Today, we’re taking on 30 Days of Empowered Journaling to boost confidence, reduce negativity, and increase happiness!
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Happy Friday, my journaling pals! Meet Elizabeth. She’s usually blogging over at jihielephant.com, but today she’s here as a member of the Page Flutter team. This will be her first post here, so let’s show her a very warm welcome for the beautiful challenge she put together for us. It’s all yours, Elizabeth…
Empowerment and mental wellbeing are things we so often neglect. This is so sad because empowerment is SO powerful! We spend time beating ourselves down but never stop to build ourselves back up. We think it is the job of those around us to build us back up or to make us feel whole again. But the truth is, we are able to do this for ourselves, and it will work so much better!
So, what is empowerment? According to Merriam-Webster, empowering is promoting self-actualization. So, think of empowerment as giving power to something or someone. For example, by empowering myself, I am giving myself the power and promoting my own personal self-actualization.
Because we so often don’t know how to empower ourselves, I am providing a 30-Days of Empowered Journaling challenge! Some of these activities will appear more than one time, so refer to the previous day with that same activity for instructions (though most are self-explanatory). You can also grab the printable (see below) to keep you on track throughout the month.
30 Days of Empowered Journaling | Give Yourself the Power to Be You
Day One | List 3 Positive Personal Qualities That You Like About Yourself
Even if you don’t think you like any of your qualities, I am sure you are able to find at least 3 (but probably more) that you do! Just sit there and think about it. Why would you want to be your own friend?
Day Two | Write “I Know I Can” over and over until you’ve filled at least one page
Write “I Know I Can” over and over again until you’ve filled at least one page (fill as many pages as you need to). I know this may seem tedious and repetitive, but that’s the point. By writing this empowering FACT over and over, you can remind yourself of its truth—it can do no harm. You can and you know that you can.
But what exactly can you do? Anything you want. There is no reason to limit yourself (with exception to reality, I mean. You probably can’t shoot lasers out of your eyes. But you know what I mean…).
Day Three | Write About 5 Things You Have Accomplished Today
Make a list. What are 5 things you have accomplished today? This can be anything. Maybe you overcame a fear or anxiety. Maybe you finished a project at school or work. Or perhaps you got around to doing that yoga or cleaning that you’ve been putting off. Whatever your accomplishments are, list them!
Day Four | I Am Proud to Be Me Today Because…
Fill in the blank. Why are you proud to be yourself? In what ways are you happy with who you are? Can’t think of anything? Think harder, I know you are proud of yourself for some reason. You are probably just focusing on things you don’t like about yourself. If you stop thinking about what is wrong and start thinking about what is right, you are guaranteed to feel better about yourself!
Day Five | Take A Day Off
Today, step back from journaling and do something for yourself. Empowerment isn’t all about building yourself up; sometimes you also need to take a step back. We lead super busy lives and we are stressed. Take a step back from your day-to-day life and take a bath, go for a walk, get a massage or mani-pedi… anything you can enjoy outside of your daily routine. Sometimes, taking a step out of the ordinary will remind you of all the great qualities you possess.
Day Six | Forgive Yourself
So, you’ve made mistakes. Big deal. We all have. You’re human, it happens. You made a mistake and you’ve learned from it. Now, it’s time to let yourself move on. Sometimes, you have to get forgiveness from those you’ve hurt first. Do that. Then come to your journal and forgive yourself. Write a letter to yourself asking for forgiveness and another giving forgiveness. This interaction is important. Our biggest critics are always ourselves. It can be so empowering to forgive yourself, it’s as if a weight has lifted. This allows you to move on!
Day Seven | Change Something
Now, when I say to change something, I don’t mean for the sake of change. I want you to move forward on something you’ve been wanting to change but were scared to actually do. Does that make sense? I’ll give you an example.
I am moving to North Carolina from Michigan (roughly, an 11-hour drive). Why am I doing this? Not because it’s smart or because other people want me to. In fact, a lot of people think I’m crazy or think I have better options. But that doesn’t matter. I am making this move because I want to—because it’s what will help me become who I want to be.
Making a change for yourself is not easy. Not one bit. Especially something huge like an 11-hour move, separating yourself from a toxic relationship, etc.
Keep an ongoing journal on the topic (it doesn’t have to be separate from your current journal, and we will return to the topic later). Start by writing about why you want the change. Talk about why you want it, what it means to you, your fears, your excitement! Write about everything you are feeling about this change. Now that you’ve gotten all your emotions out on the page, you’re probably feeling at least a little better about it. If someone tries to talk you out of wanting this change, stick to your guns. We will return to this part of the challenge in a few days.
Day Eight | List Three Things That Make You Feel Beautiful
This is self-explanatory. Just make a list; you don’t have to stop at three if you think of more! Things that make you feel beautiful can be physical qualities (straightened hair, wearing glasses, and smiling) or other things like sunny days, a smile from a stranger, or taking a day off. There are no limits to what can make you feel beautiful (inside and out)!
Day Nine | Cancel Out the Negative
Make a list of negative terms you have heard or thought (either about yourself or those around you). Have at least 10 words. I know this sounds strange; bear with me. Got your negative descriptors? Great!
Now, one by one cross them out, scribble them out, or white them out—whatever you’d like, just make them unreadable. Each time you’ve scribbled out a negative word, replace it with a positive alternative.
Negative words are unnecessary, they break you down and make you weak. Find positive words to empower yourself with instead!
Day Ten |Reflect
Reflecting is such a great practice. Spend today’s journal reflecting on your week—try to stay positive. What were your initial worries? How did you overcome them? What surprised you this week? Is there something you did that you are glad about? What is something you’d like to improve upon next week? Did something make you excited or happy this week?
Day Eleven | Post-It Quote
Have you enjoyed the quotes I’ve provided for each day? I love them! Today, let’s get creative. Choose a couple of quotes that make you feel alive and empowered. These quotes should really speak to you. You can choose from the quotes I’ve provided, or you can find your own. Once you’ve found your quotes, write them down and decorate them! Pull out the colored pencils and markers you’ve been hiding in your closet for just this occasion. Make them colorful and beautiful or elegant and simple—whatever you enjoy.
Once you’ve finished, post these quotes in places you see on a daily basis (refrigerator, your desk, or the bathroom mirror, etc.). Since these words mean something to you and empower you, seeing them each day will make a huge difference. I did this in college and it made me feel so much better to read words of encouragement and positivity every single day.
Day Twelve | Planning Positive Change
Remember day seven, Change? Today, we are referring back to that day. You journaled about your feelings and emotions relating to a change you wished to make, but were too scared to have done yet. We are often so scared to make these changes because of criticism and unknown factors. And sometimes these changes require a lot of time and effort. Today we are tackling the difficulties of this change.
Start with what your change is, write that down—write everything down. Is this a long-term change or a short -term change (i.e. will it take you a lot of time and planning to complete, or only a little bit of time and planning)?
Day Thirteen | List 5 Things That Make You Feel CONFIDENT
What makes you feel confident? Does dressing up or sitting up straight make you feel confident? Make a list of at least 5 things that make you feel confident! When you are feeling insecure, do one of the things on your list. It will help!
Not sure what to put on your list? Check out this Ted Talk!
Day Fourteen | I Am Important Because…
Everyone loves a good fill-in-the-blank, right? Sure! Here we go!
I am important because ________.
There you go! Finish the sentence. Why are you important? You know the answer, even if you aren’t sure at first. Every soul on this earth and further is important. We all have a purpose.
Day Fifteen | List 5 Positive Personal Qualities That You Like About Yourself
We did this on day one. This time we are listing at least 5 instead of 3 and these are not allowed to include qualities you have already listed! You can do this!
Day Sixteen | Reframing Negative Self-Talk
We are our own harshest critique, and quite frankly, we are also our own harshest bully. So often we engage in negative self-talk. Self-talk is the natural internal reaction we have to the stimuli around us. For example, when a very beautiful woman walks past us, we compare ourselves to her instead of appreciating her beauty as something unrelated to our own.
Training yourself to turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk is huge! Today we are keeping a journal of our self-talk. Every time you notice yourself engaging in negative self-talk, track it as shown in the photo below.
In the first column, write about what happened before the negative self-talk. That would be considered a trigger of the self-talk. In the second column, note your thoughts—what exactly did you say to yourself/what was the negative self-talk? Lastly, in the final column, reframe the negative self-talk to be positive self-talk.
Some people experience negative self-talk more often or less often than others. Do not worry about how many of these self-talks you chart, just chart as many as you notice. When I completed this activity on my own, I filled several pages with these negative self-talk reframes, and I know I forgot some. But that’s okay. The goal of today’s activity is to become more aware of negative talks and to learn how to reframe seemingly unavoidable negativity into natural positivity. If you can, keep going with this activity beyond tomorrow. It is very beneficial when taken seriously!
Day Seventeen | List 5 Things That Make You Feel FREE
What makes you feel free—without restraints? Make a list of things that give you freedom and make you feel as though you are on top of the world. For me, I feel free when I practice independence. Once you’ve made your list, be sure to practice these activities more often! Freedom is, well, freeing!
Day Eighteen | Is It Worth Your Worry?
So often, we bog ourselves down with things that are outside of our control. We can’t do anything about it, so why must we ruin our day over something we cannot change?
Something we can change is our mindset and how we react to that which we cannot change. Refer to the image when reading instructions.
Today, we are going to analyze our worries and concerns to figure out if they are within our control. We’ll also discover how to interact with the worries that are outside of our control.
The first column is for you to write down your worry in as little or as much detail as you’d like. In the second column, decide whether or not you have direct control over the outcome of this worry or situation. If it is within your realm of control, use the third column to decide on a method of coping or solving the situation that triggers your worry. If the worry is outside your control, use the third column to reframe your mindset. How could you positively react to the situation to avoid unnecessary stress?
This is difficult but so powerful! Once we’ve realized how much of our worries are outside of our control, we can give ourselves freedom from these extra weights.
Day Nineteen | Take A Day Off
Today, step back from journaling and do something for yourself. Empowerment isn’t all about building yourself up, sometimes you also need to take a step back. We lead super busy lives, and we are stressed. Take a step back from your day-to-day life to take a bath, go for a walk, get a massage or mani-pedi, anything that you can enjoy outside your daily routine. Sometimes, taking a step out of the ordinary will remind you of all the great qualities you possess.
Day Twenty | Reflect
It’s been about 10 days since we have reflected, so let’s do that now. Remember to stay positive! What were your initial worries this week? How did you overcome them? What surprised you this week? Is there something you did that you are glad you did? What is something you’d like to improve upon next week? Did something make you excited or happy this week?
Day Twenty-One | I Am Proud to Be Me Today Because…
I like this prompt a lot, and that is why we’re doing it twice! I believe it’s important to be actively proud of yourself. It builds confidence.
Fill in the blank: Why are you proud to be yourself? In what ways are you happy with who you are? Can’t think of anything? Think harder, I know that you are proud of yourself for some reason. You are probably just focusing on things you don’t like about yourself. If you stop thinking about what is wrong and start thinking about what is right, you are guaranteed to feel better about yourself!
Day Twenty-Two | What are your Greatest Strengths
Today is another day to create a list. We are listing our greatest strengths. I am not giving a number limit to this list because I want you to spend 30 minutes sitting quietly thinking about what you are good at and listing as many things as possible.
Think about everything you excel at. This can include personal qualities, skills, or whatever else you’d like. When talking about strengths, people tend to stick to one category—either qualities or skills. I want you to broaden that mindset and include both categories to your list.
Be creative and write these in color or in varying fonts. This should be a fun activity where you spend quiet time with yourself but are also able to remind yourself of all you have to offer. So often, we forget.
Day Twenty-Three | Set Goals
When we set goals and set them well, our purpose is much more visible. For today’s activity, we are setting short-term personal goals.
Before we start, keep in mind these rules: goals must be realistic, goals must be very specific, goals must use positive terminology (no negative terms allowed), and goals must provide a plan for completion. A goal that does not follow these rules is far more likely to be overwhelming and far less likely to be completed.
There are several steps in creating goals. This activity focuses on short-term personal goals. If you are interested in learning how to create effective long-term goals, check out this post and this post.
First, you must identify what you want the end goal to be. For example: “My goal is to practice self-control when at work.” (I work at an ice cream trailer). See how I word my goal as if I am gaining something (self-control)? I avoid something negative like: “Stop eating ice cream,” (I am losing something and using negative terms such as “stop”). Negative phrasing is a huge no-no if you want to complete your goal.
Next, decide at least 2 steps to completing this goal. For me, these steps are to bring food from home to eat at each shift and to always have a bottle of water within reach. These steps are both realistic for my life (meaning that I am actually going to do them). Unrealistic steps are ones that you are not sure you will be able to accomplish or that are too ambitious. Save ambitious goals for long-term goal setting, as long-term goals require more time and steps to complete.
The final step is to be intentional. Follow through with your goal. Goals are meant to be achieved, not just planned. Pick something you want to complete, something you are motivated to do. If you don’t care to complete your goal, then you won’t.
Day Twenty-Four | I Am Free From…
Here we go, another fill-in-the-blank. You got this!
I Am Free From _______ because ________.
We all have burdens and hardships. No one lives without some kind of struggle. What are you free from? How did you break free? Journal about your courage and coping. Remind yourself that YOU ARE SO CAPABLE AND STRONG. It’s easy to forget, so let’s remind ourselves today.
Day Twenty-Five | How Are You Practicing Self-Empowerment Outside of the Journal
Now that you have been participating in empowered journaling activities for 25 days, I am sure you are starting to integrate these practices into your life outside of the challenge. Use today to give yourself credit for these independent activities. Write about a few times you have practiced empowerment without prompting from this challenge. Talk about how it made you feel, why you chose to do it, what kind of impacts you saw as a result, and whether you would do it again. Let’s have a chat with ourselves.
Day Twenty-Six | Empowered Change
Have you been working toward that positive change we talked about? I hope so! Today, we are going to check in with ourselves about this change. What has been surprisingly difficult, and how have you overcome these difficulties? How have your abilities or confidence surprised you? What have you learned about yourself? What positive outcomes are you experiencing? Let’s focus on the positive and write about how we are feeling about the change. Don’t avoid the negative feelings. But do not dwell on them and try to find a way to overcome them, or a positive way to spin them.
Day Twenty-Seven | Empowering Others
For a large majority of this challenge, we focus on self-empowerment. But empowering ourselves cannot be fully achieved without the ability to empower others. Today, come up with 5 ways to empower those around you. This must be something you can do without spending money or giving physical gifts.
Now that you have several ways to empower others, use them. Practice daily empowerment, both for yourself and for those around you. You never know who needs some encouragement.
Day Twenty-Eight | Breathe Positivity
Like Day 9, we are going to list words. Instead of listing negative words and canceling them out, fill a page in your journal with positive words to describe yourself and those around you. I want these to be descriptors and not just things you like. Some examples include kind, loyal, pretty, welcoming.
Be creative! Write some of these words big and some small. Make them bold or thin, colorful, or black and white, tall or short, cursive or print. Do whatever you’d like! Just make sure these are positive descriptors!
Day Twenty-Nine | I Am Powerful Because…
Here we go again, the final fill-in-the-blank!
I am powerful because ________.
What gives you power? What do you have power over? YOURSELF! You have power over you, and only you. You cannot control those around you; you can only control you. Where is your power sourced?
Day Thirty| Celebrate Empowerment!
Yay! It’s day 30, the final day of this challenge! Just because you’ve completed the challenge doesn’t mean you quite empowering yourself, though! Continue empowering yourself every day. Take your favorite activities and practices from this challenge, write them down in your journal and make a weekly empowerment plan. Do a weekly reflection, make a change every few months, keep a list of positive words and add to it regularly.
For today, pick your favorite activity and do it again. Do whatever worked most for you (because we are all so unique and beautifully different). For me, I will choose to take an hour to myself. Today, I will treat myself to a homemade spa day—work free. If you prefer to make lists, reflect, or be creative, then do that! Today is all about what you need. Celebrate empowering yourself!
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