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December 30, 2020

5 Simple Steps: Create a Journal Jar + Bonus Journaling Prompts

You’ve heard about the many benefits of journaling. You may have even bought yourself a beautiful journal, all ready to get going. But it’s proving to be a little harder to start than you thought it would be.

It can be hard to think of what to write. You don’t want to “spoil” that beautiful new notebook, and second-guessing that first entry can be a part of your analysis paralysis…

5 Simple Steps to Easier Journaling

You can give yourself a boost to get into the habit of journaling by creating your own journal jar, using these five simple steps:

  1. Find a suitable jar. You can use anything, a mason jar, cookie jar, or a vase.
  2. Then write down the prompts suggested below onto slips of paper and put them in the jar.
  3. Whenever you’re feeling stuck for journaling ideas, just pull out a prompt.
  4. Set the timer on your smartphone (or one from your kitchen) for thirty minutes.
  5. Put your prompt in front of you and simply write down whatever comes into your mind.

Bonus journaling prompts to help get you started:

Making Lists

person holding black pen writing on white notebook

Start easy by making lists. You can write as little or as much as you want under each listing.

  1. Dream vacation destinations
  2. Best meals you’ve had, where you ate them, and who you were with
  3. Favorite movies
  4. Favorite books
  5. Favorite songs
  6. Top goals to achieve this year, in five years, in ten years

grayscale photo of woman doing silent hand sign


Something private and sensitive about yourself that you don’t have to share with anyone else – get it out of your head and down on paper.

  1. Something people don’t know about you
  2. Things you wish you had done
  3. Your secret desires
  4. The most outrageous thing you’ve ever done – or want to do
  5. Biggest gamble you’ve ever made (this could be a career, relationship, travel – anything that felt risky)
  6. Letter to someone you’ve wronged

red letters neon light

“If” Questions

Let your imagination run a bit wild and have fun with these questions – and the potential answers!

  • 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?

Little Things You Love

pink heart shaped paper on white and pink floral textile

It’s easy to think of the important things you love in your life, but what about the little things? Like the way your dog greets you when you come home, or the narcissi flowers that bloom without fail every spring? Think across every part of your life, and take note of the little things that can mean a whole lot.

Family membersPets

Look Back Over Your Week

white and black yearly planner notebook

Try to think about diverse events and occasions in your life, from managing to get the early bus to trying a new recipe or meeting your exercise and nutrition goals, or starting a new book you’ve been wanting to read.

  1. Write down all the things that made you feel good.
  2. What did you learn this week?
  3. What did you achieve?
  4. What promises did you keep?

Related Posts

How Journaling Can Benefit Your Self-Development

How Journaling Can Benefit Your Self-Development

Reasons to Start a Dream Journal

Reasons to Start a Dream Journal

Journals are Made for Doodling

Journals are Made for Doodling

More Surprising Benefits of Journaling

More Surprising Benefits of Journaling

About the Author

Dianne M. Daniels is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-great-aunt, Unitarian-Universalist Minister, Spiritual Director & Companion that empowers intelligent, passionate women to discover and manifest the best of who they are and who they want to be. Dianne's focus is on providing immediately applicable tools, tips, and information that can help you get results. Setting a foundation for lasting change - one day at a time, can happy by using the written word and multi-media input to you absorb wisdom, implement positive change, and develop routines that build your self-esteem, self-confidence, and capacity. Her signature program, The Spiritually Authentic Woman, empowers you to create a new, more joyful life as you let go of living the way OTHERS think you should while discovering your unique, authentic self.

Dianne Daniels

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