So I thought I'd offer up 13 journal prompts for those of you who keep a journal.
1. Complete the following sentence: If I could be another person, I would be ___________. Then write for at least ten minutes about why you would want to be that person. What would be the benefits? What would be the drawbacks? What characteristics does that person have that you would like to have? How might you cultivate those characteristics in yourself? And why would it matter?
2. What would you say is your greatest passion? What about ten years ago, twenty, or thirty? Write about the changes in your interests and passions and what has influenced you as you have grown and changed.3. What is your favorite . . . book/movie/TV show/song? Why? What is it about this particular piece of work that moves you? Does it offer a lesson that you can incorporate into your life? Does it simply bring you pleasure? Explain why this is your favored piece.
4. Write about something you fear. How do you face it, and then move past it? What is stopping you from taking action?
5. Watch TV or read a magazine, newspaper, or Internet article. Write about a story that: frightens you ... touches you ... angers you ... amazes you. What is it about these stories that make you feel something? How does each story resonate in your own life, if at all? Are your feelings about this story rational? Are there changes in your life you can make to accommodate your feelings?
6. Write about the best day ever in your life. What made it so special? Are there components of that day that you would like to incorporate into your life right now? If so, what is stopping you?
7. How has your day been? Write down the things that bothered you today. Now skip a line and write down the things that were good and positive about the day. Read back over the good and positive things about your day. Now how do you feel about your day?
8. Recall the day you turned 16. Write about that day. What did that 16-year-old want out of life? What were that young person's hopes and dreams? Would you like some of that enthusiasm and youthfulness back into your life? Why or why not? Do you still have the same hopes and dreams? Why or why not? If you still have the same or similar hopes and dreams, what can you do to bring them to fulfillment?
9. When someone asks, "What do you do?" what do you say? Do you begin with, "I am . .." or "I work . . ." or some other verb? In what ways do you identify yourself with the work or the things you do on a daily basis? In what ways do you separate who you are from what you do? Do your answers differ depending on who is asking (for instance, professional versus social setting). Why or why not?
10. What would you prefer that no one know about you, and why? What do you do to keep your secret?
11. If you could be truly vulnerable, let down your guard, and tell your true story to someone you've just met, without fear of judgment, what would you say?
12. How do you define your life? Is your story one of pain, or of happiness? Do you see your life as easy or difficult? What would your life look like if it were viewed from someone else's perspective? For example, if you see your life as difficult, how would your life look to someone who is in a situation you consider worse than your own (extreme poverty, war, etc.). If you think your life is easy, what kind of person might consider your life difficult? Does viewing your life from a different perspective alter the way you see it? Does it change the way you tell your story?
13. If you could learn anything new right now, what would it be? Is there anything holding you back? What is it, and what would you need to do to start learning about this topic or skill?