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Wake Up Eager Podcast   |   Wednesday Tips

Journal Writing Ideas: Why and How to Write in a Journal

I'm excited to share these journal writing ideas with you. I've developed a love for writing...to myself! It's become a daily practice of personal connection, alignment and happiness.

Here you'll find insights into to how to create and use a journal to add more joy to your life and well being. I'll also share a review of a journal tool, journal writing ideas and the best journal writing prompts I've found.

How Journal Writing Helps Create More Wake Up Eager Days:
"The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes
us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium." Norbet Platt

My Journal Journey...

I believe that we are all wise and that we all have Inner Wisdom that we can use to guide our lives and actions. And, in order to access that Inner Wisdom, we have to find time to reflect, relax and quiet our busy minds and bodies.

I call this Daily Tune In Time.  I believe that every professional should take a minimum of 15 minutes a day, which is less than 1% in a  day, to reflect, relax and quiet the mind.  (More about Daily Tune in Time, here.)

One way I take Daily Tune In Time is by writing in my journal. I've been writing in a journal since college, when one of my English teachers required it as part of our class assignments.

Over the years journal writing has helped me remain conscious, and aware of, every aspect of my life. It helps me stay tuned into what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. My daily writing 'rituals' help me feel more balanced, tap creativity, remind me of my value, and Guide me toward daily actions that match my intentions. 

I write everyday, sometimes several times a day. I have notebooks in my office, in my car and all over my home.

"Journal writing is a voyage to the interior." Christina Baldwin

Journal Writing Ideas and Tips for Getting Started:

Here are some tips and ideas for getting started on your own journal writing journey:

  • Decide and commit to write in your journal for 30 days. Making this time commitment will help you get momentum started and give you enough time to experience the benefits.
  • Make access to your journal(s) easy.  When I feel the need to physically out pen to paper, I access notebooks in my office, car and living room.  If I'm on my IOS device is use my DayOne App.  Make writing accessible and easy so that you can write wherever you are - in the car, the train or in the office.
  • Keep your journal private. Part of journaling is getting comfortable with your own self expression and not judging yourself. Keeping it private will help you let loose and be you.
  • Trust what you write. This, to me, is one of the best journal writing ideas and insights - because journaling is about touching base with your Inner Wisdom and Talent. Let what wants to express, flow. This is a powerful exercise for learning how to trust and follow your instincts and knowing.

Journal Writing Ideas and Insights a Psychologist:
As early as 1965, psychologist Ira Progoff and his colleagues began  seeing the value of personal journals in enhancing growth and learning. Progoff believed what he called an “intensive journal process”  could “draw each person’s life toward wholeness at its own tempo."  It systematically evokes and strengthens the inner capacities of persons by working from a non-medical vantage point and proceeding  without analytic or diagnostic categories” .

(Progoff, 1975, p. 9)

Journal Writing Prompts...

Almost every journal entry begins with, "I appreciate..."  I like to think and write about what is working and what I appreciate.  My second favorite prompt is, "This is what I want and why i want it..."   Those seem to get me started.  I don't seem to need other prompts.  But, I have been journaling for 30 years!

Here are 35 journal prompts from Journal Buddies.  I highlighted some that I found interesting. Find something that interests you and begin journaliing.

  1. What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
  2. Have you ever been in love?  How do you know?
  3. What is the hardest truth you’ve ever learned?
  4. What is your greatest dream in life?
  5. Does history repeat itself?  Why or why not?
  6. If someone were to guess what kind of person you are based on your handwriting, what do you think they would predict?
  7. Make up an alter ego for yourself.  Give him or her a name, and then describe his or her qualities, looks, etc.
  8. If you could invent one thing to make your life easier, what would it be?
  9. Who is your hero?  What do you admire about him or her?
  10. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
  11. How would you feel if your best friend got something that you’ve really wanted?  How would you respond?
  12. Do you prefer to donate time or money to those in need?  Why?
  13. Do you find it difficult to make new friends?  Why or why not?
  14. What is the best day of the year?  Why is it so special to you?
  15. What does your dream house look like?  Describe it in detail.
  16. Do you remember much of your past?  Why do you think that is?
  17. What is the greatest gift you could ever receive?  What would make it so special?
  18. How would you describe yourself to someone who had never met you?  Write your description as though you were a character in a book or a movie.
  19. Do you regularly remember your dreams?  Write about your most vividly remembered dream.
  20. Write about your most cherished memory of all time.
  21. What does it mean to be a good friend?  What type of friend are you?
  22. Do you think of yourself as a cool person or a warm person?  Why?
  23. What is the most interesting thing about you?  Why?  Is it a trait you share with other people, or is it something that is unique to you?
  24. What is the greatest mistake you’ve ever made?
  25. If you could visit one destination in space, what would it be?  Why?
  26. How old were you when you first knew what you wanted to do with your life?  How did that feeling evolve over time?
  27. What is your greatest fear?  Do you think it is realistic or not?  Why?
  28. Write about a time when you learned something new about yourself.
  29. What is your most deeply held belief?
  30. If you could have any one question answered, what would it be?  Who could answer it for you?
  31. Do you think you would like to be a parent?  Why or why not?
  32. Who is your celebrity crush?  What do you find appealing about him or her?
  33. Write about a time when you felt pure joy.
  34. Write about a time when you made something up as you went along.
  35. If you were to have a mantra, what would it be?  When would you use it?

"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.
How else, indeed,
to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?
For the moment passes,
it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone.
That is where the writer
scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop."

Vita Sackville-West


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