It’s easy to lose yourself in the busyness of everyday life when the kids are little. Then they get older and more independent and they don’t need (or want) Mom’s attention 24-7. That transition from “on-duty all the time mom” to “on-call mom of teenagers” is tough.
It’s also an opportunity. It’s a chance to get a solid understanding of who you are, besides “Mom,” and what you really want so that you can make some decisions about the next phase of your life. You can be intentional about creating the life you want in Phase 2, but first, you have to get reacquainted with the woman in the mirror.
Journaling For Self-Discovery
When I first started this journey, I tried all kinds of self-discovery tools and tactics. While I am a huge fan of seeing a therapist, I’ve found that when it comes to self-reflection, journaling has been more helpful than anything else, hands down.
Self-discovery is our goal, but making journaling a habit can also help reduce stress, increase self-awareness and gain clarity, boost creativity, lift your mood, and improve your physical and emotional well-being. Journaling can also ease anxiety and decrease symptoms of depression
Do I Need Any Special Supplies?
Nope! I’m giving you the prompts so you just a pen and some paper! I used composition books when I first started just because that’s what I had on hand, thanks to the ginormous pack I got at Costco about 10 years ago. Then I moved on to cute notebooks I found in either the Dollar Spot at Target or at HomeGoods but these days I like to use my bullet journal, which is a Leuchturm 1917.
I suggest starting with whatever you already have so you can see how, where, and when you use it. Size may not matter if you don’t intend to take it anywhere or you might not care about combining your journal and planner. Whatever you decide to use just needs to work for your life.
Using Journal Prompts For Self-Discovery
I wasn’t so sure about writing in a journal at first. Every time I thought about it, I pictured a teenage girl lying on her bed writing about boys. “Dear Diary,”
I kept hearing about what great tools journals can be, but when I finally decided to try using one, I found that there were so many thoughts swirling around in my head that I felt paralyzed. Seriously, my first attempt at journaling resulted in an entry that was 2 words long. I sat there for 20 minutes, and all I wrote was, “this sucks.”
It wasn’t exactly the most promising start!
Then I tried journal prompts. Using journal prompts for self-discovery works well because the prompts help you focus your writing on one main idea. It’s almost like interviewing yourself, but instead of answering multiple questions, you take a deep dive into your thoughts and feelings on one topic or question.
Plus, using a prompt takes away the stress that comes with staring at a blank page when you have no idea what to write about!
I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite journal prompts for self-discovery to help you get started. Just pick one and write down whatever comes to mind. Remind yourself that this is for your eyes only, so try not to self-edit. I know it’s easier said than done, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me, but the more you’re able to let the words flow, the more you’ll learn about yourself.
Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery:
1. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for? Why?
2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
3. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? Why?
4. List 5 things that you’re most grateful for right this minute? Why?
5. What activity (or activities) brought you the most joy when you were a kid? What did your parents have to drag you away from?
6. What does your dream life look like? Describe it in detail.
7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
8. How have you changed in the last 5 years? What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned during that time?
9. How do you think a loved one would describe you? Would you agree or disagree?
10. Set a 2-minute timer and write down whatever comes to your mind.
11. List 10 words that describe you.
12. Describe in detail what life looks like 5 years from now. Where do you live? How are you spending your time? Do you have a job?
13. If you knew today was your last day, what would you do?
14. What is your biggest pet peeve?
15. What are you most proud of?
16 Write a letter to your teenage self.
17. I feel most at peace when…
18. What fears are holding you back from living your best life? How can you work through them?
19. Your fairy godmother gifts you with the ability to do anything you want for the next year of your life. How do you spend that year?
20. If you could live in any other time period when and where would you choose? What would you be doing? Why?
21. A relationship in my life I’d like to improve…
22. What is your most treasured possession? Why?
23. List 10 things you love about yourself.
24. Write about something you have been avoiding and why.
25. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Would you go for a visit or live there permanently?
26. Who do you look up to the most? Why?
27. How have your darkest moments helped shape you into who you are today?
28. If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
29. What makes you feel most alive? When was the last time you felt that way?
30. What book, movie, or TV show that has had the most profound impact on you. Describe why and how it affected you so much.
31. What 5 things do you wish other people knew about you?
32. Create a bucket list of things you’d like to experience or accomplish over the next year.
33. Right now, I’m feeling…
34. What do you feel most guilty about? Why haven’t you been able to forgive yourself?
35. Things I love about getting older…
36. What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want your friends and family to remember you?
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