April 2024

30 Days of Journaling Challenge

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Each day I will send a new journaling prompt based on this month’s theme. It will guide you in your journaling session and help you get words on the page. Registration is free… no strings attached! 

This is all about a community of stationery nerds who love to journal! Let’s create a new daily journaling habit together.

30DoJ

30 Days of Journaling Challenge

Sign up to receive free daily emails for the 30 Days of Journaling challenges. Each day will include a new journaling prompt.


APRIL journaling Theme

Change
& Grow

This month’s theme is about exploring various areas of your life and how small changes can make a big difference.

Together in April, we’ll work through a 30-day exploration of small changes in your personal life can help you grow in big ways. You’ll use your journal to write about habits, passions, and activities and set goals for continued action.

Guided Prompts + journaling

  • The journaling part of this challenge is meant to be done in a journal. That “journal” might be digital or physical, but I recommend setting aside a specific journal for this project so all the pages can be kept together.
  • Many of the guided prompts in this challenge will ask you to take action in some small way. It might be making a phone call or playing with art supplies or digging through an old photo album, so be prepared for an interactive challenge.

What to Expect in your Email Inbox Every Day:

You’ll receive 30 daily prompts in your email inbox. Even though this journaling challenge is called “30 Days of Journaling,” and you’ll get a new prompt each day, don’t feel obligated to keep pace with the prompts. It’s 30 days… but those days don’t need to be all in a row. You’re never behind! Begin where you are each day.

 

Looking for the main 30 Days of Journaling landing page?

APRIL Prompts List

30 Daily Prompts
Did you miss a prompt? Or are you joining the challenge mid-month?

Don’t worry… the full list of prompts will be here on the website for your reference!

Just open each tab below to see the day you missed. 

DAY 1

What do you believe in?

Deep down in the innermost core of your being… what do you believe in? What keeps you going each day and gets you out of bed every morning?

Take time today to journal about those beliefs.

  • List as many as you can think of and write a little bit about each belief.
  • Why do you believe in those things?
  • Why are they important to you?
  • How do those beliefs guide your life?

Do you have others in your life who share the core values you hold dear? List the people you can lean on and what makes them part of your belief system.

From the list you’ve created, put a star next to the one item that is the most important. Why is that one at the top of the list? What would you give up for that belief? How does being so strong in that area of your life make you feel?

DAY 2

What commitment do you want to make to yourself?

Don’t think about the small changes you need to make. Today I want you to think about the commitments (promises, decisions, pledges) do you want to make to yourself?

What goal do you want to achieve related to your personal growth? Think about the end, not all the steps it will take to get there (we’ll tackle those steps another day).

For instance:

  • If your goal is to lose weight, then your commitment might be “I commit to being a healthy person with healthy habits.”
    If your goal is to get out of debt, then your commitment might be “I commit to being responsible and wise with my finances.
    If your goal is to be more patient and kind toward the people in your life, then your commitment might be “I commit to being grateful for the people around me.

These are just a few examples. Choose the ONE commitment you want to focus on this month. Think about your end goal and what your long-term commitment would be to reflect the life you will have once you achieve that goal.

DAY 3

What words do you associate with yourself?

Make a list of all the words you can think of that you associate with yourself. Don’t edit yourself when you’re writing the list… just add whatever comes to mind. Good words. Bad words. Neutral words. Put them all on the list.

Some categories of words you might want to think of include:

  • Your role in your family or friend circle
  • Your role at your job, place of worship, or volunteer organization
  • What you say when you look in the mirror
  • Words you use when you step on the scale, jump on the treadmill or indulge in a decadent dessert
  • Words you use when you’ve done something amazing
  • How your friends might describe your personality
  • Words your children use to describe you
  • The running commentary in your brain – self-talk

Once you make the list, go through and choose 3 or 4 of those words and put a star next to it. Choose a couple of good words and a couple of words that you’re not so proud of.

Then, go to the dictionary website and write down the official definition for those words. How do those definitions compare to the meaning you thought of when you first wrote down that word on your list?

DAY 4

Do you plan for the future or just wing it?

Are you a planner, or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants throughout your day? Does everything need to be laid out in a neat plan so you know exactly which step to take next…. or does this level of rigid planning make you feel boxed in and anxious?

Spontaneity is either something you love or hate (at least, that’s what I’ve discovered in people I’ve met over the years). Which side of the fence are you?

When you go on vacation, do you need to have every detail planned – travel route, planned stops, meals, sightseeing schedule all written down? Or do you hop in the car and head in the general direction of your destination and figure it out as you go? Or some level of planning between the two extremes.

When you set goals, do you think of long-term goals that extend well into the future (1, 5, or 10 years)? Or do you only focus on goals that will get you through the next month or two?

Journal about the type of planner you are and how that affects various areas of your life. Do you like this about yourself? Do you have areas you want to change related to future planning?

DAY 5

What is your biggest fear of the future?

For today’s journaling prompt, you can choose to focus on the immediate future and what you have planned for 2024, including summer vacation, holiday celebrations, or special projects you’re working on.  Or you might look much further into the future and think about your goals for the next 5, 10, or 15 years.

 We’re focusing on fear today, but you might choose to think about worries or anxieties related to the questions below.

  • What scares you?
  • What fears are holding you back?
  • Do you let those fears dictate your daily actions?
  • Do you have a plan to overcome those fears?

Who have you shared these fears with, and were they sympathetic or dismissive when you confided in them? Are your fears holding you back? 

Many times, it’s therapeutic to write down our innermost fears and worries. Your journal is the best therapist you have in the privacy of your own home – use it to pour out your heart and confide in the page. Your journal won’t judge you. It’s a safe place to write whatever you need to get off your chest.

DAY 6

Where do you lack clarity in your life?

Is there something that keeps you up at night because you’re having trouble making a decision? Is there an area of your life where you struggle to make the next move because you’re not sure what to do next? Some examples might be:

  • Schooling or Career
  • Family & Friends
  • Health & Fitness
  • Hobbies or leisure activities

Do you know which way to turn, but you’re still trying to convince your heart that the way is clear?

Clarity is the most important thing. If you are not clear, nothing is going to happen. You have to be clear. Then, you have to be confident about your vision. After that, you just have to put in a lot of work. ~Diane Von Furstenberg

Spend time today journaling about which areas of your life you want clarity on. Be specific. It doesn’t need to be anything huge. Remember, this month’s theme is all about small changes. Once you’re clear on the direction, then it’s all about trusting that clarity and moving in the direction of your goal.

DAY 7

What changes have you made in the last five years?

Where were you, and what were you doing five years ago? (Check your old planners if you need to refresh your memory.) What kind of person were you, and what were your hobbies, beliefs, habits, family life, and workdays like? How have those things changed?

What deliberate changes were you making five years ago? What new habits did you begin that are still with you now?

As the saying goes – the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today. So think about what you were doing five years ago (or go further back in your memory, if you want to) and write about the difference those actions have made in your life over the years.

DAY 8

Is there a character trait in other people that annoys you?

No matter how hard you try to be patient and loving, there’s probably one thing about other people that drives you mad. No judgment here! It is something we all deal with. 

Maybe it’s a pet peeve and just a tiny annoyance, or maybe it’s something that really gets your blood boiling. It could be something as simple as the way someone chews their food or it could be as massive as talking during a movie (gasp!) or always being late to events with family and friends. Some examples are being arrogant, loud, messy, or talking too close.

Spend some time today journaling about that one character “flaw” in other people. I put that term in quotes because it might not be a flaw at all. It might just be a character trait many people have, and most people don’t have a problem with it. But for some reason, it just grates on your nerves, and it’s time to get those feelings down on paper.

Today’s journaling session isn’t just a chance to complain about other people. Once you’ve aired your emotions about that question, I want you to turn it around and take a close look at yourself.

Is there something that you do that might annoy other people? Has anyone ever pointed it out to you before? Have you had arguments with loved ones or acquaintances about it? Have you ever taken the time to really examine that issue to determine if you need to make changes and grow through the experience of having others get annoyed with something that is part of your character?

DAY 9

How do you deal with anger?

Do you have a temper? Or a short fuse? When you get to the end of your patience, do the people around you know to stay away because your anger is explosive and there is nothing to trifle with?

How often do you lose your temper? How long do you hold on to that anger? Are you one who gets angry, blows off steam, and the issue is over? Or do you hold a grudge and let the anger simmer for days?

Describe the person you are when you’re angry. How do you feel about those emotions? Are there better ways to handle these heated moments? We all get angry, and there’s no getting around to the fact that sometimes we just reach this point. But how we handle those moments speaks volumes about our type of person.

How could you handle your anger emotions better? If you’re struggling to come up with tactics for managing your anger and strong emotions, do a Google search for “managing my own anger” and read through some of the medical advice from Mayo Clinic or Health Line. Both have great suggestions.

DAY 10

Are you having a conflict between your head and heart?

Is there a decision you need to make or an activity in your life you’re struggling with? Something your head knows is “right,” but your heart tells you otherwise. Something your head says you should be doing, but your heart just isn’t in it.

Maybe it’s a secure job that provides for your family, but you dread going to work every day. Or maybe it’s a person you spend time with that you feel obligated to be nice to, but you know in your heart that you need to distance yourself from the relationship.

Spend time today journaling about that conflict and how you found yourself in this situation. How often do you listen to your head? How often does your heart win when making decisions?

Do you want to change how you make decisions, live your life, set goals, or interact with others? What small changes can you make that will help you move in the right direction and follow your heart?

DAY 11

What sources of stress can you cut from your life?

Stress is more than just an emotional response to situations in your life. Chronic Stress comes with a whole set of physical reactions that can become serious medical problems if left unchecked.

Chronic Stress puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment

Source: Mayo Clinic

What sources of stress can you begin eliminating today? How can you implement one small change you repeat daily to help you lower your stress levels?

Maybe it’s as simple as going to bed 30 minutes earlier to get more quality sleep. Maybe it’s eliminating a certain type of food (excess caffeine or sugar, for instance). Maybe it’s distancing yourself from a toxic relationship or leaning into a person who brings positivity to your life. Maybe it’s letting go of worries that you truly don’t have control over, such as stressors at your job or in your friend circle.

Write about the sources in your life that are causing stress. Make a list of everything you can think of. Then, choose one thing from that list and start to make a plan for how you can minimize that stress today. Create an action plan.

DAY 12

List 3 small changes you want to make in your life.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve spent some time exploring things in our lives that we want to change. Areas we feel held back or unclear about. Things that aren’t connecting between our heads and hearts.

Today, I want you to list three small changes you can make starting today that will impact your life in some way. Think small—really small. Don’t go overboard on this prompt—think of tiny things you can do.

Some examples:

  • Do 1 pushup per day
  • Floss your teeth before you brush
  • Put $1 per week in a savings account
  • Spend 1 minute per day focused on your breathing
  • Smile at one stranger each day
  • Say “I love you” to someone you love
  • Send 1 thank you note
  • Schedule 1 unplugged day per month

Whatever your list of three things looks like… it’s exactly right. There are no wrong answers to this prompt. Figure out what your three tiny changes are, write them down, and then add them to your schedule and task list.

DAY 13

Make a plan for one small change this month

Yesterday, we identified three small changes you want to make this month. Today, I want you to choose one of the items from that list and make an action plan.

Your action plan will include:

  • What is the change?
  • Why you want to make this change
  • How often will you take action (daily is best)?
  • What time will you take that action?
  • Where will you be when the action happens?
  • How will you hold yourself accountable each day?

Once you’ve written your plan, it’s time to create systems around it to help you succeed. For instance, you could set an alert on your phone to remind you to perform the task at a specific time during the day. You can also use your Google Home or Echo device to automatically remind you to do the task at a certain time each day.

How will you know if you’ve succeeded with your plan? Set a reminder on your calendar for 30 days from now to check in on your goal and be ready to give an honest accounting of how you’ve done.

DAY 14

What do you need to make more time for?

Where do you spend the most time? Each week, we all have the same 168 hours. When was the last time you did a time audit? Or maybe you’ve never done one. To do a time audit, you simply write down everything you spend time on during the day—sleeping, eating, working, family time, hobbies, surfing the internet, etc.

Once you see your week down on paper, you will have a better idea of how you spend your time and what you’re not spending time on.

Are there areas of your life that are being neglected? Or maybe there’s something you want to eliminate so that you can devote more time to something that’s not getting enough time.

Spend some time journaling today about what areas of your life you want to give more time to.