Reflective Journal Writing Prompts

Use these 170 reflective journal writing prompts to learn more about yourself, your values and the world around you. Increasing your self knowledge raises your self esteem. Get started now with these powerful writing prompts.

"One of the marks of an intelligent person is to be able to distinguish what is worth doing and what isn't and to be able to set priorities." Anne Wilson Schaef         

These reflective journal writing prompts will give your life clarity and focus. With them, setting priorities will be easier. With more effective decision making skills, your life will be more balanced and stress free.

Most of these reflective journal writing prompts begin with, "What?" "How?" “Why?” and “If?” Other prompts ask about your wishes and dreams. Finally you'll find general reflective journal writing prompts.

The prompts will stimulate your imagination, increase awareness of your beliefs and boost your critical thinking skills. Answer these reflective journal writing prompts with as much thought as you can. The richer your answer, the richer the rewards!

For more journal writing prompts ideas have a look at

Journal Writing Prompts
Prompts About Childhood
Prompts About Ideas
Prompts About Friendship

For help with your journal writing, have a look at

Benefits of Journal Writing
Creative Journal Writing
Journal Writing Ideas
Journal Writing Topics

Reflective Journal Writing Prompts Beginning With “What?


1. What does "holds water” mean to you?
2. What does "copy cat,” mean to you?
3. Would be your ideal birthday present, and why?
4. What would it be like to be in a tornado?
5. What do you think the world will be like in 10 years? Twenty? Fifty?
6. What do you think people say to each other when you're not around?
7. What is your opinion about ghosts?
8. What is your opinion of someone who has bad manners?
9. What do you think about when you can't fall asleep?
10. What do you think courage means?
11. What things do you think are beautiful?
12. What is your opinion of 3D movies?
13. What is the best way to treat busybodies?
14. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
15. Which living person do you most despise?
16. What is the quality you like most in a woman? What is the quality you like most in a man?
17. What things are better than going to school? Why? 18. What makes a good neighbor?
19. What rituals do you have or hold?
20. What do you think is the greatest invention? Why? 

Use these reflective journal writing prompts for setting goals .      

1. What is your idea of a boring evening?
2. What is something you are optimistic about?
3. What is something you are pessimistic about?
4. What is your favorite song and why?
5. What would happen if there were no television? Why would this be good? bad?
6. What would you do if you saw a friend cheating—report it, confront the friend, nothing—and why?
7. What is your interpretation of one of your recent dreams?
8. What seemed unusual on your morning commute today?
9. What's your favorite charitable cause and why?
10. What if trash became more valuable than money?
11. What do you think should be done to keep people who are under the influence of alcohol off the road?
12. What do you like most about yourself?
13. What do you like to do in your free time?
14. What kind of animal would you like to be and why?
15. What kind of trophy would you like to win?
16. What TV or movie star would you like to invite to your birthday party?
17. What does "Clothes make the person" mean to you?
18. What does "Have your cake and eat it too" mean to you?
19. What does "The early bird gets the worm" mean to you?
20. What do we mean when we say, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"?

There’s no need to respond to all these questions. The large number of these reflective journal writing prompts gives you many options for your journal. By choosing the prompts you really like, you will feel more engaged with your answers.                                      

Use these reflective journal writing prompts to boost your emotional intelligence.                                            

1. What is your most invaluable possession and why?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What historical figure do you most identify with?
4. What living person do you most admire?
5. What trait do you most deplore in yourself?
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your favorite journey?
8. What do you consider your most overrated virtue?
9. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
10. What words do you most overuse?
11. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
12. What is your current state of mind?
13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
14. What’s the finest education?
15. What’s your motto? How would you like to be remembered?
16. What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?
17. What is one of your life goals?
18. What is your most invaluable possession and why?
19. What is something about yourself that you dislike?
20. What was your New Years Resolution this year?

Add these reflective journal writing prompts to your speeches and conversation.                                             

1. What does "You can't take it with you" mean?
2. What do we mean when we say, "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"?
3. What do we mean when we say, "Hitch your wagon to a star"?
4. What does "still waters run deep" mean to you?
5. What does "There are two sides to every coin" mean to you? 6. What are you afraid of? Why?
7. What are junk foods?
8. What are some nutritious foods that you like?
9. What are some rules you have to follow at home?
10. What are some examples of prejudice?
11. What is more important to you, appearance or personality?
12. What is something that makes you melancholy?
13. What makes you feel safe?
14. What makes you laugh?
15. What would you invent to make life better?
16. What kind of TV commercial would you like to make? Describe it.
17. What kind of pet would you most like to have—monkey, snake, goat—why?
18. What kind of program do you enjoy most on TV—detective shows, comedies, game shows—and why?
19. What advice would you give a new student?
20. What advice would you give to someone who stole something but now feels guilty?
21. What would you put in a time capsule to be opened by the next generation?
22. What is the proudest moment of your life?
23. What do you feel is your greatest success?
24. What is the best decision you have ever made in your life?
25. What kind of art is your favorite? Why?
26. What is an experience that you would consider a miracle?

Reflective Journal Writing Prompts Beginning With “If?”

These 20 reflective journal writing prompts beginning with "if" will help develop your right brain creative thinking skills as well as deepen your ability to reflect.

The more you practice thinking, the more active your brain muscle will become and the more confident you will feel.


1. If all my wishes came true, I would … .
2. If somebody makes a mess, who cleans it up?
3. If someone gains, someone else loses. How much does this expression reflect life? How much does it come up short? How might your attitudes have been different during events in your past if this expression were true?
4. If you could take home any animal from the zoo, which would it be, and what would you do with it?
5. If you could have been someone in history, who would you have been?
6. If you could only take 3 people with you on a trip around the world, who would you take and why?
7. If you could give any gift in the world, what would you give and to whom?
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
9. If you received any sum of money as a gift, what would you do with it?
10. If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose?

More Reflective Journal Writing Prompts Beginning With “If?”                                           

1. If you could do whatever you wanted to right now, what would you do?
2. If you were principal of your school, what changes would you make?
3. If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?
4. If you were lost in the woods and it got dark, what would you do?
5. If it were your job to decide what shows to show or not show on TV., what shows would you choose? Which ones would you eliminate and why?
6. If there were no rules, what would happen in your city? The world?
7. What do you think people say to each other when you're not around?
8. If you owned a store, what would you do to discourage people from stealing from you?
9. If you could participate in an Olympic event, which one would you choose and why?
10. If you could break the Guinness Book of Records it would be for?

Reflective Journal Writing Prompts Beginning With “Why?”

1. Why would we say that someone is "bananas"?
2. Why do you think ability to focus is an important quality?
3. Why does the ocean have a tide?
4. Why is important to have good manners?
5. Why do you think some people smoke/drink?
6. Why is exercise important to someone your age?
7. Why have men and women usually only done certain types of work?
8. Why should or shouldn't a man stay home to care for the house and children while his wife goes to work?
9. Why do you think some people take advantage of others?
10. Why would we say that someone is "passing the buck"?
11. Why do some people choose to dress differently?
12. Why do people drive on parkways and park on driveways?   

Reflective Journal Writing Prompts on Things You Wish For

1. I wish I had a million. Then I would … .
2. I wish I had one … . Because … .
3. I wish I could be like…. This person is special because …
4. I wish to be a …. when I grow up. Then I will … .
5. I wish there were a law that said … . This would be a good law because … .
6. I wish I could forget the time I … . Because … .
7. I wish trees could … . Because … .
8. I wish I could see … . Because … .
9. I wish I could learn… . Because … .
10. I wish I didn't have to eat because … .
11. I wish everyone would learn to … . Then everyone would … .
12. I wish I never … .
13. wish I had one more chance to … . Then I would … .
14. I wish there was an electric … .
15. I wish I had enough money to … .
16. I wish everyone loved … .
17. I wish all children would … .
18. I wish everyone had … .
19. I wish I could touch … .
20. I wish animals could…… If they could, then … .
21. I wish I looked like…. Because … .
22. I wish there were no more … .
23. I wish I didn't have to … .
24. I wish I could go to … .
25. I wish I could hear … .
26. I wish I could give … .

General Reflective Journal Writing Prompts

When you look at an elderly person's hands what do you see?
2. Which disease known to humankind do you hate the most? Explain why.
3. Explain why we say, "Dead as a door nail".
4. How did you meet your first boyfriend or girlfriend? 5. Describe your typical day, from wake to sleep.
6. Conversely, which superhero do you find to be the most overrated and why?
7. You have one hour to come up with the most interesting television show you can and describe/pitch it.
8. Where would you want to live if Earth was uninhabitable?
9. Describe the ocean to a person who is blind.
10. Complete this sentence: Love is… .

More General Reflective Journal Writing Prompts

1. Could writing a children's book really affect a child for the rest of their life?
2. Just a spoonful of what makes the medicine go down?
3. In your imagination, what will the world be like in 50 years?
4. How do you think eating junk food affects you?
5. Describe a time when you felt vengeful.
6. Explain why we say, "Dead as a door nail".
7. Do you think there is too much fighting on TV. Why or why not?
8. Do you think it is necessary to have alcohol at a party in order to have a good time?
9. Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?
10. Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under?

More General Reflective Journal Writing Prompts 

1. Who are your favorite writers?
2. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
3. Describe one of your oldest photographs.
4. Talk about a characteristic you admire in others.
5. Write your life mission statement.
6. Has religion played a role in your life? How?
7. Describe a time you helped someone.
8. Describe something you do well.
9. Describe your home. Which is your favorite room? Why?
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
11. Which talent would you most like to have?
12. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
13. How loyal are you?
14. How would you like to die?

To deal with the large number of reflective journal writing prompts, just scan each section to choose the ones you want. More options will give you more valuable results.

Enjoy these reflective journal writing prompts. With them you will deepen your self- knowledge, stimulate your thinking and develop your self esteem. Have fun on the journey! 


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