Sometimes, writing in a journal every day isn’t easy. You might not know what to write about for the day, perhaps there isn’t anything interesting enough to talk about, perhaps you’re stuck in a routine where things get absolutely repetitive and you’re not sure how to break out of it. A lot of websites have daily journaling prompts where there might be a question or a statement give for the day for you to reflect over. While these are certainly great prompts, I don’t really like them that much as I tend to skip over and pick and choose prompts for myself and end up spending more time doing that than actually writing.
As a result, I decided to compile a list of specific prompts and activities that can be used for everyday journaling. You don’t have to do each of them every day but cycling through them whenever you need the inspiration to fill up the page for the day can be a great way of keeping up the habit of consistent journaling.
If you haven’t started a journal yet, here are 7 Reasons to start today.
Develop Habits by Recording
Sometimes we wish we could change ourselves, whether it’s small things like waking up earlier in the morning or big things, like getting your exam preparation done every day. Regardless, recording your everyday efforts towards these goals are a great way to keep yourself on track and also have something to write about in your journal. Like whether you managed to do your task for the day and if you didn’t, why not?
A List of Things You’re Grateful For
This is a great exercise that you can do every day to humble yourself and start appreciating the little things. Maybe you’re grateful for a friend, or for a fresh cup of coffee or for the weather. Whether it’s silly or not, write it down!
Inspirational Quote for the Day
Sometimes we come across interesting quotes. Sometimes we even think interesting thoughts. Even if it’s from a movie or a television commercial or something you read at work, you should definitely write it down if it struck a chord with you.
A List of Things to Pray For
This can be especially useful for people who are used to praying regularly. I know I forget to pray for lots of things and I usually end up praying for just one or two big major things. Prayer, however, is for asking for whatever you want, however much you want, whenever you want! So writing down a list of things to pray for is a great way to incorporate them into your praying.
Additionally, you can also keep track on which prayers end up getting answered, although you should never lose hope about the outcome of your praying.
A Meme for the Day
Memes are an internet phenomenon that I think do a great job of propagating ideas in a short and concise way. However, memes change up and go in and out of fashion faster than the seasons change. I personally love the idea of recording favorite memes, whether drawing them out for yourself or printing a few favorites out, and going back to look over then ten or twenty years later. It’s also a great way to fill up the pages of your journal.
I know I mentioned this earlier but still. Lists can be anything, from a list of movies, book characters, places, things you want to do, goals, anything and everything. Lists are a great way to fill up a page in your journal when you feel like you have nothing to write about.
You could even use it to improve aspects of yourself or criticize yourself. You could write a list of good habits you want to build or a list of bad habits you want to break. You could write a list of good things about yourself or bad things about yourself. Just try not to be too harsh, alright?
Paint or Sketch
A common misconception people might have when it comes to journaling is that it’s only about writing. That’s not true! If you’re not in the mood to write, you can doodle or sketch or paint or draw, you could scribble all over the page or spill paint everywhere, do whatever makes you feel happy! If writing feels like a chore, then find another way to express yourself!
Teach Yourself Literature
Whether you pick up a book or a piece of poetry, writing your personal analysis about it is a great way to get some insight into yourself as well as spending a few enjoyable moments of writing. It’s also a great way to get through a really tough book. For example, I am currently having a really hard time getting through a self-help book and I’m planning on using my journal to help document my read through it so I don’t lose track of what I managed to learn from the difficult reading.
Not only does it turn out to be efficient (you spend more time trying to understand the text so you can talk about it in your journal) but you also never have to open that difficult book again since everything you need to know is already chronicled in your journal!
Listen to Podcasts
If reading isn’t your thing, you could do the same thing above but with podcasts. They don’t even have to be educational podcasts. Just any sort of podcast that you listen to while writing about what you’re listening to. You could be taking notes or be writing your personal opinion about the content of the podcast. You could even be busy drawing or scribbling.
Write a Letter
Change up your journaling format! Write a letter to someone. It could be anyone, from an old friend you don’t talk to anymore, to a teacher you used to have back in kindergarten or even yourself, but 10 years ago or 10 years ahead. Sometimes changing up the presentation is all you need to get writing again.
Your Daily Routine
If you really can’t think of a single thing to write about, write about your daily routine. You might not appreciate it right now, but for personal historical archive purposes, it’ll turn out to be very interesting to come back to. Write it in as much detail as you can.
Turn the most ordinary thing you’ve done today into something extraordinary. Tried a new recipe today? Took a new route to work? Write it down and make it seem like the adventure it deserves to be.
You’ve heard of these. ABC entries. Another great way of filling up a journal entry. You could either theme your ABCs or write anything off the top of your head and see what you come up with!
Right at the moment that you open your journal, chronicle the use of your five senses. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you taste? What do you feel? It’s an interesting way of living more in the moment when you start journaling.
Document Meetings and Conversations
This is a great way of keeping track of the little things in your life. Sometimes we forget about important conversations or moments we’ve had with friends and family. Writing them down is a way to engrave them forever and not to mention, you can always go back and visit those memories. So if you can’t think of anything to write, think about the conversation you’ve had that day and see if you can document them down.
Review The Places You Visited
It doesn’t have to be a new place! Review the cafeteria you always have lunch at. Or the desk you work at. Or the train station you always walk by. Or your own city. Or your route home. It could be anything!
Things You Accomplished Today
This is the flip side to writing a list of thing you’re grateful for. You should, at the end of the day, also write a list of things that you’ve managed to accomplish. It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve been productive and if you give yourself a moment or two to pat yourself on the back, then consider the whole point of journaling every day to be done.
Well? What are you waiting for? Get your journal out and start writing every day!