* Michelle Thoughts, Intentional Living

Reflective Journal Prompts for Intentional Living

I’ve kept a personal journal fairly regularly since grade school. Being a practical person, most of my journal entries have simply been records of what happened.

In high school, I tried a different approach. I bought a big, textbook-sized journal and began processing concepts, trying to grasp new ideas by wrestling them onto a page in my own words. It was something I referred back to often and enjoyed immensely.

Recently, I’ve kept up a personal journal to record significant happenings and check in with my own well-being. I average making an entry once or twice a week, but I try not to worry about the timing. I’ve also used a combination of real notebooks and Evernote on my laptop to take notes on the various things I’m learning from books, workshops, etc.

Then, once a year, Jedd and I take time to do some intentional reflection during our Annual Review. This takes place every December. We look back on the previous year to analyze what went well, what we could do better. From there, we plot out our goals for the year to come.

The Annual Review has become such a useful and impactful practice. I realized I was craving more of that deep reflection throughout the year. 

Even though I continue to journal fairly regularly, I haven’t actually been using the journal for deeper reflection. It’s been more of a quick record-keeping practice. As an introvert who processes thoughts internally, journaling is an under-utilized tool for better self-awareness and personal growth.

So I decided to be more intentional about journaling. I thought I’d share my new plan, in case it’s helpful to anyone else.

A Weekly Deeper Journaling Day

Sundays are already a day I’ve set aside from work. I’ve been trying to find different ways to make Sundays truly restful and intentional, so it made sense to combine my goal of reflective personal journaling with this Sabbath day.

I’ll continue to do my record-keeping journal entries whenever I have time and feel the need. But on Sundays, I’ll sit down for a longer period of time to think, reflect, and write on different prompts.

I have collected a set of journaling prompts to guide my reflections. These come from other bloggers, Pinterest, goal-setting and values workshops, etc.

Weekly Personal Journal Prompts

The following journal prompts are questions that can be answered on a regular basis. My goal is to choose a couple of them each Sunday to write on.

It may be that I end up coming back to the same weekly questions, or I may rotate through them, depending on how I feel.

  • How do I feel at the moment?
  • What do I need more of in my life?
  • What lesson did I learn this week?
  • What is going right in my life?
  • What am I grateful for? List 10 things.
  • When did I experience joy this week?
  • List my recent small victories and successes.
  • What is bothering me? Why?
  • What are my priorities at the moment?
  • What is draining my energy? How can I reduce it?

Reflective Prompts for Ongoing Lists

As I researched journal prompts, I realized that a number of them would be more interesting if I could compile answers in a cumulative list. To do this, I have created a page for each question in a Bullet Journal. Whenever something occurs to me, I can add it to the appropriate list.

This is another set of questions I’ll go over on Sundays to see if any new ideas come up. I suspect that my previous answers will tend to remain true but that I’ll continue to add to these lists the more I think about them.

  • When was the last time I felt truly alive?
  • What/who inspires me the most? Why am I drawn to those inspirations?
  • What am I really good at?
  • What is something I would love to learn? What hobbies would I like to try?
  • Where would I like to travel in the next 5 years?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What traits to I admire in other people or aspire to cultivate in myself?
  • What are my greatest accomplishments?
  • If I could make a living doing anything, what would I do?
  • What quotes inspire me?

One-time or Periodic Journal Prompts for Reflection

These last set of reflection questions touch on things that likely won’t change from week to week. Many of them will take some heavy lifting. That’s why they’re questions that I may come back to periodically but not on a regular basis.

I will probably try to respond to one of these each week, depending on how much time I have and what I feel like writing about.

  • What is something I’ve always wanted to do but was too scared?
  • What can I do to take better care of myself?
  • When have I done something that I thought I couldn’t do?
  • At the end of my life, what do I want my legacy to be?
  • What was a time when I was at my best? Why?
  • What rules have I set for myself that I follow strictly? What rules have I made but find hard to follow?
  • What have been my greatest failures or things I wish I had done better?
  • When I wake up in the morning, how do I most want to feel?
  • What does my ideal day look like from morning to night?
  • What does success mean to me?
  • What do I most need to heal right now?
  • What do I want my life to look like in 3 years?
  • What do I need to forgive myself for?
  • What would I do if I wasn’t afraid of failing?
  • What do I need to stop doing to life a richer, happier life?
  • How do I/can I add value to those around me?
  • What desires do I need to surrender?
* Jedd Thoughts, * Life Updates, Intentional Living

What Matters Most

Every year I write a birthday post reflecting on something I’ve learned in the past year about myself (and thoughts about getting older). It’s a great way to see where I’ve been, who I am today, and hopefully reflects the person I am working on becoming.  

I want to ask you a question: what core values drive the major decisions you make for your life?

In other words, what are the things you value the most? Do you know? Have you ever asked yourself this question? If you do know what matters the most to you, do you live your life in such a way that reflects these values?

This is the foundation to Continue reading “What Matters Most”

Intentional Living, Things We Love

You’re Invited to the World Domination Summit

Michelle and I want to personally invite you…

To one of the most incredible and extraordinary events called the: World Domination Summit (a.k.a. WDS). 

Mark your calendars and save the dates: July 11th – July 17th, 2017

Each year 1000+ amazing and wonderful individuals make the journey to Portland Oregon to think and respond to this central question, “how can we live remarkable lives in a conventional world”.

For the last three years, Michelle and I have Continue reading “You’re Invited to the World Domination Summit”

* Jedd Thoughts, Intentional Living

The Thief of Joy: Comparison

Every year I write a birthday post reflecting on something I’ve learned in the past year about myself (and thoughts about getting older). It’s a great way to see where I’ve been, who I am today, and hopefully reflects the person I am working towards becoming.  

This one’s for you. Who? You.

It’s also for me. I’m writing this post for myself. I’m hoping that when I’m 66 and maybe 99, I’ll somehow come back to this post and remember the greatest lesson I’ve learned so far this past year: Continue reading “The Thief of Joy: Comparison”

* Jedd Thoughts, * Life Updates, Intentional Living

Whole 30: A Challenge to Eat Whole Foods For 30 Days – Join Us

Every year Michelle and I have tried to do some sort of fast (you can read about our last one here). We really like this practice as it helps us learn how to be more intentional, disciplined, and most importantly, become more aware of our own behaviors that we typically wouldn’t think much about. For this specific challenge we are focusing on what we eat.


Continue reading “Whole 30: A Challenge to Eat Whole Foods For 30 Days – Join Us”

* Jedd Thoughts, * Life Updates, Intentional Living

How to Do Something You Said You’ve Always Wanted to? Start Here.

(taking a short break during our walks through London)

We’re back. It’s been about four months since our last post here, mainly because so many things were going on. In the past months we’ve helped put on two awesome events (World Domination Summit and Pioneer Nation), successfully raised money for a new college we are helping to launch in Portland called the Wayfinding Academy, went to Europe for a family wedding (along with some sight seeing and a special bike tour), and did a road trip through California for a month to see family, friends, and celebrate another family wedding (Michelle’s brother). In between, we’ve been doing some house/pet sitting. Needless to say a lot has been going on but we’re still trying our best to make intentional choices to live life the we want (and still trying to figure out what that looks like).  Hope you enjoy the latest thoughts:  Continue reading “How to Do Something You Said You’ve Always Wanted to? Start Here.”

* Jedd Thoughts, Intentional Living

Tiny House Living Teaches You Valuable Life Lessons

For the past two weeks we’ve been house-sitting a tiny house (and dog) for a good friend. This experience has taught us a lot about tiny homes in general, but more importantly, taught us a few important life-lessons as well. Continue reading “Tiny House Living Teaches You Valuable Life Lessons”

* Jedd Thoughts, Intentional Living

An Introduction to Tiny House Living: Pictures

So we’ve been living in a tiny house now for the past week-and-a-half and many of you have been asking,  “what does it look like?” and “how has it been living in a smaller space?” It’s been awesome. (Note: It’s not our tiny house. We are just housesitting and dog-sitting for a couple of weeks while our good friend is off on an adventure.) Continue reading “An Introduction to Tiny House Living: Pictures”

* Jedd Thoughts, * Life Updates, Intentional Living

Never Too Old

Wendell and Blanche Cake

After living in Hawaii for over 40+ years my parents said goodbye yesterday and moved to Japan.

What’s amazing about this story is that if you knew my parents, you would know that this is a big deal. When most people at their age are trying to enjoy retirement, my parents packed their suitcases (let’s be fair: they shipped a bunch of their things ahead of time), said goodbye to their family, friends, and well-established lives and headed out for a new adventure.

Wendell and Blanche
Mom & Dad

My parents are what you would call “experienced,” honored citizens. They don’t move as fast as they used to and have both admitted that traveling is difficult. A lot of times when I ask my Dad how he’s doing, he replies in his deep, low voice, “I’m tired.”

They have always been that quiet, simple couple that enjoyed watching television and movies together at home rather than going out. I was extremely happy when they flew to Oregon for Michelle and I’s wedding and again to Omaha Nebraska for my brother’s college graduation. But that was over 6 years ago. If you asked them if they enjoyed traveling, they would tell you that they are still trying to recover from the last trip.

So why would they make such a huge life change?

It all started with a Continue reading “Never Too Old”

* Life Updates, Intentional Living

Need a Housesitter?


Housesitting Announcement:

Two simple living, trustworthy, very responsible, easy going, and respectful young adults (who also have been married for 6 years) are seeking housesitting opportunities for certain time periods in 2014-2015 to help homeowners that need short term house watching/loving care while they are out on vacation, sabbatical, adventures, etc…Want to learn more about us? Check out our “about” page here. 

We can:

  • Care for pets, specifically well behaved cats and dogs (and or easy to maintain pets, sorry no livestock unless you teach us)
  • Travel anywhere (well, almost- if the gig is good)
  • Clean up after ourselves, and like ninjas make it look like we were never there

We would consider helping with:

  • Small household projects such as yardwork, painting, etc… (you would have to supply the tools and materials)
  • Short term (like a week) up to long term (a month or more)

Current Housesitting openings?

Checkout our housesitting page here for our latest openings.  Continue reading “Need a Housesitter?”