365 Days of Journal Prompts – 2017

January

  1. Don’t think back on your year or look forward to the next. Instead, focus on the now. How do you feel? What are you thinking about? Why?
  2. Start an entry with “hello.” Make it a short story, poem, or letter to a person, the new year, a future person, the tree in your backyard, etc.
  3. I believe….what? Write about things you believe, from profound to mundane.
  4. Create a bucket list of at least ten things for the new year, even if you don’t plan on following through. Why are they there?
  5. Are you going to follow through with your bucket list? Why or why not?
  6. Write about things you do a lot but aren’t sure you should. Why do you do them?
  7. What’s your all-time favourite book and why?
  8. Think about what you would like to ask someone in an interview. It can be any person, real or fictional. Who would you interview? What would you ask? Why do you think those are things you want to know about?
  9. What are some quirky things you do?
  10. What do you think your earliest memory is?
  11. Ever do anything risky? Write about it.
  12. What’s the next risky thing you’re going to do? Write about it.
  13. What’s something risky that you’re afraid to do? Write about it.
  14. Write about taking your favorite (or least-favorite) form of transportation.
  15. Make a promise to yourself that you will keep.
  16. Write about a project you never finished.
  17. What does trust mean to you? Is it easy to trust someone?
  18. What’s the 11th item on your bucket list for the year? Why? Add it to the previous ten.
  19. What’s the first sentence of your favourite novel or the last book you read? What do you like about it?
  20. You hold in your hands a book containing the story of your life. If you read it, you need to read it cover to cover, and will therefore see your future. Do you read it? Why? Why not?
  21. Most children get attached to something, like a toy or a blanket. What were you attached to as a child? What happened to it?
  22. Describe a little aspect of your life that you love but don’t comment on.
  23. How do you define success? Do you consider yourself successful? Explain.
  24. What’s the story behind your name? Do you think it fits? If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
  25. What is the activity you’re most scared of doing/participating in?
  26. What would it take to get you to do that activity, if you had to set a limit?
  27. Write a letter to someone you need to forgive.
  1. Write a fan letter to your favorite actor/actress.
  2. What would you ask for if a genie granted you three wishes?
  1. What is your most “unrealistic” life goal, the “You’re crazy!” goal floating in the back of your mind that most likely won’t happen but would be totally wicked if it did?
  2. What’s something you think you should do more often? Why don’t you?

 

February

  1. Write about being friends with someone.
  2. Everyone’s addicted to something in some shape or form. What are things you can’t go without?
  3. Write about someone you admire.
  4. Write about a teacher that has influenced you.
  5. Write about someone you miss.
  6. Write about your first kiss.
  7. Think of at least one object, animal, etc. that has symbolic meaning to you. Write about it.
  8. Write about the most romantic thing you ever did for someone.
  9. Write about the most romantic thing someone ever did for you.
  10. The words I like to live by are….
  11. Write about the thing you would do if you knew you wouldn’t fail. Why don’t you try?
  12. What’s something you will never write about? Write about the opposite.
  13. Would you live a nomadic life if you could?
  14. L-O-V-E. Write a poem, each line beginning with a letter of the word “love” or the phrase “I love you.”
  15. What is home to you?
  16. What does patriotic mean to you?
  17. Close your eyes and picture your utopia. What’s it like?
  18. What are the top ten qualities of your romantic partner/do you look for in a romantic partner?
  19. List four things important to you that money can’t buy.
  20. Write down ten things you love about yourself.
  21. Write about a song you love. How do the lyrics make you feel?
  22. What’s something you’re grateful for today?
  23. What’s your favourite food? Describe its taste.
  24. Write a letter to someone you love.
  25. What’s your favourite TV show and why?
  26. What advice would you give your five-years-ago self?
  27. What are the five main things you love about your life so far?
  28. What is something about yourself that you want to love, but don’t? Do you think you could ever love it? If not, what could you do to improve it?

 

March: Stream-of-Consciousness Based on the Word Provided

  1. Sky
  2. Plane
  3. Ground
  4. Ceiling
  5. Boat
  6. Clothes
  7. Food
  8. Drink
  9. Party
  10. Bed
  11. Chicken
  12. Trip
  13. Journey
  14. Vacation
  15. Pet
  16. TV
  17. Book
  18. Pen
  19. Bottle
  20. Treadmill
  21. Shoes
  22. Phone
  23. Door
  24. Window
  25. Table
  26. Chair
  27. Basement
  28. Diary
  29. Robot
  30. Paper
  31. Oven

 

April: Write About When You Felt…. Or What You Associate With….

  1. Hope
  2. Panic
  3. Anger
  4. Fear
  5. Sadness
  6. Disgust
  7. Happiness
  8. Joy
  9. Surprise
  10. Shame
  11. Pity
  12. Jealousy
  13. Courage
  14. Confidence
  15. Calmness
  16. Cruelty
  17. Indignation
  18. Hatred
  19. Shyness
  20. Modesty
  21. Pain
  22. Annoyance
  23. Discontent
  24. Infatuation
  25. Kindness
  26. Outrage
  27. Optimism
  28. Pride
  29. Nervous
  30. Peaceful

 

May: All About Nature: Describe and/or Reflect On….

  1. Leaves
  2. Rain
  3. Snow
  4. Mountains
  5. Clouds
  6. Hills
  7. Trees
  8. Flowers
  9. Insects
  10. Spiders
  11. Gardens
  12. Forests
  13. Oceans
  14. Lakes
  15. Rivers
  16. Streams
  17. Fish
  18. Fields
  19. Meadows
  20. Dawn
  21. Dusk
  22. Night
  23. Sun
  24. Moon
  25. Stars
  26. Cliffs
  27. Rocks
  28. Vines
  29. Caves
  30. Farms
  31. Volcanoes

 

June: Habits, Hobbies, and Home

  1. What’s a strange habit you have? (Such as counting stairs or avoiding a certain number).
  2. What do you consider your hobby?
  3. Why do you do your hobby?
  4. Do you think you’re good at your hobby?
  5. If you didn’t have that hobby, what would you replace it with?
  6. What do you love about your home?
  7. What would you change about your home?
  8. What’s your ideal kitchen?
  9. What’s your ideal bedroom?
  10. What’s your ideal secret room or Me-Cave?
  11. Do you decorate for holidays?
  12. If you do, what’s your favorite holiday to decorate for? If not, what holiday do you want to decorate for?
  13. What’s your favourite thing to do around the house?
  14. What do you do immediately upon waking up?
  15. What do you do before you go to sleep?
  16. Do you have any habits about making foods? (such as always making certain food, or listening to music, etc).
  17. What are your driving habits? (music/audiobooks, where your hands go, or risky things like eating, putting on make-up, texting….). If you take public transport, what do you do on the bus/train?
  18. What do you do after dinner?
  19. What’s something you only do in winter?
  20. What’s something you only do in summer?
  21. What do you like doing in the spring?
  22. What do you like doing in the fall?
  23. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  24. Describe your childhood home.
  25. What are some hobbies you stopped doing?
  26. What do you like about the town/city you live in?
  27. What do you dislike about the town/city you live in?
  28. What foods do you consider comfort foods? Why?
  29. Who do you like to have in your home? Who do you like doing your hobby with?
  30. After reflecting on all these things, what do you think ‘home’ is?

 

July: Self-Reflection

  1. Look back at your Bucket List from January. Are those still things you want? Have you worked towards any of them?
  2. Do you know your personality type? If so, what is it? Do you agree? If not, take the quiz if you want to/have time, or decide what personality traits you think you have.
  3. What are some quirks you have, such as things you like to be a particular way?
  4. Open up a dictionary to a random word. Define what that word means to you.
  5. Write about a secret you’ve kept from someone else.
  6. Write how you feel when you know someone is keeping a secret from you.
  7. Write about your 21st birthday.
  8. Have you ever gone to a party you didn’t want to leave? Or do you hate parties? Write about it!
  9. Write about something you very much want to do.
  10. Write about where you like to go to escape from it all.
  11. What are some questions you desperately need answers to? (You don’t need to have answers!)
  12. If you had to move and could only bring five items with you, what would you bring?
  13. Do you wish anything was different about your childhood?
  14. What did you love about your childhood?
  15. Write about the last argument or heated discussion you had with someone close to you…from their point of view.
  16. If you could go back to school right now…would you?
  17. Are you a rock that likes to rely on yourself, or do you find it easy to ask for help? Why?
  18. Do you have a “style”? What is it? How important are clothes to you?
  19. What’s your favourite meal? Does it have any special associations for you?
  20. How do you understand evil? Are people evil, or do they do evil things? Is it inherent or learned? Is it caused by something?
  21. How has evil manifested in your life?
  22. What’s something that drives you crazy?
  23. What’s something that makes you happy?
  24. What makes you feel unsafe? When have you felt unsafe?
  25. How easy is it for you to forgive people?
  26. If you could enact any one national law right now, what would it be?
  27. Do you think World Peace is possible? Why? Why not?
  28. What is a social cause you feel strongly about? Or two, or three….
  29. What traits do you think you share with your parents? Do you like them?
  30. Are there any personality traits with which you struggle (jealousy, temper, etc.)?
  31. Are there any personality traits that you have but would like to cultivate (courage, gratitude, etc.)?

 

August: Creation and Innovation

  1. Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you’ve overheard.
  2. If you could learn any language, what would it be?
  3. What’s a basic problem you have that you could find a solution to?
  4. What food combinations do you like that might be considered ‘weird?’
  5. What’s an idea you’re proud of?
  6. What’s your favorite mode of creation?
  7. What’s your least favorite mode of creation?
  8. Sit silent for 2-5 minutes and then describe the sounds you hear (or don’t hear?).
  9. Describe a family member.
  10. Describe one of your friends.
  11. Describe someone you don’t like.
  12. Describe your favorite animal.
  13. Describe a traffic jam.
  14. Describe writing (journal-ception).
  15. What are three things you enjoyed about today?
  16. What is something you didn’t like about today? What can be learned from it?
  17. What’s your favorite invention of the last twenty years?
  18. Favorite invention of the last ten years?
  19. Favorite invention of the last five years?
  20. What has someone created in the last year that you like?
  21. What’s your favorite work of art? Do you have one? Why or why not?
  22. Create a new animal. What would it be like?
  23. Create a new plant.
  24. Describe what you think aliens look like.
  25. Try to write a short song.
  26. Pretend Google is a real person and you’re trying to search something. Write the conversation.
  27. What would you build if you had your own minions to build it for you?
  28. Make me scared of leprechauns.
  29. Create a report card for yourself for the day. Examples: drinking coffee: A, staying calm in traffic: B, staying off Facebook: F.
  30. What innovation do you wish never happened?
  31. Where do you think creativity comes from?

 

September: Quotable – Reflect on These Quotes. Agree? Disagree? How does it relate to your life?

  1. Pick a popular quote you like. Why does it inspire you?
  2. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – The White Queen, Alice in Wonderland. – Can you think of any impossible things you believe, or do you find this quote ridiculous?
  3. “Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  4. “Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.” – Liz Smith
  5. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
  6. “The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it.” – Oscar Wilde
  7. Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.” — C. Watts
  8. “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane, and the pessimist the parachute.” — Gil Stein
  9. “Well done is better than well said.” — Benjamin Franklin
  10. “What you do speaks so loud, that I cannot hear what you say.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  11. “Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much.” — Oscar Wilde
  12. “There is no beauty without some strangeness.” — Edgar Allen Poe
  13. “Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.” — Mitch Albom
  14. “When you complain, you make yourself the victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.” — Eckhart Tolle
  15. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter F. Drucker
  16. “Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.” – Roger Von Oech
  17. “In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer
  18. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” – Bren Brown
  19. “Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  20. “To do two things at once is to do neither.” – Publilius Syrus
  21. “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  22. “Sometimes you face difficulties not because you’re doing something wrong, but because you’re doing something right.” – Joel Osteen
  23. “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” – Socrates
  24. “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” – Erica Jong
  25. “If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from the inside.” – Jim Kwik
  26. “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William G.T. Shedd
  27. “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
  28. “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll
  29. “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life.’” – Helen Exley
  30. “One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings.” – Diogenes

 

October: Talented (Skilled) and Untalented (Unskilled).

  1. If you could master one skill immediately, what would it be?
  2. What skill are you working on now?
  3. What do you think is the best way to gain a new skill?
  4. Pick a skill to learn (intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical) and write a plan to improve it.
  5. What actors do you think are highly skilled? Why?
  6. What actors do you think aren’t highly skilled? Why?
  7. Do you have a skill you think is useless?
  8. What useless skill do you wish you had?
  9. If you could choose what you were famous for, what would it be?
  10. What techniques have you tried to improve a skill?
  11. Do you think everyone is talented at something?
  12. Who are you jealous of?
  13. What is your cooking talent?
  14. What talent/positive skill do you bring to friendships (with communication, support, etc.)?
  15. What negative skills/talents do you bring to friendships?
  16. Do you enjoy talent competitions/shows?
  17. Do you ever judge people by their talents?
  18. What dance style would you choose to learn? Why?
  19. What genre of song would you choose to learn to sing? Why?
  20. If you had the talent to construct, what would you build?
  21. You have a talent for art. What would you make?
  22. You have a physical/athletic talent. What sport would you play?
  23. What talents do you admire among your family?
  24. What talents do you admire among your friends?
  25. Have you ever seen any talented animals?
  26. What new talent would help you at work?
  27. What talents have you gained through work?
  28. What useful skills/talents have you learned outside of work and school?
  29. How is your time management?
  30. Are you good with children?
  31. Do you think your talent with writing has been improving?

 

November: Grateful – What things in each category are you grateful for? Describe why. Categories are spread over multiple days so multiple things can be written about.

  1. Family.
  2. Family.
  3. Family.
  4. Friends.
  5. Friends.
  6. Friends.
  7. Animals/Pets.
  8. School.
  9. School.
  10. School.
  11. Work.
  12. Work.
  13. Work.
  14. Conflict.
  15. Tradition.
  16. Tradition.
  17. Religion/Spirituality.
  18. Yourself.
  19. Yourself.
  20. Yourself.
  21. Nature.
  22. Nature.
  23. Nature.
  24. Technology.
  25. Technology.
  26. Technology.
  27. Strangers.
  28. Community.
  29. Art.
  30. Weather.

 

December: Prepared

  1. Are you ready for the winter holidays?
  2. What have you learned in the last year?
  3. What’s something you want to keep more organized next year?
  4. Were you able to budget this year? Is there a way you can prepare for next year?
  5. What is something that has changed for the better since last year?
  6. What’s something that has changed for the worse?
  7. Go back to your bucket list from January. Did you do any of it? Did you forget about anything on it?
  8. How do you prepare for the winter holidays?
  9. What are your coping techniques?
  10. What do you do when you’re stressed?
  11. Do family gatherings get tense or is everyone happy to be together?
  12. What do you feel most unprepared for?
  13. What do you feel most prepared for?
  14. Do you like to prepare for things ahead of time or wing it?
  15. Do you prepare a calendar for every year with birthdays and appointments?
  16. Who do you know that always seemed prepared for everything?
  17. How prepared are you for the next stage of life (uni, marriage, kids, empty-nest, grandkids, retirement…or however you split life up)?
  18. Have you considered your goals (formal or informal) for this year and how they turned out?
  19. What are some goals you have for next year?
  20. What do you think is the most important thing to be prepared for?
  21. Would you be prepared to live without technologies like computers and phones?
  22. How prepared are you to live in nature?
  23. Do you consider yourself a person that can prepare for everything?
  24. What’re your thoughts about public speaking?
  25. How are you feeling today?
  26. How do you feel about your life right now?
  27. Is there anything coming up next year you need to prepare for in work, school, hobbies, etc.?
  28. What one thing do you want to focus on next year? Why?
  29. What are some things you hope for?
  30. Will you continue to journal every day? Why or why not?
  31. Write an entry beginning with “goodbye.”

 

Bonnie Challenges: March Journal Prompts and Pescatarianism

Dear Readers,

I’m almost done with a full list of 365 Journal Prompts, but for now (again…) I just have March for your enjoyment. This month is one of stream of consciousness, which simply means writing whatever comes to mind and letting that develop into whatever it wants, from thought to thought, as organically as possible.

Each day is assigned a word, and that should be where you start: a story related to it, feelings about it, a description of it. Then let your mind run as it will.


March: Stream-of-Consciousness Based on the Word Provided

  1. Sky
  2. Plane
  3. Ground
  4. Ceiling
  5. Boat
  6. Clothes
  7. Food
  8. Drink
  9. Party
  10. Bed
  11. Chicken
  12. Trip
  13. Journey
  14. Vacation
  15. Pet
  16. TV
  17. Book
  18. Pen
  19. Bottle
  20. Treadmill
  21. Shoes
  22. Phone
  23. Door
  24. Window
  25. Table
  26. Chair
  27. Basement
  28. Diary
  29. Robot
  30. Paper
  31. Oven

My March challenge, in addition to the journal, is to go Pescatarian, which is like vegetarian but allows fish. I also want to spend less time on Facebook, but that’s not an official monthly challenge…it’s just a general life goal.

Are you doing any monthly challenges? If so, what are they?

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

5 Ways to Stay Motivated During Self-Challenges

Dear Readers,

Doing these Bonnie Challenges is a lot of effort. It wouldn’t be fun if it wasn’t, but that also means it can get really difficult to keep it up if motivation stays down too long. I know I find it hard to look at my challenges every day and actually want to do them.

Some days I’m psyched. I do them right away, pat myself on the back, and start my day confident.

Other days I wake up, ignore them until I want to go to sleep, then groan my way through them before falling into bed.

The tough days were the ones that took a lot of mental reminding, yelling, threatening, and pleading, but as days keep passing, I figure out more and more ways to stay motivated or create motivation when I was uninterested and apathetic about the whole ‘challenge’ thing.

There are a lot of ideas online, but I find learning my own patterns and what works for me goes better than trying to follow someone else’s idea of motivation, mostly because those just seem like another thing to tick off.

So, here are five things that keep me going during my 2017 Bonnie Challenges:

1- Stickers!

Gold star stickers were one of the greatest things I received for completing things as a child. Even in my high school chemistry class, we got star stickers for grades within certain ranges, although those were better because they were different colors (!!!) and we got to use them to ‘buy’ either a handmade hat or a baked good from our teacher.

Yes, people paid more attention to her on average than they did other teachers.

A couple days into the year, I decided to start putting a sticker on my Outlander calendar for every day I completed my challenges…ALL of them. And in the spirit of Scotland, I chose to use unicorns.

At first, there were only a few, and I didn’t mind if I missed one. Other things kept me on task.

After a week, though, I began to feel obligated to keep putting the little unicorns with their friends, and there were some days that I only did my challenges so I could put little Marsali with her pals.

Now I have almost two months of unicorns/horses trotting their way across my calendar, and it’s so satisfying.

2- Make it Easy

For my 365-Day Journal Challenge, I had to start doing something very simple but effective: I now throw my journal onto my pillow at some point during the day. That way, when I want to go to bed, I have to pick it up in order to do so…and at that point I might as well just write in it.

Plus, if I want to go to bed when I’m ready to fall into it, I have to write in my journal earlier to get it off my pillow.

Finding a way to put the challenge right in front of you can simply create automatic responses, and that’s exactly what you want. Then, if you want to keep the challenge going as part of life, you’ve already got the habit.

3- Attach the Challenge to an Existing Habit

Besides putting my journal on my pillow, the way I’ve managed to make writing in it every day a full habit as opposed to having to remind myself is that I made it part of my bedtime routine.

After 4-5 weeks of being consistent, I now feel the urge to write about my day every night before bed. It’s wonderful and a great way to clear my mind so I can actually sleep.

Now I just need to attach my other challenges to existing habits and I’ll be good to go.

4-Put Your Challenge Where You’ll See it Every Day

I kept my January Handstand Challenge on the bulletin board in my room. Besides that, I have the calendar with my stickers on it on my wall, which is easy to see. I now have a journal dedicated to this blog, and I’ll leave that sitting on my desk (sometimes on top of the stacks of other stuff on my desk….).

Seeing it all the time means that if I don’t do it, I’m simply ignoring it, and my own sense of pride won’t let that happen.

5-No Mental Negotiations/Don’t Leave Room for Choice

The willpower to stick to your challenges/goals is really difficult when there’s room for choice. The times I think “Well, it wouldn’t be so bad if I skip it just this once, and do I really need to do this? It’s an arbitrary goal, and I’d feel much better right now if I just didn’t do it” and mentally reply “well, maybe…” are the times I have to fight myself to keep going.

Doing that all the time is exhausting, so it should be an exception, not the rule.

When the question of if you really need to keep going or should keep going or want to keep going comes up, immediately think “YES!” No room for argument. Unless it’s actually life-threatening or will lead to injury, there cannot be a question.

That said, if you’re constantly in a mental argument with yourself (as well as hungry, or tired, or sore, or whatever), you might just need to ease back on your goals and work up from there.

————————————-

Do you have any challenges/goals set for you life? If so, how do you like to stay motivated? Do you think any of the above methods will work for you?

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani