Try This 65 Self-reflection Prompts To Begin Your Journaling Journey

Try This 65 Self-Reflection Prompts To Begin Your Journaling Journey

5 Seconds Summary:

  • Self-reflection is the habit of deliberately paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, decisions, and behaviors.
  • Self -reflection prompts helps in guiding the journaling process based on your situation and needs

What is self-reflection?

If you google the word self-reflection, you will come across multiple academic websites from various institutions on this topic.

But this is not what I meant by self-reflection. Even though technically the concept it’s generally the same, — your reflection and input on certain matters.

Imagine this, you are stuck in a traffic jam for an hour and once you reach home quite late, you are already tired and grumpy. Once something gets in your way you started getting angry at the people around you.

Later that night you felt guilty and wondered what exactly happen that makes you act that way.

 Sometimes you try to justify the situation and sometimes you just promise yourself, that it’ll get better.

Well, the act of reflecting on what had happened to you is self-reflection.

“Self-reflection is the habit of deliberately paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, decisions, and behaviors.”

Self-reflection is one of the by-products of being mindful. It’s impossible to do reflection with your mind wanders thinking about other things.

You need to be present. Or at least aware of what had happened.

Well, that’s the trick, many of us struggle being present or mindful.

That is why journaling your self-reflection is a great way to do it.

Self-reflection journaling

Self-reflection journaling involves retrospective evaluation of what had happened so that we can improve or make a better decision in the future.

Once you journal, you can think deeply of things that had happened and plan your future activities in case the same thing happens again.

In the earlier scenario, the things that can be done are to get out early to prevent traffic and plan your route.

This simple action can make a great difference and prevent us from being stuck in the victim mentality.

Sometimes, doing reflection involves facing some harsh truth about yourself and that’s okay

It’s okay to be uncomfortable, that’s part of the reflection

It’s like you dissect open the chest and examine in 3rd point of view. And being objective might help the process.

As you do self-reflection journaling, you will notice that you are one step closer to getting to know yourself

And having the right reflection prompts will help the process

How often should I do self-reflection journaling?

Well, there is no limit, but the question is how deep of self-reflection you intended to do.

If it’s the daily reflection, maybe 5 minutes in the morning

If it’s the self-reflection you want to do following a certain event in your life or deeper self reflection, around 20-30 minutes.

The depth, the degree of the self-reflection depends greatly on how much you want to reflect

Why do you need to do self-reflection?

There are a few benefits of self-reflection journaling depending on what you frequently journal on.

If it’s more on your future plan, it’ll help you focus on goals and the direction of life

Self-reflection on events in your life helps you learn from past mistakes and shape how you act in the future.

The next time life throws a lemon at you, you are ready to make the lemonade as you have reflected upon your weakness & strength.

And once you have understood yourself better, you are able to grow and flourish to become a better person

It also helps soothe and calm you in difficult times or situations.

I have a friend who has some mental-related issues. Of course, sometimes, she won’t be able to control how she acts or think.

But, as she constantly self-reflects in her journal, she can identify certain cues or triggers of her condition

She still has the illness, but she can control it better as she understands herself. That’s why self-reflection is important

My experience of doing self-reflection journaling.

Because I journal daily, indirectly I self-reflect every day. I just spend 5-10minutes to journal whatever I feel like.

But for monthly self-reflection, I will dig deep.

I do deep reflection at the end of the month.

My monthly reflection is mainly on goals and productivity

 How much I have achieved

 What my routine looks like

 Is this the routine that will bring me to where I want to be in next year

 You know, stuff like that.

Then I identify the issue. What went wrong

Then comes the emotion/feeling aspect

I don’t have a specific framework or prompts when I do self-reflection

But I will always start with reviewing my goals and start to go from there


65 self-reflection prompts you can try

These self reflection prompts is just some idea for you as you reflects. Of course you can add, improve and elaborates as you like.

Have fun reflecting!

Daily 5 minutes reflection

  1. 3 daily highlights
  2. 3 things I’m looking forward to today
  3. Things I’m grateful of
  4. The things that I can do better
  5. Things I want to remember
  6. The person I want to thank to
  7. The conversation that I want to remember
  8. The advice I receive today
  9. The laughter I want to cherish later
  10. Is whatever I’m doing today brings me to the direction I want
  11. Did I use my full potential today?
  12. If yes, how do I want to do the same thing or improve next time?
  13. If no, what had happened and how I can overcome that
  14. Did I complete all my to-do lists?
  15. What time did I wake up today? Does it affect my day?
  16. Is there anything I said that I might regret later?
  17. If I can avoid doing this thing in the future what I should do?
  18. On a scale of 0-5, how disciplined I am today?
  19. On a scale of 0-5, how happy I am today?
  20. On a scale of 0-5, how grateful I am today?

Monthly reflection

  1. Review goals, is it relevant or need to be more detailed out?
  2. Review the steps or action plans taken to reach the goals
  3. Rate month based on productivity
  4. The positive habits I did this month
  5. How does it improve my productivity?
  6. The negative habits I did
  7. How does it affect me?
  8. How to remove the habits? What is the positive habits replacement I want to use?
  9. How did the month go by concerning my overall feeling or emotion?
  10. If I’m overwhelmed, what is the issue?
  11. If I’m feeling bored and aimless, what is the issue?
  12. Am I living life in autopilot mode? Did I repeat every single day doing the same thing?
  13. Did I enjoy my month?
  14. What is the 1 thing in this month that I’m proud of
  15. What is the thing I did that makes me feel happy?
  16. Who is the person I’m spending time with that makes me feel safe and happy?
  17. Who is the one that pushes me to my potential?
  18. Did I do anything exciting this month?
  19. What hobbies that I try, and I want to do again in the next month
  20. What are the skills I learn?

When facing certain difficulties.

  1. How can you control the situation?
  2. How much does it impact your life?
  3. If you can do 1 thing to help improve the situation, what is it?
  4. Who is someone I should rely on in this situation?
  5. What did I learn from this?
  6. If the same thing is about to happen in the future, what I can do to prevent it
  7. How can you honor a difficult situation before you move on?
  8. What is the biggest lesson you learn from this situation?
  9. What is the thing you need to avoid the same thing happening in the future?
  10. Are these difficulties just a mild resistance or an opportunity for me to learn?
  11. How can these difficulties or conflicts help with my relationship with others?

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Deeper conversation with self

  1. How can you forgive people that treat you wrongly and how to prevent things to be happening again?
  2. Am I okay being alone and how I can overcome the feeling of loneliness?
  3. Do people welcome my presence?
  4. Am I being present and aware of my current being?
  5. How can I be more mindful when handling any situation?
  6. How can I escape from what I am in the past?
  7. What is the best thing I have that gives me peace of mind?
  8. Does what I did now align with who I am?
  9. Am I being kind to myself?
  10. Am I being myself with others, or just masked my personality?
  11. How can I take full ownership of myself?
  12. How can I remain connected with myself and others?
  13. Am I okay to be wrong?
  14. How can I practice letting go of part of me that is not needed?
  15. How can I stop pleasing others just to be liked?


Back to you

I hope this article give some idea on how to start the self-reflection journaling.

Doing self-reflection is an act of self-care.

so take care of yourself and journal away.

p/s: share your favourite prompts with us!

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