3 Journal Prompts for Doing the Impossible

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Whenever I think about impossible things, Walt Disney’s cheerful quote comes to mind: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

You have to admit, he has a point. It’s all kinds of fun to do things we didn’t think we could do, to achieve goals we thought were impossible, and journaling is an excellent way to get the ball rolling.

Here are my three journal prompts for doing the impossible:

1. One thing you used to think was impossible (but you went ahead and did it anyway).

Think about one thing you’re quite able to do now that once felt impossible. Perhaps it’s a skill you now practice with ease, a job or position at which you now excel, a good habit you’ve developed, or a project in which you’re involved that makes a difference. Write that impossible thing down.

2. One thing that feels impossible right now (but probably isn’t).

Now that you’ve already done the impossible, there’s no reason you can’t do it again. Write down the next thing you’d like to do that, in this moment, feels impossible. (For extra credit, add a few thoughts about what it is about this thing that feels impossible and a few reasons why it probably isn’t.)

3. One small step you can take toward achieving the thing that feels impossible (but probably isn’t).

Now that you’re ready to achieve the impossible, write down one teeny tiny thing you can do to get started. Make sure it’s small enough that you can do it now. Yes, right now. After all, even the most difficult tasks, even the seemingly impossible ones, start with a single step. What’s your first step?

A final thought on using your journal to help you do the impossible:

Don’t put your journal away just yet. Go out and take that first step, then come back to your journal and check it off. Jot down one or two things you learned along the way and what it felt like to complete your first step. Then turn your mind, your pen, and your actions to the next teeny tiny step you can take. And so on. Until you’ve done it again — achieved the impossible. I’ll be cheering you on all the way.

If you’d like to see more of my journal prompts, hop on over to my printables shop, where you’ll find a colourful collection of printable journal pages, including lots of free pages, full of encouragement and inspiration on your journey to make the impossible possible.

 

Printable mini guided journal and envelope template

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I’ve had such fun creating an ever-growing collection of handmade envelopes with mini accordion journals tucked inside! I thought you might want to give it a try, too, so I’ve created a new, free printable page and a quick tutorial to get you started.

If you’d like to create your own mini accordion journals and envelopes, start by downloading and printing my mini envelope and journal template. (The file includes two page sizes. The first page is letter sized. The second page is A4.) You’ll also need a pencil, scissors, tape or glue, and extra paper for making your envelopes.

Begin by cutting out the envelope template and mini journals. For the mini journals, I like to cut just inside the dashed lines so they don’t appear on the journals.

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Next, trace the outline of your envelope template onto the back of your chosen paper and cut it out. I’m making two envelopes, one for each mini journal.

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Now for the folding. With your envelope paper face down, fold the side tabs in toward the center using the dotted lines on the envelope template as a guide.

For the mini journals, I like to start by folding them in half, so that the top and bottom meet and the words are on the outside of the fold.

Fold the envelope bottoms up and over the side tabs, again using the dotted line in the envelope template as a guide, and apply glue or tape to attach the bottom to the sides. Then fold down the envelope top.

For the mini journals, fold the tops and bottoms in half again so that they meet up with the centre fold.

Insert your folded journals into your new envelopes and you’re finished!

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You can record your answers to the prompts now and attach your envelopes to your journal or you can tuck your envelopes into a tote or backpack for a little journaling on the go.

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I hope you’ll love this little journal project. If you’d like to try making more envelopes of different sizes and shapes and more mini journals, I’ve also posted a brand new printable handmade journal and envelope kit in the shop.

As always, happy journaling, friends!

 

"word confessions" mini accordion journal (and handmade irregular envelope, of course)

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My recent experiments with handmade irregular envelopes wouldn’t be complete without a few irregular prompts. I made a super-simple, three-prompt, mini-accordion guided journal to tuck inside my latest teeny tiny envelopes. And the prompts are . . . well, they’re a little unusual . . . a lighthearted look at the words confuse and amuse us.

My word confession for the day is that I’m never entirely sure if I’m using the word “ironic” correctly. (Is that ironic? I have no idea.)

How about you?

 

And then some

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“Let me be who I am, and then some,” wrote Mary Oliver in her essay Building the House. (From Upstream, 2016, p. 164.)

Imagine that. Going all in on who you are. Even the parts you might sometimes hold back or worry are just a little too much for public consumption.

My “and then some” might be more experiments with uncertain outcomes, more eye contact, more idealistic enthusiasm (or would it be enthusiastic idealism? I’m not sure.)

What is your “and then some”?

 

Making today better

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I almost didn’t post this one. While the notion that each of us plays a significant role in the quality of our own days usually energizes me, today it feels like a lot of pressure. I think I’m feeling a bit of proactivity fatigue, if there is such a thing.

After some thought and a walk with our pup out in the sunshine, I decided to accept the fatigue rather than fight it and, to my surprise, felt better almost immediately.

So here’s my thought on this prompt: One thing I can do to make today better is to be open to the day as it unfolds — without rushing it or forcing it, and with the knowledge that it isn’t over yet. Its proportions haven’t been fully determined. There’s still room for joy or adventure and I’m open to the possibilities.

How about you and your day?

 

Journal prompt - your day and your natural disposition

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At first, this one felt quick and easy. Reading, writing, and making, in some form or another, are almost always included in my daily routine and they feel as natural to me as breathing. Done. On to the next thing.

Except . . . the more I thought about this prompt, the more I found myself considering the daily tasks that do not suit my natural disposition. (Some days it’s a pretty long list.) But there’s a sense of possibility, I think, hidden in this prompt. Perhaps paying close attention to the things that make the most of our strengths and interests might also offer hints about new ways to approach or connect with the things that don’t. I do love it when a journal prompt takes an unexpected turn!

How about you? Which parts of your day suit your natural disposition?

 

Journal prompt - important moments

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Even on the most routine days, there are important moments. This prompt makes me think about those unscheduled, unplanned moments that we notice all at once, while they’re happening, or hours later, when we have the chance to take a breath and think back on the day.

Reflecting on the events of my day, one moment that feels important was opening up to a friend and colleague about a difficulty I’ve encountered and requesting a short postponement to some work we’re doing together. I worried I was letting her down, but her understanding and support turned my day around and I can’t wait to take the next steps together.

Which of your moments today felt important?

 

Secret journal prompts

Update, April 10th, 4:00 pm EDT: A quick note to let you know that this secret journal prompt giveaway is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone who commented for sharing your replies to my journal prompt. I loved reading them all! I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be sending out a secret package to Jill, Larraine, Deb, Fantasia, Donna, Mariam, Laura, April, Skye, Beth, Amy, Mo, Julie, Hayley, and Robin. I decided to choose everyone! I’ll be in touch by email within the next day or so to obtain mailing instructions. Thanks again, so much, for journaling with me. :)

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This project is a little more experimental than my usual experiments, which I kind of love — because who knows where it might lead? — but it also makes me more nervous than usual about posting it.

It was actually ready to go last week, but when the time came to write about it, I couldn’t figure out how to explain it. It’s journal-related, so there’s definitely that, but on a very small scale. I’ve made just five little packages with my printed painted pages, each with a mailing envelope and a smaller envelope inside containing three secret journal prompts.

Even now, I find it difficult to narrow the explanation down to one primary motivation. It’s partly about the colours — I’d like more excuses to paint and scan and print. It’s partly about finding better ways to reach out and connect — these pages and prompts come from a joyful place in my journaling and I’d like to share that in a personal, tangible way. It’s partly about seeking out new possibilities and new perspectives on the sorts of journals I make — maybe I’ll discover a new way to deliver prompts or encourage journaling that I hadn’t considered before. And it’s partly about creating a little magic — just for the fun of it.

Practically speaking, the prompts are small enough to be tucked or taped into a journal or stashed away in a pocket or drawer for future discovery. They’re just 2.25”x3” when folded. I’d like to send these five tiny packages out into the world and while the number is small right now, I’m open to making more, if this turns out to be something you’d like to see on a regular basis.

If you’re interested in receiving a little package from me, leave a comment in reply to the journal prompt below. In two days, on Wednesday, April 10th, at 3:00 pm EDT, I’ll choose five comments at random, announce them in an update to this post, and follow up with an email to each of the five commenters to obtain mailing instructions.

Here’s your prompt, one of my favourites: One thing about your day today that is exactly as you would like it to be.