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Self-discovery journal prompts for soft hearts trying to change the world

A regular journaling practice can be an incredible tool as we work to transform ourselves and transform the world. If you're not sure how to get started, check out this post with three tips on how to cultivate a regular journaling practice.

One of those tips is to use prompts to help you get started, so you don't have to face a blank page with no idea what to write. Here's a list of prompt ideas you can use to further explore who you are and how you want to show up in the world. If you like them, definitely join my email list and follow along for more opportunities for self exploration and translating that into action to serve your community and create the world you want to see.

5 journal prompts to help you live more authentically

  1. What are your personal values? Take five minutes to write down as many words as come to mind that describe things you value in life. (i.e. Excellence, Integrity, Spirituality, Community, Professional Achievement, Comfort, Family, Adventure, etc.) Then look through those values and see if you can pick out 3-5 themes that really stand out. Push yourself to cull the list down to a top 5. What does that look like? What ends up making the cut? What does that process feel like?

  2. How do your values align with the life you're living? This is helpful to do after doing the previous exercise. List out your top 5-10 personal values. Then consider your day-to-day life. How do your values align with the life you are currently living? Consider your professional life, your relationships, your spending and consumption habits, your hobbies -- where does your energy go? See if you can parse out some of the areas that do align and some that don't. It's normal to have some areas out of alignment -- we all have competing draws on our time and resources! Try to do this values alignment check with as little judgement as possible; you're simply exploring what is, so that then you can decide what, if anything, you'd like to do about it. 
  3. What are all the ways you could create change in your life? Take a look at where you landed at the end of the last prompt. What areas of mis-alignment did you identify? Which of your core values are least represented in the ways you currently show up in your life? Explore this today. Create space for yourself to imagine what could be different. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise and let your mind go wild. Of course, not all change would be attainable at the same time, but this is an opportunity for you to just explore what ways you might imagine your life looking different, so that you can then sift through them to make an action plan. It can be very helpful to separate the phase of brainstorming from the phase of prioritizing, so that you don't shut down your own ideas before you get a chance to dream them up. 
  4. What areas of change are you most drawn toward right now? Reflect on the brainstorming from the previous prompt. Do any changes provoke strong feelings for you? (Perhaps you feel a strong YES for something, or something else feels like an impossible dream. Explore these feelings -- why does it feel that way? Keep asking yourself why, answering, then asking why and then answering again. Are any themes jumping out at you? Do any of the changes feel most within your reach, or like something you want more than anything else? Pay attention to the top 1-3 things that are jumping out at you. Consider even writing them down and putting them somewhere you can see. After all, what we pay attention to grows.

  5. What is something you can do today to bring your life more in alignment with your values? This week? This month? Take a look at the top things you pulled from the last prompt. What is one action you could take to get yourself closer to one of those goals? Pick something you can do today, no matter how small it is. Then consider something slightly larger that you can commit to doing this week. Write it down or set a notification about it somewhere you'll see it, so you help yourself stick with you plan for change. If you have time, explore what steps you might take over the next month or so to help draw your reality closer to the life you dreamed. Let yourself dream big, but remember that change takes time, and you are one human. It's best to start with small steps, so we don't overwhelm ourselves with all the work there is still to do.  

 At the end of this exploration, you should have at least one step to take toward the world you want to live in. It may seem small, but lots of small steps are how we get anywhere! The biggest hurdle is just getting started. If you get in the habit of taking small, consistent steps forward, you will look up and realize you've reshaped your life before you know it. 

If you want to share what you plan to do this week as a measure of accountability I'd love to hear about it! Drop a comment below and share with us 💜

Thank you for being a co-creator as we change the world, one step at a time.
Love,
Riles

Journal prompts to help you explore your values and live your best life

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