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selective focus photography of black pen on bookKeeping a journal can be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for working through issues, unburdening your problems, and connecting with your authentic self. It can give you a quiet space to find your voice in a noisy world.

It’s easy to feel undermined by social media or your Inner Critic telling you what you “should” be doing, how you’ll never reach your goals, and that you’re not good enough. Journaling can help quell those loud outsiders and focus on what’s important. You.

Here are some prompts to help you get started.

What do I write about?

The famous “tyranny of the blank page” can be off-putting. But accept that feeling and commit to writing whatever comes into your head for ten or fifteen minutes. Set a time and write whatever comes into your head. It doesn’t matter if it’s not Pulitzer Prize-winning prose, it’s about getting into the writing flow.

It’s okay to start by writing “I don’t know what to write about,” or even “I don’t want to write about my job.” When you get that reluctance out of your head and on the page, you’ve already cleared the way to start to resolve the issue.

What feels good right now?

Journaling about the good things in your life can help reset your focus on assorted-color concrete buildingsthe positives around you. It’s easy to get stuck on the things you don’t like, but how often do you take time to write down what is good?

Think of the last thing that made you smile, or laugh aloud, or the highlight of your last vacation. Write down the big stuff and the small things. Start a list you can come back to when you’re not feeling so good and need some inspiration.

List your good qualities

gray framed leaning mirror with hay and potted green leaf plantMost people tend to focus on the things they don’t like about themselves. It’s easy to forget that everyone is a mix of talents and flaws, and it’s all of those together that make us perfectly imperfect and unique human beings.

Write down ten things that are great about you. What makes you special? Do you have a green thumb? Are you creating great slide presentations? Do dogs and little kids gravitate towards you? Are you funny, helpful, insightful, compassionate? Make a list that will make you smile when you go back to it.

Need help choosing positive words that describe your good qualities? Check out my “Aligning Your Inner and Outer Beauty” workshop here.

Talk with your older self

Imagine yourself as a wise, experienced older person. Someone who has seen good times and bad, who has weathered the ebbs and flows of life. Project into the future and ask future-you for advice on how to live your best life.

What should you concentrate on? What should you avoid?

While you’re working on journaling and discovering your true, authentic self, check out these articles from the blog:

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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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