25 Self-Reflection Journal Prompts for Adults & Kids

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Self-reflection journals are perfect for keeping tabs on your mental, emotional, and physical health. The questions you ask yourself often require a bit of soul-searching to find the answer, and they’re designed to reveal major imbalances in your life. 

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This style of journaling can be introduced early with simple questions that help kids think. As we get older, the questions can be made to go deeper and grow with us. If you’re ready to get into self-reflection journaling, introduce someone else to it, or guide a child through the exercise, the following prompts will come in handy.

Daily Self-Reflection Journal Prompts for Adults

Journaling daily or even weekly can help you take stock of your life, discover areas that are out of balance, and help you take care of your mental and physical health. Here are several self-reflection questions to help you get started.

1. What makes you feel alive?

Think about what in your life makes you feel truly alive. Is it writing a poem or painting a picture? Maybe you feel alive when you learn something new, sing a song, or teach someone else a skill. Perhaps kayaking or rock climbing is what does it for you.

2. When have you felt in control of your life?

We all know that most circumstances in life are far outside of our control. However, there are decisions we can make that might give us that feeling of control. What does that look like for you? Is it finally taking the leap to start your own business? Maybe it’s choosing to learn a new skill or do something good for yourself.

3. What makes you feel sad inside?

There’s a lot of hurt, pain, and sadness in the world. So much so that if we don’t recognize it, we can become overwhelmed with the pain we feel. Identifying what makes you hurt will help you implement self-care strategies when you need them the most.

4. How do you recharge and refuel after a long week?

Self-care is critical, and understanding what helps you recharge and refuel is a key piece of the puzzle. Do you recharge by having drinks with your friends? Cozying up at home and getting lost in a book? Volunteering in the community? Finding time to work in your garden? Find what it is that puts the bounce in your step.

5. What is one goal you want to accomplish this year/month/week?

Keep yourself challenged and growing by setting goals to accomplish on a yearly, monthly, or weekly basis. Maybe you want to run a marathon by the end of the year. Perhaps you’d like to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month. Maybe you want to journal every day for a week. 

6. Do you practice self-care? How can you make sure you’re getting quality ‘you time’?

We live in a fast-paced world that doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on taking care of ourselves. How are you making sure you get ‘you time’? Prevent burnout, lower your stress levels, and bring more peace into your life by practicing self-care.

7. Do you hold yourself to a strict standard? How do you give yourself the grace to make mistakes?

We are our own worst critics, aren’t we? How high of a standard do you hold yourself to? Do you allow yourself to make mistakes without getting down on yourself?

8. Do you feel like you’re spending enough time with the people you love? If not, what can you change to accomplish that?

Is work taking up so much of your week that you barely see your spouse, significant other, kids, or friends? Are you getting to spend quality time with the people in your life? If you feel like you barely know your spouse or your kids, it might be time to change things.

9. What is one new opportunity you’d like to explore?

It could be anything. Learning the viola, going skydiving, taking a new job, getting a promotion, planting a garden, getting a puppy, starting a side hustle, becoming your own boss, dating your crush, monetizing a skill . . . the list is endless.

10. How can you challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone this week?

What is something you can do at home, work, or in your personal life to step outside of what’s normal and comfortable? Maybe it’s talking to your new neighbor, trying to run a mile, or volunteering. Challenge yourself to do something new.

Self-Reflection Journal Prompts for Students

Being a student is a unique season of exploration, learning, and discovery. This is true no matter what stage of life you’re in, whether you’re living at home while in high school or bunking in the dormitory at college. Here are several prompts to get you thinking about your life.

11. What unique aspect of yourself do you love the most?

What is something you’ve grown to enjoy about yourself? Perhaps it’s your ability to help others and be compassionate. Maybe you’re exceptionally good at sports. Maybe you love your sense of humor or your ability to think outside the box and problem-solve. Whatever it is, celebrate it!

12. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

What accomplishment, big or small, are you the proudest of to date? Don’t think about what other people are most proud of you for. What are you most proud of you for?

Pro tip: This question could be a good one for your gratitude journal, as well. 

13. What do you daydream about?

Our daydreams expose a lot about our wishes, hopes, and dreams. What do your daydreams tell you?

14. If the options were limitless, what would you want to accomplish?

Dream big dreams. Who knows? Maybe one day that dream will come true.

15. If you were financially independent, what would you do with your time?

Whether you’re journaling for self-reflection or looking for future self journaling prompts, this question is a good one to ask yourself. The goal of financial independence is possible, so if that’s something you plan to shoot for, what would you do after you cross the line to independence?

16. What makes you feel acknowledged and appreciated?

When have you felt the most acknowledged and appreciated by friends, teachers, colleagues, and bosses? What did they do/say that made you feel that way?

17. What is your definition of success?

Success doesn’t have to mean a fancy sports car, designer clothing, and an endless supply of cash in the bank. How do you define success, and how will you know when you’ve reached it?

18. How do you learn the best? Reading, watching, hands-on, other?

Understanding how you learn will help when you’re trying to learn a new skill, when you need to supplement the teaching going on in school, and when you want to continue growing once you leave school behind.

19. What is your greatest strength? What area needs improvement?

This is a question you’ll be asked on scholarship applications and during job interviews. It’s a good one that shows you know how to examine your life to determine what you can work on to make yourself better. So, what do you bring to the table and what would you like to improve?

20. What is one thing you can do to challenge yourself this year?

Being in school might feel like enough of a challenge, and that’s totally fair. But if you need something extra to make you feel alive, what’s something you’d like to do? Think of things like learning something new, joining a club, picking an old hobby back up, starting a side hustle, or joining a sport.

Self-Reflection Journal Prompts for Kids

The earlier you can introduce journaling and self-awareness activities, the better prepared kids will be to navigate the world. Here are several prompts kids will relate to.

21. What activities do you enjoy doing the most? 

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It could be math lessons at school, soccer practice on the weekends, playing with friends, spending time with a pet, or attending after-school clubs. Get to know yourself a bit better by answering this question.

22. What can you do today that will put a smile on your face?

Does reading a book quietly for a half-hour after you get home from school make you happy? Maybe it’s listening to music, going for a walk, taking a bike ride, talking with your friends, or learning a skill. Whatever it is, try and fit it into the day.

23. What is something you do that makes you happy on the inside?

What is something that always makes you smile on the inside? This is something you could do even on a bad day that makes you feel better. Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or relaxing with your pet. It could be spending time with your family or helping someone. 

24. How can you be nice to someone this week? 

Is there a new student at school who could use a friend? Can you compliment a friend or a teacher on their outfit? Can you help your parents or a sibling with a household chore that isn’t normally yours to do? Think outside the box with this one and see what you can come up with.

25. You can be anything when you grow up. What do you think you’d like to do?

Don’t worry. The answer to this question doesn’t determine the rest of your life. This is your opportunity to dream big dreams. Choose a career you already know about, something you’ve made up, or something a friend or loved one does. There are no wrong answers.

26. If you could form a new school club, what would it be? 

Does your school need a poetry club? A Pokemon club? A swim club, tennis club, or street hockey club? What about forming a dance club, debate club, fitness club, or volunteering club?

27. Describe a perfect day.

If you could plan your entire day from start to finish, what would you do? Have cheeseburgers for breakfast and breakfast for dinner? Go to a movie, theme park, or zoo? Hang out with your family, friends, or cousins? Go swimming or have a backyard bbq? Would it be sunny and warm or cloudy, cold, and snowy?

28. What situations make you feel scared? 

This could be anything from thunderstorms and earthquakes to talking on stage to taking a math test. Identify the situations where your stomach knots up inside and then ask yourself why this happens. Does public speaking make you scared because you’re afraid of making a mistake? Are math tests fear-inducing because you’re afraid of getting a bad grade?

29. What makes you feel safe and secure?

This world can be pretty scary at times. Do you feel safe when you’re home with your family? Maybe you feel secure when you’re with your friends. Perhaps you feel like everything will be okay when your mom or dad tells you it’s all going to be okay and reassures you that they’re there for you.

30. What are the three things you love most about yourself?

We all have things to be grateful for about ourselves. Think about three things you love the most and list them. Go one step further and answer why you love those things. Perhaps you love being tall because you can reach things up high or you have a better view. Maybe you like your ability to interact with animals because you think being a veterinarian would be a good job one day.

Self-Reflection Reveals What’s Going On Inside

The goal of self-reflection journaling is to help you examine what’s happening on the inside. These questions hit at your hopes, dreams, feelings, and balance or lack thereof in life. Do your best to be honest when answering these questions. If you discover that there are things in need of changing, go the next step and do something good for yourself by making a change.

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