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5 Powerful Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection

5 Powerful Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection

Here are 5 powerful journal prompts for self-reflection. Understand your thoughts and feelings, define what’s important and create a meaningful life.


As I write this it’s heading towards Christmas and the New Year. Aside from the festive hustle and bustle, this is also a time where many of us are looking back over the past year and looking forward to the next.

Journaling has always been close to my heart. It’s an inspirational and very intimate way of exploring your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment.

If you’re new to journaling or unsure what it is or how to get started, try these journaling tips for beginners.

Today I’d like to share 5 powerful journal prompts for self-reflection that I use myself at the end of each year. Of course, you can also use these self-reflection prompts throughout the year if you’d like to check-in with yourself, assess how far you’ve come and where you’d like to go.

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences and failing to achieve anything useful.” (Margaret J. Wheatley)


Journaling is a beautiful self-care practice to help calm an anxious mind, clear cluttered thoughts and re-connect with the inner you.

Not only does journaling have mental health benefits, but it can also bring us into the present. When so much of our day is spent chasing, doing and planning, it’s wonderful to slow down and spend a few moments putting pen to paper.

Slowing down gives us time and opportunity to pause and breathe. We have space to tune in to our inner world through self-reflection, instead of the outer world around you.

“Don’t become too preoccupied with what is happening around you. Pay more attention to what is going on within you.” (Mary-Frances Winters)

We can then explore our thoughts and the actions, behaviours, habits and decisions that follow. For myself, a regular journaling habit has been key to simplifying my life, focusing on what matters and living an intentional and meaningful life.

I love to understand more about myself, explore my thoughts and as a means of personal growth and learning, by using some powerful journal prompts for self-reflection like the ones I’ve listed below. I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful.

Journal prompts for self-reflection


Here are 5 of my favourite, powerful journal prompts for self-reflection. Take your time to reflect on the question and write as much as you’re able.

I’ve given you some extra questions to help you delve deeper into your thoughts and encourage a fuller response.

Be honest with yourself. Be kind with yourself.

1. What has been my greatest success?

Think about the things that have gone well for you. This could be recently or something that stands out from a while back. Be specific and write as much detail as possible.

  • Why did you feel it was a success?
  • Was there a defined outcome or target?
  • What contributed to that success? Was it through your own actions or did others play a part?
  • What skills or personal qualities were required?
  • What motivated you to achieve this success?
  • What did the experience teach you about yourself?

2. What has been my greatest challenge?

Can you describe your biggest obstacle or challenge? Again, provide as much detail as possible. It could be something from your external environment or it could be a mindset or something from within you.

  • What made you feel it was a challenge?
  • What was it holding you back from or getting in the way of?
  • What steps did you take to overcome it and did you require help or support from something or someone else?
  • What have been the consequences of this challenge?
  • What did you learn from it about yourself and how you reacted to the challenge?
  • Could this challenge arise again, and if so, would you deal with it any differently?

3. What is my greatest strength?

Be honest and be proud. Sing your praises and come up with your single greatest strength (or several of your strengths if you’d like!).

  • Why do you consider this to be your greatest strength?
  • What has it helped you do or overcome?
  • How do you make use of this strength and how does it impact or enhance your life?
  • Do you make full use of it or do you hide it? If you hide it or don’t realise its full potential, do you know why not?

4. What is my greatest weakness?

Be specific but again, be honest. Can you give a specific example of how your weakness has shown itself?

  • Why is what you’ve written a weakness?
  • Would your loved ones agree with you that it is your greatest weakness or would they say you’re being too hard on yourself?
  • Has it held you back from anything or stopped you doing anything and, if so, why?
  • What might you gain or benefit from if you didn’t let that weakness keep hold over you?
  • What could you do to overcome that weakness – today, tomorrow or next week?

5. What goal or goals would I like to achieve?

Personal growth is important, no matter our age and stage. There are always things that we can learn about ourselves or learn about the world. What targets or goals would you like to discover, explore or attain? Be as specific as you can.

  • What resources do you need to help you?
  • What could get in your way and what problems can you foresee? How will you overcome them?
  • What will this goal or goals help you do? Are they for your career, or for you personally?
  • When will you start working towards them and how will you keep motivated and on track?
  • How will you measure the outcome, or put another way, how will you know when you’ve achieved it?
Journal prompts for self-reflection


Understanding yourself, defining your priorities, articulating what’s important and how you make the most of your every day are all ways in which you can live an intentional, meaningful life.

You know what makes you happy or sad, motivated or distracted, seize opportunities or just want to hide away from life. Self-reflection, and gaining a greater understanding of what you really feel, and why, will help you create a life that’s full of what matters to you.

These are some of the topics we explore in my short course, Simplify Your Life. If you like journaling and self-reflection, this guided workbook might be a helpful introduction to simplified, intentional living and a life of purpose, not on auto-pilot. You can read more about Simplify Your Life here.


Here are some other articles and resources to help you explore your thoughts and feelings: