Reflective Journaling Ideas— To help you get going, we’ve put together a list of reflective journal prompts that will help you get the ideas flowing.
Reflective Journaling offers a wonderful way to catalog your thoughts and better understand yourself.
Use of Reflective Journals
Processing your experiences, emotions, and thoughts often can help you cleanse your mind and soul, so you’re better able to have a clear view of your circumstances, emotions, and desires.
Even science backs up the advantages of writing and has discovered that writing has the potential to benefit both physical and emotional wellbeing.
Writing in a journal may help improve mood, boost the immune system, and reduce stress.
Of course, it’s not always easy to start putting your heart and soul on paper, particularly if you’re not sure where to begin. The last thing you want to do is waste time staring at a blank page or screen.
That’s where writing prompts come in handy, and we’ve got a nice list of them outlined below just for you.
Enjoy our list of reflective journal ideas. We hope they get your writing off to a thoughtful start.
53 Reflective Journaling Prompts
- What do you want to be doing in your life a year from now? How about in 10 years?
- What things are you look forward to?
- Do you have skills that you feel make you stand out? Do you use these skills enough in your life?
- What is your favorite way to spend a day?
- List some of the things that make you laugh and smile.
- Write about some of the people in your life you feel are the most supportive.
- Describe one moment in your life that you’ll never forget and why it’s unforgettable.
- What is one thing you wish other people knew about you?
- What are some of the things that bring tears to your eyes?
- What things have surprised you about life in general?
- What do you think is your biggest personal success? What about your biggest professional success?
- What things in life scare you?
- If you knew that you wouldn’t fail, what things would you do?
- Write about someone that you admire. What characteristics do you share with that individual?
- What things are you most grateful for in your life?
- In what ways have you changed from the person you were five or ten years ago?
- What things do you have on your bucket list?
- Think about some of the greatest life lessons you’ve encountered. Write about one of the most important ones and what you learned.
- What are some ways that you can give back?
- Are there things in your life you need to let go of? What are they?
- What are five things that you love about yourself?
- What is your favorite quote? Why do you love it? What does it mean to you?
- What are your thoughts on miracles? Have you ever seen a miracle in your life?
- What qualities do you look for when choosing your friends?
- What things make you feel the most energized?
- What things in life do you need to start saying no to?
- Write about a secret that you have never shared with anyone before.
- What things make you feel at peace with your life?
- What is your definition of true love?
- What things are frustrating you in your life right now? Can you do anything about them?
- If you had a million dollars that had to be spent in a year, how would you spend that money?
- Describe the best compliment you’ve ever been given.
- How was your day? How was your attitude about the day?
- What things would you tell your teenage self if you were able to go back in time?
- What do you believe that unconditional love looks like?
- What do you feel is your greatest weakness? How does it hold you back? Can you improve it?
- Discuss a book that has touched you on a very personal level.
- What song or songs do you feel are the themes of your life?
- What things do you fear the most about your future?
- What are your biggest dreams for the future?
- Write about a time that you mistreated another person. What would you change about that event?
- What do you love the most about your favorite hobbies? Are there ways to incorporate that into other areas of your life?
- How do you feel about spending time alone? Do you enjoy it, or does it bother you?
- Do you use actions, words, or other methods to show people that you love them?
- Do you tend to go after challenges, or do you shy away from them?
- Who do you talk to when you are dealing with a problem?
- You have the chance to take a job you love with a small salary, or you can do a job you hate with a big salary. Which option will you choose? Why?
- Do you believe that all is fair in love in war? Why?
- When you have an important task to complete, do you prefer to get it done right away or do you wait until the last minute? Why?
- When you’re feeling down, what things can you do to cheer yourself up?
- Who do you tell first when you get good news? What does who you tell reveal about you?
- When you’re gone, how do you want people to remember you?
- Would you change anything about yourself if you could? Why or why not? If yes, what would you change?
Reflection Journal Keeping Resources
- Journal Printable for Self Care
- Deep Writing Prompts
- Expressive Writing Tips and Prompts
- Reflective journal writing tips for students
- Examples of Reflective Writing
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creator and curator
Teaching Strategy & Journal Assignment
“Journaling is used in academia as a means of aiding reflection, deepening a student’s understanding and stimulating critical thinking.
The value of journaling in improving student learning outcomes cannot be overemphasized… Reflective journal writing is one such technique that has been promoted by educators as a means of encouraging reflective learning.
Journaling as a Learning Tool for Deeper Insights
The strength of reflective journaling is that it highlights students’ thoughts and perceptions about course content. It is a heuristic teaching tool that fosters critical thinking skills and develops reflective practices among students.
This increases student interest and encourages further investigation. Reflective journaling is not simply a recounting of the day’s events but a learning exercise in which students express in writing their understanding of, reflections on, response to or analysis of an event, experience or concept.
This form of writing encompasses all aspects of the students’ thoughts and emotions around specific aspects of their experiences in class and increases attention and concentration levels during class time.
Transformative Learning Process
Furthermore, reflective journaling plays a major role in the transformative learning process.
Transformative learning is thoughtful learning employed deliberately by the student under the guidance of the teacher.
It allows students to change their orientation by critically reflecting on their beliefs and consciously making and implementing plans that bring about improved ways of redefining their beliefs. Reflective journaling is a useful tool in facilitating the critical reflection underpinning transformative learning.
Deeper Understanding of a Reflective Journal
Reflective journaling provides a channel of inner communication that connects beliefs, feelings, and actions which allows students to develop their knowledge and understanding of course content.
This creates effective learning conditions that result in self discovery. A reflective journal – often called a learning journal – is a steadily growing document that the learner writes to record the progress of their learning. Learners keep a learning journal for any course they undertake, or even for daily work.
A reflective journal is not:
- simply a summary of the course material. Focus more on your reactions to what you’ve read, and what you’ve been reading.
- a learning log. On a learning log, you might write down the times and days when you read something. A log is a record of events, but a journal is a record of your reflections and thoughts.
Entries in a reflective journal can include:
- Points that you found especially interesting in your reading, and would like to follow up in more detail.
- Questions that came up in your mind, because of points made in the material you read on this topic.
Possible Types of Reflection Questions for Your Student’s Reflective Journal
- What was the most interesting thing I read for this lesson (mark it above with an asterisk) – why was that?
- What were three main things I learned from this lesson?
- What did I previously think was true, but now know to be wrong?
- What did we not cover that I expected we should?
- What was new or surprising to me?
- What have I changed my mind about, as a result of this lesson?
- One thing I learned in this lesson that I may be able to use in the future is…
- I am still unsure about…
- Issues that interested me a lot, and that I would like to study in more detail
- Ideas for action, based on this lesson…
- What I most liked about this lesson was…
- What I most disliked about this lesson was…
- Miscellaneous interesting facts I learned in this lesson…