Journaling has always been one of those things that I’ve heard time and time again will improve my life, but really struggled to adopt the habit!
You can’t read a single Personal Development book without it SCREAMING at you to journal daily!
And until recently, I had completely neglected it!
Why? Well to be honest, because I just didn’t get it!
I didn’t get the hype. I couldn’t understand what I was supposed to journal about. And I didn’t know where to start!
How I got started with Journaling!
But this year, journaling has become my saviour!
I don’t know what happened, but writing became my escape. Getting things out of my head and on to paper was the fastest route to clearing the brain fog and making sense of it all!
In the beginning, I was just essentially ‘brain dumping’. Writing whatever thoughts were taking up space in my head and then trying to piece together a plan of action from there.
And then it started to evolve.
I was doing more free flowing scripting type exercises whereby I would just start writing and let whatever wanted to flow, fall out onto the page. No stopping and no thinking. Just writing until it’s all out!
I really started to see the benefits after just a few weeks.
The space I was creating in my head made me feel so much clearer! It really was like blowing the cobwebs off of Pandora’s box and setting all of that hidden magic free!
Journaling is one the the Lifestyle Changes I mention in this post about improving my mindset during the pandemic!
I’m totally guilty of overthinking things and keeping things spinning over and over in my mind; making bigger problems out of them. But journaling really helped me to get those thoughts out of my brain and on to paper to allow me to really see what I was actually dealing with. Then I could put some logic behind how to rectify it.
When we become too consumed with our thoughts, it’s easy to think that problems are bigger than they actually are! For me, using this method helped me put everything into perspective.
Now I find myself journaling on all sorts; how I’m feeling today, what I want my future to look like and how I can overcome challenges.
I’ve also found that it can help me gain clarity on the things I’m struggling with. For me recently, this has been my goals for the year ahead, and how I can actually make them a reality.
Using journal prompts has allowed me to review the past 12 months, work out what I feel has gone well that I want to do more of and then create some actions in order to help me to progress.
The Journal Prompts for success!
So below, here are the 8 journal prompts I’ve used to reflect on the year just gone and plan for the year ahead. I’ve also included some detail on how to answer them in case journaling is new to you, or you struggle like I did:
What worked this year?
To answer this prompt, look back on the year just gone. Think about career projects, business goals, personal achievements, fitness improvements, even those new daily habits you instilled that really helped you to move the needle. List everything you can think of.
What would I like to improve in the year ahead?
Here you would think about the things you want to do better. Perhaps it could be your level of consistency with working out, or prioritizing self-care. Maybe you’d like to start being more focused with your time and working to a schedule. Note down what you would like to be better at/with.
What did I learn?
This is a great question to get a bit deeper with yourself. You may have learnt that you have a habit of self-sabotaging, or perhaps you learnt that you’re never particularly productive after dinner so you need to work on any projects earlier in the day. You may have learnt that you work better than expected on your own, or that you need noise in order to focus. Really spend some time on this question to get to know yourself a little better.
What did I enjoy?
This prompt will help you to get clarity on the things that light you up. You can then make sure you incorporate these things into your life regularly. We need to maintain balance in order to get the best out of ourselves so being clear on the things that make you happy, means they don’t get forgotten about.
What do I want to achieve this year?
Now it’s time to start thinking about your goals for the year ahead. The questions you just answered should have helped you to understand what your priorities are, how you can best approach your goals and do so whilst having fun. Think not just logically, but also think about your desires and where you’d really like to see yourself in 12 months time.
Who do I need to become to make this happen?
This question isn’t about becoming someone else! It’s to help you ensure you have all the traits within you to make your goals achievable. So you may need to become someone more schedule-bound so you stay on track. You may need to become someone who has to say no to friends occasionally as you find you often end up stretching yourself too thin then neglect your priorities. You may need to become someone who gets out on a walk daily as you’ve realised that’s when you get some of your best ideas. Think about all the things you can embody to become the best version of yourself to achieve your goals.
What do I need to do to make this happen?
Here you would list the action steps you need to take in order to move the needle. So this could be I need to set up a dedicated workspace to allow me to work more productively. Or I need to wake up 30 minutes earlier in order to make time for my morning routine. You can then use these actions to help structure your days/weeks to achieve the tasks you need to do.
What do I need to have to make this happen?
This final prompt will help you consider what’s required to move forward. Do you need to invest in any tools or courses? Perhaps you need to work on your mindset to believe your goals are achievable? Do you need to make sure you have 8 hours sleep as you can’t function on less? Think about all the things that will help you take the next steps.
So those are my 8 journal prompts to help you thrive in the year ahead! I hope the explanations help you to get the best out of the questions as the deeper you go, the more chance you have of really making a difference!
Now you just need to grab a notebook, light a candle (I love these Crystal Candles by Hoof & Paw!) and set aside the time to go through these questions.
Goals can continuously be reviewed don’t forget so after 3 months, if you feel things need tweaking, go back through some of these prompts and amend them accordingly!
Keep Shining Queens!