It happens to almost every long-time journal writer. You start to feel like you’re saying the same things day after day, week after week. You feel like your journaling ritual is now more of a chore that you do just to check it off your daily task list, rather than the tool for personal growth it was meant to be.
So you decide to disrupt your pattern, spice up your journaling, and write about more meaningful or inspiring things from now on. But then . . . nada. You stare at the blank page and can’t think of anything worth writing about.
Well don’t fret. This fun little project will give you ideas for weeks to come!
It’s called a Journal Prompt Jar, or Journal Jar for short (since that sounds better). Here’s what to do . . .
- Find a suitable jar. You can use anything, a mason jar, cookie jar, vase, bowl or small box.
- Write each of the prompts below on a slip of paper and put them in the jar.
- Whenever you’re stuck for journaling ideas, just pull out a prompt.
- Set your kitchen timer for ten, twenty, or thirty minutes (whatever is closest to your normal writing practice length).
- Put your prompt in front of you and simply write down whatever comes into your mind.
Food For Thought
Before we get to the lists, here’s some food for thought to chew on:
- Go with the first prompt you draw from the journal jar, even if it doesn’t feel inspiring or you just want to choose another one. Exercise some self-discipline and work with the prompt fate has dealt you. You may be pleasantly surprised with the result. Speaking of which . . .
- Treat the prompt as message from the universe. Before drawing your prompt, clear your mind, take a few deep breaths, and if you’re spiritually inclined say a little prayer. Imagine that the prompt you are about to get is important for you today; an actual message from the Universe or God in a bottle. Or jar. Or whatever!
- Don’t be afraid to go off script. Sometimes a prompt will begin to lead us in unexpected, and seemingly unrelated, directions. Go with it and see where you end up. That’s half the fun of following prompts.
- Keep adding to the jar. As you write down the prompts below, you’ll be inspired with your own ideas. Write those down too. You may have random ideas for prompts throughout the day. Capture them in your journal, and when you get home, add them to a paper strip and to the Journal Jar. Listen to the Muses when they give you ideas! You can never have too many journal prompts.
Now here’s some prompts to write down. Some are written in first person, others in second person, because each has a different feel. Change them if you like.
‘Make A List’ Prompts
- My dream vacation destinations.
- Best meals I’ve had and where I had them.
- My favorite movies.
- My favorite TV shows.
- My favorite books.
- My favorite poets/poems.
- My favorite songs/musicians/composers.
- My top goals for this year (or five years, or ten years).
- Celebrities I think are hot (ranked in order of hotness!).
- The happiest moments of my life were [fill in the blank].
- Funniest comedians list
- Best and worst jobs I’ve had (and why)
- Five things I’d want on a desert island (and why)
- What people don’t realize about me is [fill in the blank].
- Things I wish I had done.
- My secret desire is [fill in the blank].
- The riskiest thing I ever did was [fill in the blank].
- The most embarrassing moment of my life was when [fill in the blank].
- The hardest lesson I ever learned was [fill in the blank].
- If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?
- If you could meet any fictional character(s), who would they be?
- If you could host a dinner party with anyone from history or fiction, who would you invite?
- If you could go back in time and fix anything, what would you choose?
- If you could change one thing about yourself right now, what would it be?
- If you could choose a superpower (invisibility, flight, etc.) what would it be and why?
- If you could live forever, would you? Why?
- If you won $20million in the lottery, what would you do?
Love & Gratitude
- I love my mom (or dad, or someone else) because [fill in the blank].
- My pet is the very best pet in the world because [fill in the blank].
- I’m so very grateful for [fill in the blank] because [fill in the blank].
- These are the simple joys in life I love [fill in the blank].
- Dear God (or Universe, etc.) I really want to thank you for [fill in the blank].
Poetry And Art
- Write a love poem to yourself.
- Write a haiku about your first cup of coffee in the morning (or tea, etc.).
- Draw a tree and on each leaf write a wish.
- Doodle on the page for 5 minutes without stopping.
Reflecting On Your Week
- What made me feel good this/last week?
- What did I learn this/last week?
- What have I achieved this/last week?
- What promises did I keep this/last week (including with myself)?
- How can I make the rest of this week/next week truly amazing?
There’s plenty of Journal Jar prompts to get you started. For more ideas here’s a couple book recommendations.
The Complete Book Of Questions. This is a FUN book, and besides using it for journaling prompts it makes for some great conversations.
642 Things To Write About. This is a truly fabulous collection of prompts, with space so you can answer them directly in the book, making it a journal, if you want.