As someone who writes for a living, you’d think I’d be a journaling pro, but until recently, the combination of journal prompts and manifestation never crossed my mind. Sure, I had years where I would take to my diary to express my elation any time Tommy (my crush) paid any attention to me when I was in elementary school, but as an adult, the extent I put pen to paper is my to-do list.
But recently, that’s all changed. As of late, no matter where I’m reading or scrolling, I come across manifestation and journaling and their touted benefits, like improved well-being and mood (just to name a couple). So why not combine the two and get the best of both worlds? Read on for five prompts I’ve been loving lately that got me into journaling and can work as a manifestation practice to achieve your dream life.
1. What is your best life?
Whether or not you realize it, when you fantasize about your dream life, you’re taking the first step in manifestation: identifying what you desire. And when you take note of it on paper, you’re setting your intentions and, in essence, writing your best story: your life. What does a day in your dream life look like? Write in the present tense as if you’re already living it: “I start my morning with…,” “I am an interior designer…,” “I live in X with X.”
How do you spend your waking hours? Who do you interact with? How do you feel throughout the day? Put all your senses to work: what do you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch? Be specific and remove any judgments or doubts from your practice. Writing about your dream life will create a clear picture of it and help invoke the feelings that are connected to it, bringing you one step closer to experiencing it IRL.
2. Who is your highest self?
Let’s be real: You can’t live your best life without being your best self. So when you picture your highest and truest version of yourself, what are they like? How do they feel, speak, and dress? What does their typical day entail? Visualize, feel, and put these thoughts down on a page. Tapping into all the senses as your highest self will help you gain clarity on who you strive to be. The result? Aligning with that person and showing up as them—starting today. Also, when you have to make a tough decision or are faced with an issue with a friend or coworker, you can ask yourself, “How would my highest self handle the situation?” Bottom line: Be clear about who you want to be and live as if you’re already that person, and the rest will follow.
3. What is your purpose?
Each of us has innate gifts and passions that we bring to the table and are uniquely ours. Some of us discover them at a young age while others find their path to self-discovery later in life, and that’s OK. If you’re seeking guidance in realizing your true purpose, journaling can be an effective tool. Consider what piques your interest and lights you up. In other words, what are you passionate about? It can be a belief, activity, cause, or line of work. What are you good at? What would you do if fear and judgment didn’t come into play? Think about a time when you were at your happiest. What were you doing?
By recording your reflections in your journal, you’re uncovering your “why,” or the purpose that gets you excited to get out of bed every morning; think of it as your inner guide to manifesting a fulfilling career and life. The best part? You can return to it any time you need inspiration or feel compelled to go in a new direction. And there are no right or wrong answers—it’s your own personal discovery.
4. What do you appreciate about your body?
We often take for granted what our bodies do for us on a daily basis (like the simple acts of breathing, walking, and enjoying foods). Expressing gratitude for what our bodies are capable of doing instead of focusing on what we’d like to change makes room for manifesting what we want (whether or not it has to do with our bodies). For example, when I look in the mirror, I often think, “I wish my arms were more toned.” Replacing a critical thought with body-positive affirmations, like “I release self-criticism and choose self-love” or “My arms give me the ability to embrace my loved ones and carry my pup,” shifts my perspective from a place of lack to one of appreciation. Some other uplifting statements to consider journaling are: “I am grateful for my body today because…” and “I take care of my body by…”
Jotting down your affirmations will not only foster love for your body but also make your manifestations come to fruition faster (talk about a win-win). Don’t get me wrong: Accepting and loving your body just as it is today is no easy feat. But the more we write out self-talk that lifts us up, the less we pick apart our bodies and the more we celebrate them for what they are and provide.
5. What is no longer serving you?
We all have a past and, inevitably, people or circumstances from it that we have outgrown but still hold onto. The limiting thoughts and feelings associated with them could be holding you back from getting what you desire. To avoid any ghosts from the past, first identify what’s no longer serving you. Write down any individuals, jobs, relationships, beliefs, habits, routines, or other areas of your life that could be blocking what you want to manifest and why. Then, outline three things you can do at this moment to feel better and remove that thing that’s holding you back. My go-to prompt is “I choose to put my energy into what serves me. This includes…” By releasing burdens from your past, you create space for new possibilities, opportunities, experiences, and connections to come into your life.