A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: The Importance of Little Things

by Amber Lea Starfire on May 14, 2012

For Mother’s Day this year, I traveled up the California coast to Fort Bragg to visit my second-oldest son (whose birthday it also happened to be) and family. We had a great time together: Among other things, we played cards and board games, meandered through the quaint town of Mendocino, took walks and played Frisbee on the beach, visited the fantastically blooming Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, ate barbecue at a local restaurant, and splurged on bread pudding for breakfast on Sunday. (Notice the absence of electronically oriented entertainment.)

I came home feeling revitalized and ready to approach a new week with fresh eyes and energy. And I am reflecting, not for the first time, that it is the Little Things that most enrich life—the walks and meals and smiles. Just as it is the Little Things that annoy us the most—the toothpaste squeezed from the wrong end, clothes on the floor, and unwashed dishes in the sink. It’s the Little Things that make or break our days. Perhaps more importantly, where we choose to focus—on the negative or the positive—affects how we perceive the quality of our lives.

For this reason, this week’s journaling prompts are all about The Little Things:

  1. Make a list of at least ten Little Things for which you are grateful today. Review the list and write about how you feel and about how you perceive your life as a whole.
  2. Make a list of at least ten Little Things that annoyed you today. Review the list and write about how you feel and about how you perceive your life as a whole.
  3. Read your previous two entries. How does the tone of the prose at the end of the second list differ from the first? Did what you write about affect your mood and perception of life? Freewrite for ten minutes about your observations.
  4. What are the Little Things in your life that make you feel most happy? What in your experience has made those things important to you?
  5. If you could have one—just one—Little Thing be or happen in your life every day, what would that Little Thing be, and why?
  6. If you could chose to never have one Little Thing be or happen in your life—ever—what would it be, and why is that Little Think so annoying or unpleasant that you would ban it forever?
  7. Do you consider yourself to be a “glass-is-half-full” or “glass-is-half-empty” kind of person? Do you focus more on the pleasant or unpleasant sorts of Little Things? Do you feel that you have a choice about how you see things? Either way, in what ways does your way of looking at the world serve you well and in what ways does it not serve you?

I invite you to leave a comment below: share your thoughts about Little Things, as well as any insights you may have discovered after writing to one or more of this week’s prompts.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Toboni May 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

Good reminder, Amber, writing about things we are grateful for. I know what negativity can do to me. It contributes to ill health. I get anxious, migraines are more frequent, muscle cramps, etc… I am one to most often notice my glass half-empty, but journaling does help me shift this.


Amber Lea Starfire May 15, 2012 at 8:09 am

Thanks, Barbara, for your comment. I’m a glass-half-full kinda girl, but I do tend to worry a lot unnecessarily. It seems to depend upon my focus. Am I thinking about all the little things that could go wrong, or all the little things that could go right? That would be another good writing prompt—something to raise my awareness.


Susan Godwin February 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I found this prompt to be very introspective and it gives me an opportunity to examine where my daily thoughts are often focused. In comparing #1 with #2, I am choosing to dwell on what I have to be grateful for! Interesting as I just received an e suggesting “begin each day with an acknowledgement of what you do have as oppossed to what you don’t!”
Thanks, Amber!


Amber Lea Starfire February 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

Susan, I’m glad you found this helpful to recognize that you focus more on what you have to be grateful for than not. Positive feedback is always nice :-)


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