9 Journal Prompts to Start and End Your Day Mindfully

Have you tried to keep a journal, but some days you feel like you don’t have anything to write about? Journaling can be very helpful for productivity and self care. When we get our thoughts on paper, they take up less room in our brain. It helps us remember events, goals, and accomplishments. Writing down a goal, idea, or task increases our likelihood of completion.

What if I told you there were 9 questions you could ask yourself every day to help you become more focused, productive, and mindful? You’ll also have the bonus of having a record of your life through the answers you write down to these questions.

I’ve always loved writing—mostly just for the sake of writing. I remember writing lists journal props when I was in high school I even started a short story that I never shared with anyone. It was mostly a way to help me process some hard thoughts and “coming of age” situations I was dealing with right then.

I loved when my teachers gave us writing prompts for creative writing, so I would give myself these prompts, either coming up with them myself or doing an internet search to find some.

Years later I discovered a whole community online that was just like me! When someone told me about the bullet journal, I went all in connecting with that community. I discovered BohoBerry on YouTube and joined her BohoBerry Challenge. It’s a year of journaling prompts to get your thoughts onto paper and help you reflect.

Photo credit: Kara Benz of Boho Berry

More recently, I discovered Simple Morning Lists and a daily gratitude journal in my notebook app (Evernote). I’ve combined them to create my list of daily journaling prompts.

Morning questions

1. Five things you’re thankful for

Gratitude should be a part of who we are as Christians, but studies have shown that a grateful attitude is a benefit to our own mind as well as body. Every day, you will start with a list of five things you are especially grateful for today. Sometimes for me that looks like this:

  1. Thank you for a good night of sleep last night.
  2. Thank you for your Word, The Bible.
  3. Thank you for beautiful weather.
  4. Thank you for electricity and running water.
  5. Thank you for our health.

2. Five things you are worrying about (surrender them)

There’s nothing worse for your productivity and mindset than a big load of worries. Get them identified, written down and given to God. Now you don’t have to carry them around through your day and you can work much faster without that distraction. You will feel so much lighter when you give everything to God. Here are some fill-in-the-blank examples.

  • I surrender my desire for _________.
  • I surrender my fear of _________.
  • I surrender my dream to _________.
  • I surrender my desire to appear _________.
  • I surrender my expectation of _________.

3. Five positive affirmations

This list should be about your identity and your value. Telling yourself that you’ll always be overweight is not helping you. Telling yourself that you’re not the kind of person to make your bed every morning might be hindering you from enjoying a clean room. Your words have power with your actions and your actions create habits and your habits determine the direction of your life. Whenever you see a negative thought creep in just turn it around into a positive statement and then write it down.

  • I am learning to eat balanced meals.
  • I am getting healthier.
  • I am taking action today towards my goals.
  • I am valued in the Kingdom of God.
  • I am ready to do God’s will.

4. Your purpose statement.

Go down to the root of who you are and your reason for being here on earth, here in this community, job, family, etc. As Christians or purpose is simple in its fundamental form. We are to love God and love our neighbor. We want to Glorify God and we want to draw others to Him. We want to be a servant. You can also google “personal mission statement examples” if you’re needing inspiration.

5. 1-3 things that will make you feel accomplished

Think of three things you would like to get done today. Imagine them being done by the end of the day. How would that make you feel? Let that feeling be your reward. Tip: don’t list three big projects if you know you can’t get them done. Instead, break down one project into smaller actionable steps and write them down.

Evening reflection

6. Challenges you faced today

What kept you from achieving your goals today? What made completing your to-do list harder? This can be external or internal.

  • My baby being extra fussy
  • Feeling overwhelmed

7. Lessons you learned from those challenges

How did you overcome the challenges you faced today? How can you overcome them in the future?

8. Someone who made your day better

This is a wonderful way to be more grateful for the people in your life. I also use this as inspiration to make someone else’s day better. Pass it on.

9. What you accomplished today

Here’s where you get to celebrate everything you did right today! Did you eat a great breakfast? Did you wake up early and work out? Clean the bathroom or finish a book? When we celebrate our successes we are encouraging

Choose one or more of these questions to answer every day, whether it in the morning or in the evening or both. I would love to hear what question you are going to start with!

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