that make you feel energized
- What are your least favorite physical characteristics?
- What do you do for yourself when you’re feeling physical pain?
- I feel the most rested when I can…..
- What do you do to maintain your physical health?
- Describe your ideal physical health
- What health conditions are you not taking care of?
- If I could spend the day doing anything I would…..
- The following routines are no longer serving me…….
- This area (name the area) of my house needs a makeover because….
- Describe your dream living situation (house, city, house members etc) in detail
- What hobbies am I passionate about?
- Make a list of your favorite ways to entertain yourself
- What’s your dream vacation destination?
- What are the essential things you need to do every day?
- What makes a day great?
- What makes a day bad?
- Make a list of the people in your life that support you (find more prompts about relationships here) and how they support you (and tell them!)
- Describe your ideal romantic partner
- Describe your ideal friendship
- How do you show love to other people?
- How do you wish people showed love to you? (check out this post about self-discovery tests that include the Five Love Languages)
- I wish that other people knew that……
- What does love mean to you?
- Describe a time in your life where you felt valued by someone else
- Describe your ideal family and home life
- What are your non-negotiables for the people in your life?
Work and Career
- What does work mean to you?
- What does work-life balance mean to me?
- Describe a time in your life where you felt valued at your place of employment
- What would I do even if I couldn’t get paid to do it?
- What would I only do if I got paid for it?
- What opportunities at work do you feel excited about?
- What parts of your job are leaving you feeling burned out?
- How do you feel about your co-workers?
- How do you handle conflict at work?
- What are your greatest skills as a(n) (insert your job)?
- What spiritual practices speak to you?
- What’s your zodiac sign and do you feel like it influences you? Why or why not?
- What has been your most significant spiritual experience?
- What spiritual practices don’t speak to you?
- How do you practice your spirituality?
- I feel most connected to my spiritually when….
- What is your idea of the afterlife?
- What does a higher power (or insert your own word) mean to you?
- If you could speak to your higher power in person, what would you tell or ask them?
- What do you believe about spirits?
Values, Goals, and The Future
- If I could do anything in the world I would……
- Make a list of all of your accomplishments
- My goals for today/this week/this month/this year are…..
- Living a life I love means…….
- What do you fear about your future?
- What are the things that I am doing that are helping me reach my goals?
- What are the things I am doing that are hindering me from reaching my goals?
- My favorite achievement to date is……
- What excites you about your future?
- What do you do when faced with a challenge?
How To Use These Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery and Self-Reflection
Instead of just choosing a prompt and starting to write, you may want to work through them in a more meaningful. If that’s you, here are some ideas.
Choose One for Every Day/Month/Week
Setting up a set schedule for you to complete each prompt may be helpful to you if you’re not sure about how to start. Pick a few that you particularly like and write them down in a journal with the date that you’d like to complete it. Set time on that date to write.
Create Your Own 30 Day Challenge
If you really want to jumpstart your journaling and self-discovery journey, choose 30 of these prompts and make your own 30-day challenge. You can choose questions from all the topics that I listed or only focus on a few of the topics. The choice is yours.
Focus on A Specific Topic
If you’re feeling particularly drawn to what set of questions (or maybe you’re particularly averse to one set of questions) focus on those first. Additionally, think about what’s drawing you towards or away from these questions.
Do this with a Loved One
I truly believe that self-discovery does not and cannot happen in a vacuum. Everything that we are and hope to be also happens in relation to the people in our lives and our environment.
Ask Yourself Why
After every question that you finish. Ask yourself why. Why did you choose that particular question? Why did you write down that particular answer? I’m particularly fond of this line of questioning because it can help you get to the heart of your answers. Author and speaker Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, explains this beautifully. While his idea of why speaks to organizations and leadership, it can be expanded to personal lives.
I hope you enjoyed these journal writing prompts for self-discovery! Don’t forget to subscribe to get this full list in a printable that you can carry around with you. What was your favorite prompt?
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.