Challenging Ideas To Get The Most Out Of Your Journaling Practice Part 2

If you haven’t already read part 1 of Challenging Ideas To Get The Most Out Of Your Journaling Practice feel free to click this link to get there.

Today I have two more journaling approaches to share with you.  Even though they seem to be the complete opposite of each other, they actually go hand in hand.  Shitty first drafts and gratitude journaling.


SFD stands for Shitty First Draft.  This is the story you write after you fall flat on your face.  It doesn’t have to be a big fall.  Anything that triggers emotions like shame, fear, disappointment, anger deserves an SFD.

These are not nice pieces of writing.  They’re not mature and thoughtful.  What you write may make you sound like a total jerk.

While working through Brene Brown’s course on Rising Strong I learned that people who write about their trauma heal faster than those who don’t.

Let it ALL out!  No editing.  SFDs are where you get to release your 6 year old self in a raging tantrum, call people names and toss around blame like it’s confetti.

You can get a lot of overwhelming emotions out on the page instead of spewing them all over another defenseless human being.

There is slightly more work to do once you are done your SFD though.  The second step is, you get curious about it.  Yup now you have to go back to adulting.

Here are the questions Brene offers to help us dive into our SFDs:

What more do I need to learn and understand about the situation?
What are the facts? What assumptions am I making?

What more do I need to learn and understand
about the other people in the story besides me?

What more do I need to learn and understand about myself in this situation?
What’s underneath my response? What am I feeling?

What part did I play? Sometimes you may not play a part.
Even so, it is still helpful to think about this question and write down your answer.

(Credit for these questions goes to

Gratitude Journaling

This just might be the easiest and the hardest form of journaling there is.  The concept is simple.  Write a list of stuff you are grateful for.  But sometimes it is just so dang hard to think up stuff you are grateful for.

A random page from my gratitude journal.

When things are tough and life is heavy you might even feel guilty thinking up the gifts you have been given and writing them down.

Crazy enough the cure for this is gratitude.  Having a practice of gratitude changes the way you think about things.  Everybody suffers, but if you can find a little bit of light in that dark you can help yourself find joy.  And when you practice being thankful you become more aware of the good things that happen even when life throws you curveballs.

WARNING:  I do not recommend “helping”people who are suffering with any “look on the bright side”  or “at least _____ didn’t happen to you.”  Finding things to be grateful for is a PERSONAL practice.

There is an app for android called Bliss Gratitude Journal.  It is super helpful for maintaining a habit of gratutude.  There are plenty of positive prompts to choose from and it is easy peasy to use.  

Of course you can always use a pen and notebook to jot down your gratitude list 1000 Gifts style.

(This is my favorite pen right here, it writes so smooth, and I love these pretty notebooks from Indigo.)

Do you have a practice of writing out your shitty first draft or gratitude journaling?  I would love to hear about it.  Leave me a comment below.

Need a free printable to help you with your journal practice?  I’ve got you covered.

Get Your Free Journal Promtps Guide

Want help not losing your cool during tough parenting situations? I've got you covered. Click the link and get 5 Steps to Keep Calm While Parenting, FREE! Click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Anti Spam by WP-SpamShield