As we prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas we are surrounded by the actions of thanking, giving, and receiving. All of these actions provide a starting point for journaling. Writing down what you did today is only the beginning. Here are 5 holiday journal prompts for adults that want to dig deeper into their journaling or start journaling today.
I journal because journaling helps me reflect and reflection helps me better know myself. When I am confident in myself I am more able to choose appropriate and relevant goals.
If you need more convincing on the benefits of journaling check out this Psychology Today article, Journaling Clears Out the Bad, Builds Up the Good. Also, read my 3 Tips to Jump Start Your Personal Reflection Habit.
Growing up I was really into free style journaling. There are various ways to journal. Some like to free style it and others like a set template. I’ve journaled both ways. Others may prefer to vary their writing prompts based on the time of year or circumstances.
When I journaled free style, I wrote pages and pages. It helped me process my thoughts and feelings. However, it took a lot of time. Over time my journaling decreased until one day I found that I had stopped it entirely.
It took a while to realize that my not journaling was more than a loss of some memories that I didn’t write down. It was a loss of an opportunity to process, understand, and learn from my life and experiences.
However, I realized that I had some resistance to getting back into journaling. I didn’t want to spend as much unfocused time on my journaling as I did in the past. To overcome this and get back into the journaling habit I started small and used a template. I am back into journaling and try to do it every day.
What I did to reboot my journaling habit
I began using the 5 Minute Journal. It has 3 writing prompts for the morning and 2 for the evening. This got me back into my daily journaling habit. After almost 2 years using the 5 Minute Journal I began to want to expand on my day and to write a bit more. Yet, I still wanted the focus of a template.
As a result, for the last quarter of 2018, I have been using Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Journal. Michael’s journal has 8 questions. The journal asks questions that help to record and process the past, present, and future.
Due to my rebooted journaling habit, I wanted to share some writing prompts I have come up with that are specific to this time of year. I am adding them into my evening journaling template for the holidays and I invite you to consider these or to create your own.
5 Holiday Journal Prompts
Journal prompts for Thanksgiving:
1) What am I thankful for…
in my education or hobbies?
at home or in relationships?
2) What can I do to continue to focus on gratitude and thankfulness after Thanksgiving is over?
3) How will this focus on gratitude impact my spirit of gift giving and receiving, time with my family, or those that I encounter in my day? Is there another area it will impact?
Journal Prompts for the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas:
4) What did I do today that embraced the love, joy, and peace of Christmas?
This could be attending a church service, making a donation to a charity, or giving a gift to a friend or coworker. Maybe it’s decorating, spending time with friends at a holiday party, or baking goodies to share. Knitting a hat for someone or going to a holiday concert or event are also possible ways to embrace the love, joy, and peace of Christmas. Whatever you do, record it along with who else was involved. That will help you stay connected to the memory and to the people you shared it with.
5) How did I help someone in need? How did someone help me?
This can be more than a donation to a charity or a person on the street. It could be looking for ways that you help someone in your work day or at home. Don’t overlook the small ways that you help people throughout the day. Likewise, look for ways that others helped you throughout the day.
Why Holiday Journaling?
Thanksgiving is a time to remember our history and treat others with respect and kindness. It’s also a great time to focus on all that we have and reflect on it in writing.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a time of preparation. We ready the house for visitors. Parties are planned and attended. We buy and wrap presents to give (and hopefully mail them on time). Maybe you are also in a time of spiritual preparation. This is a great time to process and focus our thoughts with journaling.
I’m excited to add these prompts to my journaling from now till Christmas. I hope you will try one or all of the holiday writing prompts with me.
For more on gratitude, read Develop a Grateful Mind.
What holiday journaling prompts to you like to use?
Behavior Challenge: Pick at least 1 of the 5 holiday journal prompts and start writing.