Throughout the past year, I have turned to journaling as a way of self reflection and to pass time. It has been an awakening experience. For me, life was always so busy. In high school, nearly every day consisted of eight hour school days and extracurricular activities. I realized that I have never taken the time to look at myself from multiple perspectives. Since having this time to be mesmerized in my own thoughts, I have constantly learned new things about myself, and it has been wonderful to have them documented. So, I compiled six journal prompts that I think you should save, answer annually and look back on to see the type of person you were, currently are and will become. No matter what kind of emotions or thoughts these prompts lead you to, it is through a variety of experiences that we grow and understand ourselves better.
1. What is bringing you fulfillment in life?
Since a revolving theme of college is to choose a path that will fulfill you, I have pondered this question many times in the past year. Sometimes, it feels that the things that fulfill me in life won’t last. I have always put so much of my self-worth into my schoolwork and grades, so answering this question made me realize that I should find other sources of joy. I have spoken to friends who have a strong religious faith, and hearing their stories of how much purpose and perspective they view life with has has inspired me. I am now constantly exploring the temporary and permanent things that fulfill me, but I am in no rush to find them. My answer to this question will change, and that is okay.
2. What is draining you in life?
I suppose that this is the opposite of the first question. Another purpose of these prompts is to help you to find the things in life that matter most to you, and to either spend less time with or eliminate the things that are making you unhappy, if you are able to. And if you have no control over the things that are draining you, know that you will have the strength to overcome them. We are all stronger than we think, and once this difficult stage passes, you will realize how much you are capable of.
3. If you could live one moment in your life over and over again, what would it be?
This question may bring smiles and tears to your face. Perhaps it would be a moment spent with a loved one who has passed away, when you achieved something you didn’t think you could, just feeling on top of the world or a really hilarious moment that brought out your genuine laughter. Whatever it is, I hope by answering this question you can look back on positive experiences, and that if you look back on this prompt a year from now, you can be reminded of that wonderful moment.
4. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I was overly critical of myself when answering this question. I disliked so many of my physical features as well as my weaknesses, such as public speaking and chemistry. I think we are always consciously or subconsciously answering this question, so it may help to write down some of those thoughts. Perhaps, it will be a reminder that we should always seek to improve ourselves, but also to embrace what makes us unique.
5. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
This is a positive turn on the previous question. It is a great reminder that you are enough and that you offer something special to this world. I don’t think that there is anyone more powerful in making you feel loved than yourself. So, take this moment and write down anything. If life gets hard or you get frustrated, remember that there is always a reason to be proud of yourself.
6. Where do you feel most at home?
This could be a literal place, but it doesn’t have to be. Is there a family vacation spot that has left you many fond memories? A specific hobby or an activity that gives you peace? Do you feel at home in your current stage of life? Where you currently are? What is it about this environment that allows you to be your most true self? Is it the physical attributes—the shining sun and leaves of red, green and yellow, the people who are there, or maybe the way that you made this place yours when it didn’t originally feel that way? Whatever it is, I hope you can go to that place—literally, or through your imagination—and instantly feel refreshed and replenished.