30-day journaling challenge: make self-reflection part of your daily routine.
We all know it can be difficult to integrate new routines into your daily life. This is totally normal, as humans are creatures of habit. The solution? Getting started slowly and building that new habit over time.
At Vertellis, we’re big fans of regular journaling and self-reflection. Consistently getting your thoughts, dreams, and fears out on paper helps you gain greater self-awareness, more positivity, and insight into what you actually want out of life.
That’s why we’ve created the Vertellis 30-Day Journaling Challenge: an awesome tool to use If you’re new to self-reflection, have trouble sticking to it, or simply want to solidify this powerful habit.
All you need for the challenge is a notebook or journal. If you’d like more structure and guidance, feel free to use our mindfulness journal Vertellis Chapters. Whichever method you choose, the most important thing is that you remain open and committed to getting the most out of this challenge.
During the challenge, we’ll offer some of our favorite tips for making self-reflection a life-long habit, as well as suggested prompts to get your creative juices flowing. (We personally find it easier to write from a prompt rather than stare at a blank page). Feel free to use the prompts multiple times during the challenge (and beyond!). You’ll find your answers may vary day to day or change completely over time!
Now...it’s time for your Vertellis 30-Day Journaling Challenge. Have fun!
Vertellis 30-Day Journaling Challenge
Day 1: Planning & commitment
To help you stick to your new self-reflection routine, we recommend figuring out what time of day works best for you. Do you prefer journaling in the morning to bring energy to your day or using it in the evening to unwind? How bout on your lunch break? Or while dinner’s cooking? There’s no right or wrong here...the goal is to identify where you can create space in your day and make journaling something you look forward to!
Not sure what time works for you? Experiment with different times over the next 30 days. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have a sense of what you like best.
Day 2: Create a ‘cheat sheet’
Your task today is to create a ‘cheat sheet’ with 5-10 (or more!) journal prompts. Pinterest is a great resource for this! Put this cheat sheet in your journal - that way you’ll always have something to work from when you don’t know what to write about.
Day 3: Gratitude as a game-changer
It’s proven that gratitude boosts happiness and satisfaction with life. Today, write down three things you’re truly grateful for. These can range from simple pleasures, like a hot cup of coffee, to big things like a supportive family or loving partner. Again - no right or wrong here! After writing, take a moment to reflect on your three items and allow your heart to fill with gratitude.
Note: We recommend journaling about what you’re grateful for on a regular basis (or daily!) and challenging yourself to come up with fresh answers each time. Why? You’ll start to realize how much GOOD already exists in your life and really appreciate the little things in life we often take for granted.
Day 4: Reflect on what you’ve learned
Your journal is a wonderful place to record new insights and discoveries. Reflect on questions like: What did you learn today? What did you learn last week? What did you learn in the last year?
Include these questions regularly in your journaling routine (e.g. every Sunday), so that you can keep track of your growth.
Day 5: Your journal as a habit tracker
You can also use your journal to help integrate or solidify other habits in your life. Track how much water you’re drinking, how often you’re working out, or reading a book.
For more tips on how to set up your journal as a habit tracker, check out this post: ‘40 Things to Track in Your Habit Tracker.’
Day 6: Reflect on the people in your life
Did you know that you’re the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time?
In today’s journal session, reflect on:
Who are these people in your life? What do you appreciate about them? What do you feel when you read this statement?
Day 7: You’ve been here for a week!
Congratulations! You’ve been writing regularly in your journal for a week - which is an awesome accomplishment! Give yourself a pat on the back and write about your thoughts today:
What has changed for the better? How do you feel after self-reflecting each day? What do you need to ensure this stays part of your regular routine?
Day 8: What is distracting you?
Today, divide your page into two columns. On the left, write down what distracts you most during the day. On the right, write down possible solutions to reduce or eliminate the distraction so you can be more focused.
Example: My smartphone - turn off/silence notifications while working.
Day 9: What do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning?
This question is very powerful, because you’ll learn what your favorite feeling is. How can you bring more of that feeling into your life?
Day 10: Reframing is the key to happiness!
Reframing means identifying the positive in a “negative” situation. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic and feeling annoyed or angry - what could be good about it? Perhaps you have time to listen to a podcast in peace.
Can you think of a situation where reframing would have been helpful for you? Write about your thoughts on this topic!
Day 11: What are you doing for others? What do others do for you?
In life, everything is a give and take. It's important to remember how much our fellow human beings do for us. How can you give something back? How can you show your gratitude?
Day 12: It doesn’t always have to be a question...
You can also use your journal to write down affirmations. Have you heard of the 5x55 method? This practice involves writing the same sentence 55 times in your journal for five days in a row.
For example: “I am important and worth listening to.” By writing it down repeatedly over multiple days, you internalize this message and your subconscious mind saves it as "true."
Day 13: Mindfulness boost: When are you just you?
Be mindful today and notice:
When do you feel like you can truly be yourself? When do you feel like you need to pretend? What happens when you’re not ‘yourself’? How do you feel?
Write about your thoughts and ask yourself: How can I make sure that I am always myself?
Day 14: What dreams would you like to fulfill in your life?
You deserve to dream big! Take advantage of today's prompt to think about what dreams you still want to fulfill in your life.
First, write down all your dreams on paper - without judgment and without the thought "that’ll never happen!". That's not what this is about! It’s important to allow yourself to dream and see: what do I really want from life?
Day 15: What can you do to fulfill your dreams?
With this exercise, you’ll learn to search for creative solutions while listening to your inner voice. Journaling is a great way to connect with your intuition! You have more answers than you think you do...
Day 16: Why are you doing what you’re doing?
There is a fundamental distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from yourself - pursuing your goals and dreams for personal satisfaction or accomplishment.
Having intrinsic motivation is important for many reasons (for a more in-depth explanation of intrinsic motivation check out ‘The Importance of Intrinsic Motivation’), but to tap into that type of motivation you need to know WHY you do things!
What’s your biggest inner drive? Let go of what you think people want to hear or what society ‘tells you’ you should be driven by. What’s in your heart?
Day 17: Quotes & inspiration
You can also use your journal as a place to gather inspiration!
Which quote currently inspires you the most? Why is that? What meaning does it have for you?
It’s fascinating (and fun!) to re-read these quotes and your interpretation of them again after some time has passed.
Day 18: What are your biggest strengths?
Today, it's all about your strengths. 💪 Write down everything you like about yourself. If that's hard for you, ask your best friends or your partner what they believe your strengths are.
Part of personal development is learning to love and appreciate yourself more. You are a wonderful person and it’s important to keep that in mind!
Day 19: Make a list of 5 things that increase your self-confidence
You can always extend this list, but 5 things is a good place to start! It doesn’t matter if it means putting on your favorite pair of jeans or saying hello to strangers - this is YOUR self-esteem!
By writing these in your journal, you’ll have something to reference when you need a little confidence boost.
Day 20: Congratulations! You’ve been here for 20 days!
It's time to reflect on the last 20 days.
How do you feel about journaling? Has it become routine for you? Anything not working as you thought? What do you need to keep this part of your long-term routine?
Day 21: What would make today a wonderful day?
A question you can ask every day!
What do you want to experience and feel today? Who do you want to see? Even if there’s currently something in your life that feels stressful or is not working: think about what would make this day more worth living!
Day 22: Thanks Mom & Dad!
The relationship with your parents (or whoever raised you) can be very emotional. Today, write about the positive qualities you have inherited from your parents and what values they have given you that you’re grateful for. If you feel called to do so, let your parents know what you appreciate about them!
Day 23: What was the best time of your life?
Why was it so beautiful? How can you integrate some of that feeling into your life today? It's not about living in the past, but integrating something from that time into your life now: a recipe, a song, or meeting up with a person with whom you connect those memories. Be creative!
Day 24: Time for a thank you letter
You’re still writing today - just not in your journal! Hopefully you’re feeling super grateful after the last two prompts. Time to tap into that beautiful feeling and give something back!
Who are you most thankful for and why? What do you appreciate about this person? Write it in a letter and send it to them. Everyone enjoys a few warm words - and it feels good for you, too!
Day 25: Who or what inspires you?
To boost our creativity, we must remain inspired. Right now, who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
Day 26: What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self? How about your 8-year-old self?
The same principle works the other way around, too: ask yourself what advice you would get from your 80-year-old self. This may seem silly, but journaling helps you tap into your inner wisdom and intuition. You’ll be amazed at what comes up!
Day 27: What can you do to love yourself more?
Today, we’re creating a table again - this time with three columns. On the far left, write the heading: "Situation.” In the middle, write: "What I said to myself.” On the far right, write the heading: "What I can say in the future".
This journal exercise allows you to become aware of your self-talk. You’ll notice situations where you’re particularly hard on yourself and think of ways to be kinder to yourself in the future. We’re all growing and learning!
Day 28: I'm proud to be ME because...
Finish this sentence with at least 5 different statements. Remember, there is NO ONE who is like you. It’s important to re-awaken your sense of uniqueness and be PROUD of who you are!
Day 29: What did you do well today?
If you’re journaling in the evening, reflect on today. If you’re writing in the morning, think about what you did yesterday. It’s easy to take ourselves for granted and forget how much we actually do. It's good to pause for a moment and capture that. Give yourself a pat on the back while you’re at it!
Day 30: HOORAY! You’ve been journaling for 30 days!
You should be very proud of yourself! Does it feel like you’ve developed a new habit or routine? What do you need to continue? How can you best integrate journaling into your everyday life? And most importantly, how can you reward yourself for sticking through to the end?
I still have one tip for you!
If you need more inspiration for journaling, sign up for our weekly Friday questions. You’ll get a thought-provoking question delivered directly to your inbox every week!
And if you want daily journal prompts to keep you on track, take a look at Vertellis Chapters.
How did you like the Vertellis 30-Day Journaling Challenge? Share your experience with us by sending us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or tagging us on Facebook or Instagram with #myvertellismoment.
Let us stay in touch!