Category Archives: Journal Prompt

Journal Prompt – What I Learned in Quarantine

As the country asks more and more to utilize “Social Distancing” and “Stay at Home” guidelines, many people find themselves feeling isolated.

Thanks to today’s technology, we don’t have to be isolated.

When I was first married, decades ago, we could not make long-distance calls. There were borders. And it cost to call across the border. One home I lived in was along the border. It was long-distance and cost a lot to call the house across the street.

Today, we can call around the world without additional fees.

Along with phone calls, we can make audio and video calls through Facebook, with programs like Zoom, using Google Hangouts, and so much more.

Text messages, that used to cost are now free.

There are so many ways to stay connected with others during this difficult time. Don’t turn ‘stay at home orders’ into ‘total isolation’. Stay connected with others.

BUT……. what about staying connected with yourself? I know there was once a time in my life where I couldn’t handle being alone. Now I am alone in my space a lot and have learned to enjoy my own company.

How about you? How do you handle being physically alone?

Even though I have been home for some time now, I find that I learn more and more about myself.

  • I am learning I like my own company.
  • I am being creative.
  • I enjoy helping and encouraging others. So I am staying in touch and showing them how to do the same.
  • I am catching up on things I have let slide?
  • I am reading and studying to keep my mind active, even if my body cannot be.
  • I don’t like to ask for help, yet sometimes I need to.
  • If I do not open up to others, they will not open up to me.

What are you learning about yourself during this ‘social distancing’ time?

I encourage you to take a few moments during this week to reflect on what you are learning about yourself right now. What do you like about what you have learned? What do what to change? Will you make an effort to change?

Journal Prompt – Clear Minded Thinking

Our world is in a state of chaos right now with the worldwide quarantine due to COVID-19.

Some are excited, they finally get to spend time alone!. Others are fearful, they are alone!

I want to encourage you not to turn quarantine into total isolation. Reach out to others – call, text, video chat, online gatherings, etc.

Isolation can lead to anxiety and depression. Panic and anxiety will increase.

When in the midst of these, your mind is not clear. This greatly affects your decision making. It’s like after an out-patient procedure, you are told not to make any major decisions for 24 hours. Your mind is unclear. Decisions made will not be rational.

I want to encourage you today to find that place within yourself where you can find peace. Where in your life can you find a place of calmness to release the anxiety and panic?

Your journaling prompt for this week asks how you will remain calm and think clearly during this difficult time. Some things to consider would be

  • who can you share your fears with
  • what are 3 things/actions that help calm you
  • who can you reach out when you feel alone
  • what plans of action can you outline now so that when a situation occurs, you will be able to pull out the plan when you cannot think at that moment
  • how can you encourage others
  • who can you call on to encourage you

What other thoughts go through your mind?

I pray for your health, safety, and peace during this difficult time.

Journal Prompt – Guilt vs Shame

It’s a hard distinction, so many times I feel they overlap. However, the truth is that there is a significant difference between guilt and shame.

Guilt says I did something wrong.

Shame says I am bad because I did something wrong.

Guilt refers to the action, shame to the person. As I stated at the beginning, sometimes I feel they overlap. It is easy to let the volume of negative self-talk rise in the blame game.

I must take a step back and remind myself of the difference.

  • I am not bad; I made a bad choice.
  • I made a mistake; that doesn’t mean I am a mistake.

How do you respond to guilt and shame? How do you separate the two?

If you are comfortable doing so, share your thoughts below.

Journal Prompt – What Do I Value

When working with coaching clients, I often listen for the person’s values. What personal values do they hold dear?

For some, it is family first, for some it is kindness, relationships, trust. The list goes on and on. The list is different for each person.

It is not always easy to say “I value…..this”. We do things holding onto that value without even realizing it.

This week I want to encourage you to take some to look within yourself. What do you value? Why? What does that mean to you?

Share in the comments below if you wish.

Journal Prompt – I will

I have heard the phrase in so many ways.

  • Do or or not, there is no try
  • Action over Intent
  • You are what you do, not what you say you will do
  • A goal without a plan is just a wish

Each time I see or hear one of these phrases I am spurred to move forward. I am reminded that I have to get it out of my head, and into action.

Oh, but sometimes getting started is so hard. Why????

I don’t know about you, but for myself, I feel like I am drowning in F*E*A*R. Fear – False Evidence Appearing Real. While the plan looks good, Fear shows me it will fail. Fear even shows me if I succeed, I will do something to make it fail. And I stay in the ‘I want to’ mode.

Yes, I may fail. Failure is not fatal. It is something that did not work. So I learn what did work, and use it to move forward again.

Walt Disney was fired from Hallmark for not being creative enough, then went bankrupt with his own design company before he became the famous creator we know today.

Oprah Winfrey was released from her first TV job because she was “unfit for television”.

There are so many more similar stories. Financial guru Dave Ramsey tells how he became ‘an overnight success after 20 years of trying’.

The one thing each of these people did that I find myself not doing. Each one learned from their experience, applied their new-found wisdom, and continued to move forward.

What is holding you back? What will it take to move from “I want to” to “I will” and “I did”? Where will you go?

Journal Prompt – I Will Face My Fear

I love the song “Fear is a Liar” by Zack Williams. (Click to see the official youtube video)

I love saying the words “FEAR is a LIAR!!!” Oh, the emotion I put into that phrase.

I started focusing on calling out and facing fears one by one a couple of years ago. As I made a list of lies I was believing I focused on one at a time.

As one would go away and I would step past it I would move to the next one. Slowly they started melting away. Over time it became easier to notice the lies.

I would love to say I am strong and harbor no lies at this time. But I can’t. I don’t know if I ever will.

But I do know this. For every lie I face down, I am strengthened. Slowly, I find myself noticing the lie before it becomes a belief.

How about you?

What fears are holding you back?
What are they preventing you from doing?

Call one out this week. Declare it a LIE. Face it down. How will you move forward?

Journal Prompt – Peace in Stress

Suffering anxiety and stress, I have learned if I have a plan of action, I can sometimes avoid the immediate reaction by having a plan in place.

It’s like planning ahead to get out of the house if there were a fire, making the reaction to seek safety an instinct. If I plan ahead for ‘a way out’ or ‘a response plan’ to a possible stress trigger, I have found I respond instead of react.

Reacting in the moment caused stress and anxiety levels to increase. I cannot think clearly. I often escalate the situation.

If I can remain calm, taking control of the reaction, I can:

  • think clearly
  • see more sides than tunnel vision allows
  • consider the responses and affect on others
  • make better decisions

Realizing the need to plan for stress and anxiety I try looking ahead.

  • STOP! Catch myself.
  • Take a deep breath, don’t say anything.
  • If possible, step away for a few moments.
  • Pray for peace and clarity.

How do you keep ‘peace for the moment’ when stress and anxiety are triggered? What is your plan of action in preparation?

‘One of Those Days’ – a journal prompt

I was recently reminded of the Carpenters song “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down”.

Everyone has them. One of those days that just get you down. Nothing really wrong, just blah.

I started thinking about that. When I have those days, what lifts my spirits? A few thoughts immediately came to mind.

  • Neil Diamond music turned up real loud
  • Talking with a friend
  • Playing a board game

What lifts your spirits on ‘one of those’ days?

Weekly Journal Prompt

I was recently talking with some friends. We were discussing things we are looking forward to over the next few weeks, months, even a few years.

It took me a little bit to think of what I am looking forward to. I often think of the next few months, maybe even within this year. When the friend commented saving and planning for an Alaskan cruise it made me wonder what I am planning past this year.

Thus this week’s prompt.

Tonight I am looking forward to the KC Chiefs winning the Super Bowl tonight (it had to be said, hehe).

This month I am excited my small group weekly meeting begin again.

This year I excited to grow in leadership in speaking skills as I continue to participate in Toastmasters.

Beyond that? I don’t know. I think I will pull out my journal and prayerfully consider this response.

How about you? What is something you are forward to?

Journal Prompt

Today is Monday. As I am planning my week I ask myself one question,

How will what I am doing now, bring me closer to my year-end goal?

I have set the course. There will be checkpoints along the way. I must keep my eye on the prize.

This isn’t always easy.

I am a natural multi-tasker. It is not unusual to have more than a dozen tabs open on my browser, WORD, my checkbook software, and more at the same time. I do a little here, a little there, start something else, make a phone call, and continue at this pace. (This also explains why I have a number of knit and crochet projects in various bags in my closet.)

While I do get a lot done, I accept that I would get more if I worked one project all the way through, then move on. Knowing and doing are two separate issues.

Thus, this week’s journal prompt. I have my word of the year. I have goals for this year. I don’t want to keep starting new things. I want to keep growing and learning with a goal in mind. If a new project takes me away from the goal, then I need to reconsider where it will lead me.

This week means completing and posting this blog post, continuing to prepare for the next Defeating the LIES workshop, preparing speeches for upcoming Toastmasters events, and resting when my mind and body say ‘enough’.

What goals do you have for this week, and where are they leading you?