Written by Megan Pettingill

17 journal prompts to help get you started

I own about 17 blank notebooks. I see them at stores and feel the urge to buy them, acting like I’ll fill them up with a bunch of wisdom, but I never have.

When I was younger, I had a diary, like many adolescent girls. It was a purple composition book and I wrote in it with a green gel pen for years (even after I lost the gel pen). Not every day, but maybe for a few days every month. It took me from sixth grade through my first year of college, so you can imagine the content really ran the gamut. But eventually, I stopped writing in it. And I haven’t had a journal or diary since.

Why journal?

Journaling, according to a lot of psychological studies, provides immense benefits. You write down your feelings and thoughts, and as a result, you can: better prioritize issues, track moods and emotions, create a space for positivity, and a way to identify negative thoughts and behaviors. And with the right prompts to guide your journaling efforts, you might find yourself exploring paths you never thought you would.

So, before the summer ends, I’m making a promise to myself to start journaling at least once a week. And since I have 17 blank notebooks, I put together 17 prompts that might help me put pen to paper.

17 journal prompts

  1. If I could do one thing over in my life, what would it be?
  2. What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me?
  3. If I could have a perfect day, what would it look like?
  4. What is my goal for today?
  5. Which person (real or fictional) do I most respect?
  6. What is my favorite vacation memory?
  7. If I could do anything in the world, what would I do? How would I make it happen?
  8. What are five great things that happened yesterday?
  9. Who is someone I admire on Instagram? What traits do they have that I want to have?
  10. When I think about myself in five years, where do I want to be? What do I want my life to look like?
  11. I’m having a dinner party, and I can invite three people (living or dead). Who do I bring and what would I ask them?
  12. What’s something I believe in that I don’t want to share with anyone else?
  13. What am I afraid of, and what can I do to lessen those fears?
  14. What am I looking forward to?
  15. As I child, I wanted to be a ___________. How/why did that change (if it did)?
  16. If I could have any skill/talent in the world, what would I pick?
  17. What is a successful habit I have? If I don’t have one, how can I create one?

From here, the blank page is yours for the taking! Doodle, write in cursive, use crayons and stickers, just make the most of it!

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