15 big questions to answer in your journal

15 questions to answer in your journal || self development + goal setting || Eat Spin Run Repeat

Hey there!

How are ya today? I hope you’re having a fabulous one. I also hope you’re in the mood for getting a bit soulful and reflective!

As many of you know, I’m a huge advocate for journaling as a means of stress relief and relaxation. Not too long ago, I was having one of those less-than-stellar days. It hadn’t been a very productive day, the weather outside was miserable, I had a lingering headache, and I came home that evening feeling frustrated and irritable. Sounds like fun, right? 😉 Anyways, after dinner I decided that I wasn’t going to spend a minute more in front of my computer. Instead, I threw on my jammies, whipped out my journal, grabbed some nice sparkly gel pens (tell me that you used to collect them as a teenager as well?) and curled up in bed, all ready to write.

15 questions to answer in your journal || self development + goal setting || Eat Spin Run Repeat

About a year ago, the story would have stopped there. Surely there were a squillion other ways that I could be using my time more productively.  I could have been reading blogs, writing posts, mindlessly crawling around Facebook and Pinterest, or (most dangerous of them all) indulging in some retail therapy. But the even bigger question was what the heck was I going to write about?

Does this sound like you? You start off with the best of intentions, but sit down only to find yourself staring off into space or stressing over little bits and pieces of your day and getting yourself more worked up and frustrated than you were feeling in the first place? If so, have no fear. Today I’ve got 15 questions for you to answer in your journals, and there’s no way you can get off with just writing a sentence or two for each.

15 questions to answer in your journal || self development + goal setting || Eat Spin Run Repeat

Here they are:

  1. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  2. What would your life look like if money had no meaning? Would you work? Where would you live? Who would you spend your time with? What would you do more/less of?
  3. What did you want to be as a child, and how does that compare to how you define yourself now?
  4. If you could write a letter to your 15 year old self, what would you say?
  5. What achievements are you most proud of?
  6. What do you want to be remembered for?
  7. Think about the last time you felt totally on top of the world. Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing? What parts of that experience can you recreate today and every day to boost your happiness?
  8. Who is one of your mentors? What do you admire about them? What makes them unique and what have you learned from them?
  9. If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? What would you tell your loved ones?
  10. What is the one single most difficult lesson you’ve ever had to learn?
  11. What is one of your biggest dreams? What’s getting in the way?
  12. What are the most important aspects in your life right now and how much time do you spend on each? Is the time you spend proportionate to the importance of each aspect?
  13. If you could choose one word to represent yourself now, what would that be? Too hard? Pick 3 words.
  14. If you could choose one word to represent your ideal version of  yourself, or the person you strive to become, what would that be?
  15. Throughout the course of this year, what things can you add, what changes can you make, and what destructive or unfulfilling behaviours can you crowd out in order to bring you closer to that one word you want to embody?

[Tweet “15 questions to answer in your journal #selflove #selfcare”]

15 questions to answer in your journal || self development + goal setting || Eat Spin Run Repeat

And there you have it. 15 great big questions that have the potential to elicit some even bigger answers. Never tried journaling? I encourage you to do so!

Ok, enough seriousness. If you’ve had a bad day, I’m almost 100% certain that this will make you laugh. You’re welcome. 😉

So tell me…

  • How do you unwind after a stressful or upsetting day?
  • Are you a fan of journaling? What’s your journaling style like? Do you answer questions like the ones above, recap your day, doodle, or make lists?
  • Do you need a little more convincing? Check out this article, 5 reasons to start journaling, via Mind Body Green, as well as more goal setting posts here on the blog.

44 thoughts on “15 big questions to answer in your journal

  1. great post, angela. and definitely, you need to have a cute/fun journal and coloured pens – makes all the difference!
    i have journalled for years – am currently on journal #36. i write in the early morning, just about the day before, the day ahead, if something is on my mind…i rarely go back and read them so it is the process that is the most important part to me, i guess!
    a bad day? usually i want to be alone! then go to bed and wake up with a fresh day ahead!
    thanks for sharing your thoughts on journalling – hope you have a great monday!

    1. I admire your dedication Cathy!! 36 is a TON of journals! I feel that going back and re-reading what you’ve written isn’t really necessary in order to grow as a person – for me, it just seems to be getting the thoughts down that makes me feel more calm and heard – even though the paper is the only thing ‘hearing’ what I have to say! I’m sure there are some pretty epic runs chronicled in your journals!

  2. I have a jouranl, but I haven’t written in it for years. I don’t doubt I would feel good if I kept up the habit, but since childhood, I’ve found it almost like a burden, like if I don’t write in it everyday, it’s not a proper journal. Now I’ve written that, I see how crackers it is, so maybe I should dig it back out again. If I had some gel pens, that would make it so much more fun!

    1. I used to feel that way too Sarah, so I never wrote in it. Then I’d find the inspiration one day to crack it open and realize it had been about a year since the last time I wrote. I think you should get yourself some funky gel pens and start scribbling this week! 😉

  3. I love journalling. I have a small trunk full of journals that I have filled since I was 13. It is amazing to look back on those days that I feel I haven’t gone far and see how much I have grown as a person.

    I buy beautiful, leather bound journals and keep black ink pens and it makes journalling more appealing and fun!

    1. Isn’t it amazing to look back at the things that we used to worry about as teenagers? They seemed like such a big deal back then but so small now. I wonder if I’ll look back at my current journal 20 years from now and think the same thing! Oh, and your mentions of black ink pens… LOVE!

  4. I love to journal but find at the end of the day my brain is exhausted and I dont seem to have the energy for it. I am obcessed with buying journals/notebooks but dont seem to have the drive to write in them.I love these kinds of posts. You used to do them more often- maybe these can be a regular occurence again? 🙂

    1. Hehe it sounds like you and I have the same passion for stationery! When I was little, I had an enormous collection of notebooks, pens, erasers, markers.. you name it, I had it. Do you go weak at the knees in Staples too? 😉 And thanks so much for the feedback on this post. I’ll definitely keep it in mind going forward!

      1. I love staples!!! anything to do with journals/diaries, and other stationary, is PERFECT.. if a guy took me to buy loads of stuff from there!? I would LOVE HIM! lol. xD

  5. I also use writing in a journal as a means of stress release along with meditation and yoga. I have kept all my journals since I was a kid and its really interesting to see how my writing style has changed over the years. Now I try to write only positive things in my journal or if I am venting I try to give my self things to work on or improve to make the situation better. I do find that as i get older it is hard to find the time in our busy lives to journal but I feel it is such an important part of my growth that i make time for it, usually in the morning is the time i like to write, but that means i get up at 5am! Thanks so much for these 15 questions, I am definitely going to be using them. Have a wonderful day!

    1. That’s great to hear Nicola! I agree with you – it is so difficult to make time for journaling when sometimes sleep just feels like a better option. But just like exercise and eating well, I think it just takes a few months of getting into the habit to realize how wonderful the effects are. I hope you enjoy using these questions in your entries!

  6. I loved this post Ange!! I used to journal religiously, every day from the time I could hold a pencil up until about the first year of university. Then textbooks and laptops took over, and I just haven’t been able to get back into the groove. There is something so much more satisfying about writing with a pen or pencil than typing on a screen as well! I would really like to get back into journalling, but find I’m so exhausted by the time I get home that it rarely happens. Something to make time for for sure.

    Have a great day!! xoxo

    1. Haha I feel like all fun things stopped when university took over! I hear ya – I’m always exhausted when I get home from work too, but I’m making a point of turning journaling into a regular habit this month (and hopefully going forward!) since I’ve realized how calming it is. PS I hope you had an awesome time on the weekend! Can’t wait to hear all about it!!

  7. Yowza! These are DEEP! And so important to think about and truly reflect upon. This one is something I have been really paying attention to lately:

    What are the most important aspects in your life right now and how much time do you spend on each? Is the time you spend proportionate to the importance of each aspect?

    Thanks for another great, great post!

    1. Aw thanks so so much Tina! That was one of the biggest questions for me too. I feel so many of us spend day after day being busy with all that is going on in our lives, but don’t stop to question whether the things we’re doing are the ones that really matter the most.

  8. Great questions! My only writing outlet is my blog, I haven’t kept a journal since I was a lot younger, I’m talking my diary was pink and had a lock on it young… It sounds like a good soul searching activity though. May have to tackle some of these questions.

    1. Sounds like you and I both were into the same diaries when we were younger Megan!! For a while my blog was my main writing outlet but like anyone, there’s still those things that I’d rather just ‘talk to myself’ about in a journal rather than tell the world. As you said, it’s definitely a good soul searching activity!

  9. You know I love this post!! I don’t really keep a journal… I suppose like Megan, my writing outlet is my blog as well. Though lots of times I keep some really personal stuff to myself. I’ve also gotten away from sharing a lot of little details that make me happy in worry that they might be boring to others. I need to get back to the reasons I started the blog… these questions will help with that! Thanks, Angela!

  10. I found this on Pinterest just a few days before my 55th birthday (YEA me!!)
    coming up this weekend.

    I have kept diaries/journals throughout my lifetime, but I haven’t been consistent except to write when I’m frustrated or angry. As I re-read them now, I see patterns of behavior on MY part that suggest I could have made different choices for the life I thought I wanted (then) to end up with the life I have.

    Having said that, I do believe that every day is an opportunity to make decisions that bring about the results we say we want. I will start a new journal using my birthday anniversaries as the benchmark for my progress. The questions in this post are bringing me to serious self-discovery and insight. They will also help me get pack to a JOY-filled, happier place.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Angelia! I agree, it always seems that the desire to journal (at least this has been the case for me in the past) is strongest when things are tough. But I’ve found now that the more I do it, the less I experience those tough situations (or maybe I just handle them better – maybe it’s a combo of the two!) I love what you said about every day being a new opportunity to make decisions. I truly believe that we are in control of our futures and one thing I’ve used a journal for is to re-frame the way I look at situations that I initially perceive as stressful. The practice has helped me become more in-tune with what I really want, and to get creative with how I go about achieving it. It sonds like you’ve got a great new plan for your journaling practice too. As you said, they’re a fabulous tool for monitoring your own progress and I hope you enjoy answering the questions in this post!

  11. I have journaled off and on since I was a kid. I’m 44 now. I kept a journal to my daughter while she was in high school and gave it to her the day I left her at college. She is a freshman this year. I wrote about her experiences from my perspective and tried to give her motherly wisdom she could reflect on when the day comes I am no longer here. I never thought about journaling as a stress reliever!! I am looking for ways to manage normal everyday stress to help cope with my Graves’ disease. Thank you for sharing your insight!

    1. Thank YOU for sharing your experience, Rachel! I love that you’ve passed your journal down to your daughter and I’m sure she’ll love reading all the thoughts you had as you watched her grow up. In fact, I might just have to steal that idea for future use. 😉

  12. You’re welcome Angela. I hope I hope my daughter receives it with the same heart with which it was written…. unconditional love. She is not a sentimental person. But I’m hoping my thoughts and words will serve her well one day, in spite of her non-sentimental ways. 🙂

  13. What a great list, I’m collecting ideas for my new year journal and happened across this via pinterest, some of those are pretty powerful even to think about which is what a journal should be. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  14. I’ve been struggling with either digital journals or paper. But I know I’m a paper person so I started journaling and doodling. It’s my way of relaxing and taping into my creative side. Thanks for the question, great idea!

  15. I’m only 12 but I love my journthemore than anything and I don’t have it at the time bc I left it at my friends and I have really gotten a little depressed and I think it’s cause I have no one to vent too. My journal is my bestest of friends its been through all my hardships . I have put so much in my journal the back is torn off of it . my really good friend Got me another one but its not the same.

  16. Hi! I’ve got an assignment for school – that’s called journaling 😉 – and I really want to thank you for the great ideas you’ve given me! I’ve a all written them down and I am going to make a spectacular art journal out of it!

  17. Thank you for sharing. This was a fantastic post .. I’m so glad I have read it.. I have been thinking of writing in a journal for a while now but just get so stuck it put me off a little.

  18. my friend was looking for AAFP Family Practice Management Superbill Template several days ago and found a website that has an online forms library . If others are requiring AAFP Family Practice Management Superbill Template also , here’s a https://goo.gl/DV4sp1.

  19. Im trying to journal again several years back i had 4 yrs of journals stolen from me and im 99 % i know who it was since then i have tried several times i felt raped because i would put my deepest and truthful feelings thoughts fears and intimate moments

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