A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to become. It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream.”

Brad Wilcox

As human beings we are constantly growing and changing. What you think, feel, and know can completely change in time due to knowledge and experiences. This is one of the many reasons to keep a journal and use it to reflect on your life, ideas, morals, and to discover and rediscover who you are as a person.

Below is a list of journal prompts to help you reflect on your life through the power of writing. I am so happy with this list that I have compiled. I’ve spent hours scouring the internet in search of ideas to make this list a reality.

Life History

  • Write about the town you grew up in. Do you still live there? How has it changed since you were little? 
  • Write about your name. How your parents picked it. What it means. Etc.  
  • Write about your Mother. What was she like growing up? 
  • Write about your Father. 
  • Do you have any siblings? Write about them. 
  • How has your relationship changed with your siblings over the years? 
  • Describe the house you grew up in. Did you live in the same house your whole childhood or did your family move around a lot? 
  • Write about your favorite childhood memory. 
  • What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you become that? Why or why not? 
  • Who was your childhood best friend? Are you still friends today? If not, what happened to end your friendship? 
  • What traditions did your family have growing up?  
  • Write about the first time you experienced death? 
  • Do you feel like you had a good childhood? 
  • What is your worst childhood memory? 
  • Where you bullied as a kid? 
  • Write about your first kiss. 
  • Write about when you lost your virginity? Or why you chose not to lose your virginity. 
  • What cliché did you belong to in school? Where you a jock, prep, stoner, etc.?  
  • What activities did you do as a child? 
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  • Are you an only child, middle child, oldest? Is your family a blended family? Do you have step or half siblings? Write about how your birth order shaped you growing up.  
  • Write about what your parents told you about your birth. Write about when and where you were born. 
  • What world events where significant to you as a child.  
  • Write about your cousins. 
  • Write about your grandparents. 
  • Write about learning to drive.  
  • What was your first job? 
  • Things I always did with my dad when I was small . . . 
  • Things I always did with my mom when I was little . . . 
  • What book did you read over and over again as a child? 
  • What was your favorite toy? 
  • Did you ever get lost? 
  • Who was your best friend in elementary school? 
  • Did you ever run away from home? 
  • What was it like having my first crush? What did I learn from it? 

Letters

  • Write a letter to someone you need to forgive. 
  • Write a letter to someone who believed in you even when you didn’t believe in yourself. 
  • Write a letter to be read by each of your loved ones after you’ve passed away. 
  • Write a fan letter to your favorite actor/actress. 
  • Write a letter to someone who broke your heart.
  • Is there something you’re reluctant to tell someone?  Write a letter to help you organize your thoughts. 
  • To someone you admire. 
  • To your younger self. 
  • To your future self. 
  • To your children. 
  • To your parents thanking them for everything they have done for you.
  • To your best friend
  • To a stranger
  • To your spouse
  • Write a letter to someone who has done you wrong. Discuss what they did and how it made you feel, and then forgive them and let it go. 

Emotions and Feelings

  • What makes you happy? 
  • What makes you sad? 
  • Anxious? 
  • Nervous? 
  • Angry? 
  • Jealous? 
  • Proud? 
  • Afraid? 
  • Do you feel like you have a good control over your emotions? 
  • Do you have any mental health disorders that effect your emotions? 
  • Do you feel like you are a sensitive person? 
  • What is your most embarrassing memory? 
  • What do you do to calm down and unwind when you are stressed out? 
  • Describe a situation in your life that caused you to feel regret. If you could go back in time, what would you do differently? 
  • Write down the things that trigger feelings of depression in you, and identify 1-3 strategies you can use to combat each of them. 
  • What is a quality you have that you fear? 
  • What makes you feel at peace? 
  • Is joy different than happiness? 
  • How do you pursue happiness each day? 
  • Describe a time where I felt valued and loved. 
  • Where do I feel the safest? 
  • When do you feel the most confident? 
  • The most terrifying moment of my life was . . . 
  • The most fun I’ve ever had . . . 
  • The most surprised I’ve ever been . . . 
  • The most disappointed I’ve ever been . . . 
  • How easy is it for you to forgive those who have caused you pain? 
  • What is the dominant emotion in your life right now? 
  • What always brings tears to your eyes? 
  • What makes you uncomfortable? 
  • Do you hide your emotions? If so, why? 
  • How do you deal with negative comments? 
  • Who or what keeps you calm? 
  • Do you carry emotional baggage? How can you deal with this? 
  • Are your emotions unbalanced? How can you address this? 
  • Are you easily frustrated? What is that frustrates you? 
  • Do you find yourself feeling guilt over things that are beyond your control? 
  • Do you have mood swings? What do you think causes them? 
  • Who do you call to cheer you up? 
  • Do you find it easy to talk about your feelings, or do you bottle things up? 
  • Are you often disappointed with life? 
  • What do you like to do to relax and wind down? 
  • Are you easily overwhelmed? 
  • Is there anything in your life that makes you ashamed? 
  • Are you a nervous person? Why do you think that is? 
  • Do you find it difficult to control your temper? 
  • Do you ever feel numb? What causes this? 
  • Do you ever feel inferior? Why is this? 
  • How does uncertainty make you feel? 
  • Describe what each emotion feels like to you and the things it makes you do. (example Sadness makes my stomach feel achy. I tend to be forgetful and overthink think things when I’m sad.)
  • Write down the things that trigger feelings of depression in you, and identify 1-3 strategies you can use to combat each of them. 

Gratitude

  • Who are you most grateful for? 
  • What experience are you most grateful for? 
  • What are some things that you have taken for granted that you shouldn’t? 
  • What do you love about life? 
  • What are the things and people who keep you going in life? 
  • Who and what could you not live without? 
  • What are some areas in your life that you need to express more gratitude?
  • Do you feel that others don’t show you enough gratitude?
  • Make a list of the 10 most important things in your life.
  • How can you go about expressing gratitude?
  • Make a list of everyone in your life and why you are grateful that they are a part of your life.

Parenting

  • Discuss 3 things you do well as a mom. 
  • What is your favorite time of day with your children? 
  •  If you could have an entire day to yourself with no responsibilities, who would you want to spend the day with and what would you choose to do together? 
  • What is the best parenting advice you’ve ever received? 
  •  What shocked you most about motherhood? 
  •  What parts of motherhood do you find the most fulfilling? 
  •  What is your most challenging time of day with your kids? Brainstorm 3-5 strategies you can start TODAY to make this time easier. 
  •  Write a bucket list of things you’d like to experience with your children over the next 12 months, and schedule them into your calendar to keep yourself accountable. 
  •  What qualities do you look for in a ‘mom friend’? 
  •  Describe your biggest achievement as a mom. How did it make you feel? 
  •  When your kids look back on their childhood, what 3 things do you hope they remember most? 
  •  What’s the silliest thing your child has ever done/said? 
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  •  What scares you most about being a mom? 
  •  Write a letter to your pre-mom self, telling her all the things you wish she knew. 
  •  How has your mom shaped you as a mother? 
  •  What are your favorite family traditions? 
  • Discuss a time you felt you failed a mother. If you could have a do-over, what would you change about the situation? 
  •  What makes you feel fulfilled? 
  • Describe 5+ things about your child(ren) that make you proud. 
  •  Write about your experience with childbirth and how it changed you. 
  •  How has your relationship with your spouse changed since you became a mom? 
  •  What are your least favorite parts about being a mom, and how can you improve them? 
  •  What does self-care mean to you now that you’re a mom? 
  •  What do you wish other people understood about your specific experiences with motherhood? 
  •  Write a letter to your children to open on their 18th birthday. 
  •  What parts of motherhood are you most grateful for? 
  •  How have your priorities changed since you became a mom? 
  •  What parts of motherhood do you take for granted? 
  •  Is there anything you miss about your pre-mom life? Something about me that I really would like to see my children emulate is: 
  • What parts of yourself don’t feel compatible with being a parent? What parenting parts of yourself do you hide from the rest of the world? 
  • If you could change ONE thing about yourself as a mom, what would you change and why? 

Opinions on Subjects that Might be Considered Touchy

  • What is your view on abortion? 
  • How do you feel about the death sentence? 
  • How do you feel about gay marriage? 
  • What do you think about people who are racist?
  • Do you have any strong political views and ideas? 
  • How do you feel about feminism?
  • What do you think about people who take justice into their own hands?
  • What are your thoughts on infidelity?
  • How do you feel about the term “an eye for an eye”?
  • What do you think needs to be changed about the justice system?
  • What laws do you feel need to be changed or made?
  • How do you feel about welfare?
  • What do you think about drug addiction and addicts?
  • To vaccinate your children or not….
  • Write about your opinion on stricter gun laws.
  • What are your thoughts on illegal immigrants?

Favorites

  • Write about your favorite places. 
  • What is your favorite color? What does that color mean to you? 
  • Write about your favorite relative? Why are they your favorite? 
  • Write about the best vacation spots. 
  • Holidays
  • What is your favorite book? Write a review about it. 
  • Songs
  • Actress/Actor
  • Season
  • Sport
  • Movie
  • Food – Describe the taste in full detail
  • Activities
  • Quotes
  • Historical figure
  • Write about your favorite person, place, thing, idea on any subject and write about it in detail.
  • Describe your favorite time of year. What do you love about it, who do you spend it with, and what activities do you enjoy during that time? 

Everything Else

  • Write a list of 5 things you love about yourself, and why they make you unique. 
  • If you could be the best in the world at one thing, what would you choose and why? 
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why? 
  • If you won $1 million, what would you do with the money? 
  •  What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 
  • What 3 things do you want the people you love the most to remember about you after you’re gone? 
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why? 
  • What qualities are important to you in a friendship/romantic relationship? 
  •  List and describe the most important people in your life, and what you admire most about them. 
  • Discuss 3 things you’d like to change in your life, and brainstorm strategies to make these changes a reality. 
  •  Describe your dream job. 
  •  What 3 things do you love most about yourself, and why? 
  •  Make a list of things that are holding you back from your wants, needs, goals, and desires. Be brutally honest with yourself, and brainstorm ways to overcome these obstacles. 
  •  If you could travel to any destination in the world, where would you go and why? 
  •  Describe a situation in which you helped someone else. What did you do? How did it make them feel? How did it make you feel? 
  •  How would you describe yourself to a stranger? 
  • What are your top 5 values in life? 
  • What does self-care mean to you, and how can you incorporate it into your daily routine? 
  •  Describe a time in your life when you failed. What did you learn from it? 
  •  What are your best character traits? 
  • What is something nobody knows about you? Why have you kept it a secret? 
  •  What does your ideal life look like? 
  • . What makes you feel fulfilled? 
  •  If you could spend an entire day with one person, who would you choose to spend it with and what would you do together? 
  •  When something good or bad happens, who is the first person you want to tell, and why 
  • Discuss 5 things you wish others knew about you. 
  • What is your biggest regret in life, and if you could go back in time, what would you change about the situation? 
  •  What quote or saying inspires you when you need it most? 
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and then write out 3-5 physical traits you love about yourself, and why. 
  • Who is your mentor, why do you look up to him/her, and what has he/she taught you? 
  •  What is your 5-year plan? Map out all of the things you need to do to reach your goals. 
  • Do you have any unhealthy habits that are holding you back from your goals? How can you overcome them? 
  •  What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned to date? Describe how the lesson was learned, and how it has impacted your life. 
  •  What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given, and why did it have such an impact on you? 
  •  Create a bucket list of things you’d like to accomplish or experience in the next 12 months. 
  • What songs help lift your spirits when you’re feeling down? 
  • What inspires you? 
  • Name three places that make you feel whole. 
  • If I looked deep down to the very depths of who I am, I trust that I would find: 
  • Name 10 activities that make you feel good, and feel like yourself. 
  • Who in your life makes it most easy to be yourself? What do they do or say that makes you feel like it’s ok to be you? 
  • What parts of yourself do you regularly hide from others? 
  • When are you choosing to put on a show and when do you feel like you must put on a show? Do you enjoy this part of interacting with people? What would the consequence be if you didn’t put on the show? What do you believe would happen if you showed the world who you truly are? 
  • One of the character traits I really value in people I meet is__________. How do you practice this trait in your own life? 
  • What do you wish people just accepted about you? 
  • One thing nobody knows about me is____________.  One thing I wish people knew about me is_________. 
  • When was the first time you were confronted with a part of yourself you didn’t really want to acknowledge? 
  • What parts of yourself are you holding onto that no longer are a true part of who you want to be? 
  • If you could run away, where would you go and why? Would you take anyone with you? 
  • What is your most treasured possession and why? 
  • What can you do or change in your life to focus more on your health and well being? Be honest. 
  •  Write a letter to your body telling it how you feel? This could be a love letter or letter of apology if you have been critical of your body in the past like me. 
  • 10 things you love about your spouse, brother, mother, sister, dad etc.
  • List your bad habits and addictions. How have you tried to rid yourself of them? 
  • What is my most self-limiting belief? 
  • What are my favorite qualities about myself? 
  • Describe a time where I had a hard struggle that I overcame. How? 
  • What are my beliefs? List your beliefs and what shaped them. Have any of them changed over the years?
  • Write about the people in my life, why they’re in my life and what I love about them. 
  • What is an experience or activity that energizes me? 
  • Do I care what other people think of me? Elaborate.   
  • What are my doubts? 
  • What are some of my talents? 
  • What is the meaning to life? 
  • Would I describe myself as an extrovert or introvert? Why? 
  • Do I believe I have control over my life course/decisions? 
  • What is the greatest lesson I have learned about life? 
  • What is my most valuable possession? 
  • What is something I always wanted to do? 
  • What would I be doing if nothing was limiting me? 
  • What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? 
  • What has been a lifelong goal of mine? 
  • What do I like to do for fun? 
  • Who is most important to me in my life? 
  • What am I passionate about? 
  • What do my friends ask for my help with? 
  • If I could change one thing in my life right now what would it be and why? 
  • What do I think my purpose is in my life? What could it be? 
  • What’s the biggest problem I see in the world? 
  • Who is my biggest role model? 
  • When something bad happens, who do I blame? 
  • What do I hate doing, but I do every day? 
  • What do I admire in others? 
  • What is my why? What drives me? 
  • What are my 5 biggest pet peeves? 
  • What 5 words describe my personality? 
  • Am I comfortable with taking risks? Why or why not? 
  • What sets me apart from everyone else? 
  • What do I think I have to lose? 
  • What inspires me? 
  • Name at least 3 things I have accomplished in life thus far. 
  • What are 5 things I could do better to take care of myself? 
  • Do I live life honestly? Elaborate. 
  • What have I learned from my mistakes? 
  • Describe a frenemy. Have you ever had a frenemy? How did you handle it? Are you still friends with them? How did you discover they weren’t a true friend? 
  • What do you need to forgive yourself for? 
  • What makes you a good friend? How can you be a better friend? 
  •  What do you need to make more time for? 
  • What are some things you think are weird about yourself or that others think are weird about you? 
  • What book has influenced your life? 
  • How would you like to make this world a better place? How can you best share your gifts with the world? 
  • What qualities do you want in a romantic partner? What are the top ten characteristics that you look for in a romantic partner? 
  • What are the top ten qualities a friend should have (treats people with respect; listens but doesn’t judge; has a quirky sense of humor; is an artist; lives with passion; doesn’t sweat the small stuff; is loyal and trustworthy)? 
  • What would make you feel spiritually fulfilled? 
  • What does unconditional love look like for you? 
  • Make a list of everything that inspires you — from books to websites to quotes to people to paintings to stores to the stars. 
  • Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to. 
  • Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes to. 
  • What physical characteristics are you most self-conscious about? How could you make peace with those? 
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  • What is your greatest strength? Describe a time this strength served you well. 
  • What is your greatest weakness? Describe a time this weakness held you back. 
  • Describe a time you felt especially valued and loved. 
  • Finish this sentence: “I can’t stand it when other people…” Examine those character flaws. Do you also possess them? Be honest. 
  • If you had a theme song, what would it be? 
  • Name an animal whose characteristics you admire. Are you in any way like that animal? 
  • What do you enjoy most about your favorite hobby? How can incorporate that into other parts of your life? 
  • Describe a day in your life that was especially enjoyable. What made the day so good? 
  • When you think about your future, what do you fear the most? 
  • When you think about your future, what do you hope for the most? 
  • Describe a time you mistreated someone. How do you feel about your behavior, and what would you say to the person now? 
  • Write about a missed opportunity you with you had taken. What could you do differently next time? 
  • Are you a spiritual person? Describe your beliefs and/or doubts. How do those beliefs affect how you live your life? 
  • Discuss how the people in your life make you feel. How do you perceive yourself after spending time with them? How will that affect how you spend time with them in the future? 
  • True or False: “I know how to stick up for myself.” Explain your answer. 
  • To show someone you love them, are you likely to use words, actions, or another method? 
  • Someone trusts you with a secret and asks you not to reveal it. It’s really juicy! Do you tell anyone? 
  • A colleague takes credit for your work and is rewarded. How does that affect your perception of your own value? How do you react? 
  • You are walking on a road, and you encounter three forks. One path leads up a mountain. The other leads into a forest. The third path leads to the ocean. Which path do you take? What do you think this means about you? 
  • True or False: “I am more likely to try something if others would be impressed.” 
  • City mouse or country mouse. Which are you? 
  • You’re on a gameshow that benefits the charity/cause of your choosing. What do you support? Why? 
  •  What is the universe trying to tell me? 
  •  How can I express my love more to others? Can I express it in a better way? 
  • Where do I want to travel to? 
  • Where would I want to live if I could live anywhere in the world? 
  • What helps me relax? 
  • What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose? 
  • What am i afraid of? How can I work on these fears? 
  • What is my most favorite thing about life now? 
  •  What does family mean to me? 
  • What am I passionate about? 
  • Is there something that I feel like is missing from my life? 
  •  What is something I believe I need to work on about myself? 
  •  What are my insecurities? How can I work on them? 
  • Is there anything I want to learn more about in life? 
  • What are my secret talents? 
  •  Am I independent or dependent on others? 
  •  Am I patient? How can I be more patient with myself and to others? 
  •  Am I fast-paced or slow-paced? 
  • What do I believe is true about life? 
  • In what ways am I hurting myself? 
  • What am I doing to inspire others? To help others? 
  • When was the last time I made a new friend? Do I have trouble making friends? How can I go about making new friends? 
  • Do I believe this world is beautiful? In what ways? How can I find more beauty in it? 
  • How do I practice spirituality? What can I be doing to practice it more? 
  • Am I taking care of my body’s health enough? How can I practice a healthier lifestyle? 
  • Do I care too much about how I look? Do I judge myself more than how I judge my friends or other people? How can I change this? 
  • What is something I want to change about this world? How can I start creating this change from my own life? 
  • When was the last time I cried? Do I cry too much or too little? 
  • What is success to me? 
  • What defines good and evil?  
  • Nature vs. Nurture….Which shapes our personality more? 
  • Do you believe people have souls? 
  • What do you think happens to us after we die? 
  • Do you believe in aliens? 
  • What makes you feel accomplished? 
  • What is a relationship deal breaker? 
  • How would you describe our best friend? 
  • What are your biggest pet peeves? 
  • What’s closest you’ve ever come to being arrested? 
  • Dogs or cats? 
  • Have you ever questioned your sanity and why? 
  • Would you find more comfort in the theoretical idea that that we were the most advanced species in outer space or would you find more comfort in the idea that we weren’t? 
  • Do you believe in other dimensions and parallel universes? 
  • Presented with the opportunity to be immortal would you take it? 
  • Deja-vu: is there anything to it or merely coincidence? 
  • If you were given a choice to choose your manner of death, how would you die? 
  • Are you good at keeping secrets? 
  • If you are to get a quote tattoo, what quote will you get? 
  • How will you describe yourself to a complete stranger? 
  • Write about your biggest or wildest fantasy. 
  • Name a place you always want to go to. What will you do there given enough time? 
  • What do you think could make the world a better place? 
  • What are some of my life passions? (hobbies/things that set my soul on fire) 
  • What unhealthy habits do I need to cut out? 
  • What do I struggle with the most? 
  • What animal describes me as a person and why? 
  • What negative mindsets do I need to let go of? 
  • Write down the definition of beauty in your own words: What is beautiful about life? Do I find myself beautiful? Why or why not? 
  • Do I apologize enough? 
  • What is something new I want to learn? 
  • Do I care too much about what others think of me? 
  • What am I good at? What am I not good at? How can I get better at these things? 
  • Am I exploring and experimenting enough in my life? How can I be more adventurous and try something new? 
  • How do I feel about silence? 
  • When is my most productive time of day? How can I utilize this time better? 
  • Write a list of things you want to have/buy and why 
  • Do I like change? Do I adapt well to change? 
  • How can I help others? 
  • Do you have leadership qualities or are you strictly a follower? 
  • Do you easily give up on things? Why is this? 
  • Can you admit when you are in the wrong? 
  • Do you display self-destructive behavior? 
  • What makes your life difficult? 
  • If you wrote a book what would it be about? 
  • What t.v. show is most similar to your life? How?
  • Write about a time you had to put someone in their place.
  • Have you ever been in a physical altercation?
  • How can you learn to love yourself more?
  • Plan out your next birthday.
  • Describe a situation in your life when “enough was enough” and you had to put your foot down.