change Feb 11, 2021

Having a regular journaling habit is one of the practices I credit with keeping me feeling grounded, stable, and ready for whatever life throws at me. In times of transformation and change, it can be an easy habit to let slip, but it can also be an incredibly powerful habit if we continue to make time for it. Today, I'll share a few tips for journaling through a time of transformation, as well as a few prompts to get you started.

It doesn't need to be pretty

My first piece of advice about journaling is that it doesn't need to be pretty -- in fact, I'd even say it mustn't be pretty. Write as if no one will ever see what you're writing. And if you're concerned that someone actually will, then make it impossible for that to happen. Shred it, burn it, do what you have to do to ensure that you will be able to experience the freedom of writing without worrying about appearance.

When I say "appearance," that's all-inclusive. Your handwriting doesn't need to be pretty, and neither do the words that you write. You don't need to construct grammatically perfect sentences, and you certainly don't need to express your ideas in an eloquent way. If you are writing with the hope that someday your great-grandchildren will discover this journal and realize you were a poetic genius, you are going to be too self-conscious to follow the next important suggestion...

It does need to be honest

Yes, while your journal entries don't have to be pretty, they do have to be honest. If you can't spill your real feelings about this transformation in your journal, then where can you? Perhaps there is no one else in your life that you can talk to about this thing that you're going through -- let your journal be that confidant! If you're having doubts about a career or relationship, rethinking something that might affect other people, keeping that inside might feel like it is eating you alive. Let it out in your journal, especially if there is no one else that you would talk to about it. By getting honest with your journal and with yourself, you will gain the courage and clarity you need to take the next step, whatever that may be.

Journal prompts

If you don't know where to start journaling, it can help to start with a question or a prompt. I'll include a few here, though any question that is on your mind is a great starting point. Here are a few that I came up with for you:

What do you need to forgive yourself for?

If there are complicated feelings around this transformation that you're going through, you may be withholding forgiveness from yourself (or from someone else) about those feelings or the implications of the transformation. Let it all out.

Is it possible that this journey has been for your highest good? How so, or why not?

Reflect back on the path that has brought you here. What have you learned from it?

Where do you see yourself in a year? Is it different from where you want to see yourself?

I love this one. Write in detail about where your life will be in a year if nothing changes, then honestly reflect on whether or not that is what you want it to look like. Are there changes you can make? Are there parts of it that you really like and don't want to change?

What's stopping you from going for it?

Are there practical logistics stopping you from going ahead with your transformation? Or is it more about fears and beliefs? Let it all out here.

What would happen if you did go for it?

Let yourself imagine. What would happen if you did go ahead with this change? What would happen if you didn't? Write about all the different possible outcomes and see what resonates with you.

If you could have, do, or be anything you asked for...what would you ask for?

And finally, this one. Another favorite prompt of mine. Don't hold yourself back with what is realistic, but rather let yourself dream. This prompt can help you realize what it is that you truly desire to change in your life, and it can be quite illuminating.