Journaling is one of those things that people seem to absolutely love or absolutely hate—and I’m obviously someone who loves it! What I find so interesting about journaling is that looking back, you can see where the seeds of larger ideas are planted—like notes from interesting conversations that piqued your interest in an area that becomes really important to you later.

I use my journal as a personal development tool, but also as a sketchbook and a scrapbook. I save movie tickets and dried flowers and photos and anything else that can fit into my little Moleskine notebook. I’ve kept journals with relative consistency since August of 2015, and in recent years I’ve moved away from jotting down what I’m thinking and feeling each day, and I’ve veered towards asking myself questions. I found that in some ways, how I was journaling before was actually kind of detrimental because time spent journaling turned into time spent ruminating (MuchElleB made a great video about this on Youtube recently, which I’ll link here).

By asking yourself questions, and then free-writing based on the question, you’ll be able to narrow your focus, explore your beliefs, and the ideas that mean the most to you, and when you step away from your journal you’ll have new perspectives to bring to your daily life. To really get you started, here are 100 Journaling prompts to help you start journaling too:

  1. What relationships in your life mean the most to you, and why? How did you get so close with these people, what do you admire about them, and how have they changed you?
  2. What do you value most in your friendships?
  3. What music artists have meant the most to you, and why?
  4. Describe the happiest moment of your life so far. Set a scene, describe all the people, the circumstances, what was going on in your life at the time.
  5. Do you feel guilty about anything? Why do you feel that way?
  6. What was the hardest lesson for you to learn in high school? College? In your 20s? 30s? 40s? 50s?
  7. If you had a time machine where would you go? Back into history? Back to an earlier time in your life? Into the future? Why?
  8. List your favorite books, movies and TV shows—what do they have in common? What stories are you most attracted to? Why do you think that is?
  9. List your favorite characters of all time. What do you have in common with them? How are they different from you?
  10. What is the hardest conversation you’ve had?
  11. How connected do you feel to your body?
  12. What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? How did it make you feel to be there?
  13. What were/are your grandparents like? Describe them in detail.
  14. Do you know much about your ancestors? Describe any stories that you know of about them, and think about traits or behaviors that they might have passed down to you?
  15. Where’s your favorite place in nature? Why do you love this place so much?
  16. How do you handle anger? Grief? Fear? What’s the most difficult emotion for you to manage, and why?
  17. When have you felt the most vulnerable? Looking back do you see how strong you really were? Why or why not?
  18. What is your relationship to nature—and what’s your favorite memory you have in nature?
  19. How do you feel about the future of our natural world?
  20. What does “home” mean to you? How has “home” changed and evolved as you’ve gotten older?
  21. How important is loving what you do for work to you?
  22. What were the hardest moments of your childhood? How have you grown since then, or what did you learn?
  23. Who inspires you and why?
  24. What book(s) made you absolutely sob with abandon?
  25. Where do you want to travel? Why? What do you know about each place? What do you want to learn more about?
  26. Make a list of skills you want to learn. How can you learn a few of them this year?
  27. How do you think technology is changing our lives and our world? What are the opportunities here? Are there any dangers?
  28. What is your relationship to food? Do you feel you’re relatively healthy? What are your favorite foods, and do you keep yourself from eating any of them? How do you feel about that?
  29. What were you like as a baby? Are there any traits from such a young age that were really apparent? Have you held onto those?
  30. What did you want to be when you grew up? How close are you to any of those desires now?
  31. Do you think there are any benefits to reconnecting to your childhood self? If so, what are they?
  32. What have you loved since you were a kid?
  33. Do you want kids? Why or why not? How do you feel about raising a kid in today’s world?
  34. How do you view yourself? How do you hope you’re viewed by friends and family? Ask a friend to name a few traits that come to mind when they think of you. Are there any discrepancies between how you view yourself and how they view you? Why do you think that is?
  35. What are your lifetime goals? How about your goals for the next five or ten years? This year? This month?
  36. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  37. What’s something that you’ve always wanted to try that you still haven’t? Why haven’t you? Will you? Make a plan and make it happen!
  38. List ten things you’re grateful for and why.
  39. What are you looking forward to?
  40. What are you dreading?
  41. What small things bring you joy? What big things bring you joy? How often are these things part of your daily life?
  42. How are you with commitment? Think all the way back to when you were a kid—were you able to commit to things then? Compare that to now.
  43. What’s something you want to say but haven’t.
  44. Are you a night owl or a morning person? Have you tried to make yourself one or the other?
  45. How are you hard on yourself, and why?
  46. Who do you want to spend more time with?
  47. What do you think about affirmations?
  48. Do you believe in fate?
  49. Do you believe in soulmates?
  50. What’s your favorite thing to do when you first wake up?
  51. Are you typically an organized or disorganized person?
  52. What’s your favorite characteristic or trait of your own?
  53. What would the soundtrack to your life sound like?
  54. Write about failure.
  55. Describe a time when someone helped you and it really touched you.
  56. What social/political causes do you support and why?
  57. What don’t you know? Get specific—make a list.
  58. What’s your favorite quote and why?
  59. What was your favorite class in college that was unrelated to your major?
  60. What’s your favorite holiday/tradition?
  61. Write down the funniest story you can think of right this moment.
  62. Who makes you laugh?
  63. Who do you love?
  64. Do you like animals? Why or why not? Do you think they can understand us?
  65. What’s your favorite element (air, water, fire, earth).
  66. Do you believe in astrology and horoscopes? Why or why not? Do you think your sun/moon/rising signs fit you?
  67. Have you ever talked with a psychic?
  68. Do you believe in a higher power? Why or why not? If so, how do you think you can connect to that higher power the best?
  69. What do you want your future home to look like?
  70. How are you creative? What are your favorite creative hobbies, and how does it make you feel to work on them?
  71. Do you read any magazines? Why or why not?
  72. What do you think are the greatest problems your country/state/the world is currently facing?
  73. What was your favorite subject in school?
  74. What are you most proud of?
  75. What moments in your life make you feel most alive?
  76. What are some of your favorite words, and what do they mean? Why do they mean so much to you?
  77. Do you read poetry? Why or why not? What are some of your favorite poems/poets?
  78. What’s your favorite way to listen to music?
  79. Write about an object that means a lot to you. What is it? Why does it mean so much?
  80. What’s your aesthetic? What colors, designs and styles are your favorites?
  81. Would you want to be famous? If so, why and for what?
  82. What are you most afraid of?
  83. What drives you the most?
  84. How bold are you?
  85. What’s your favorite story that your parents tell about you as a kid and why?
  86. What concerts have you been to? What was your first concert and what do you remember about it?
  87. Do you have siblings? If so, are you close with them? Why or why not?
  88. What can’t you live without?
  89. Do you still have any movies on DVD? Any records of your favorite albums?
  90. What period in history would you want to travel back to if you had to?
  91. Do you think personal development resources are worth your time? What do you think of self-care becoming a trend?
  92. Write about your femininity/masculinity. In what ways are you masculine and in what ways are you feminine? What do you think about gender?
  93. What are you trying to stop doing?
  94. What can’t you get enough of?
  95. How important is the imagination to you?
  96. Are you multi-passionate, or are you still searching for your passion?
  97. List three of your role models. Who do you want to be a role model for?
  98. What conversations have changed your life?
  99. What makes you most powerful?
  100. What do you think of journaling now?

I hope this list helps to get you started on your own journaling journey! Let me know what your favorite questions are and what they help you discover. 🙂