As we head into a new year, clients come to counseling with a fresh perspective. This is an excellent opportunity to get them started on the right foot. Whether it’s developing a new healthy habit or refining a familiar one, journaling is one of the best homework assignments to help clients reach their goals. The best way to begin is with a quick and simple daily journaling check-in. This is inexpensive, accessible, and it’s something clients can do on their own time.
Share these 10 journaling prompts to get clients started with journaling into the new year:
- What is your intention for today?
- Choose a word of the day.
- What does your mind need today?
- What does your body need today?
- What does your heart need today?
- What’s something that will make you feel good today?
- List 3 things you’re grateful for.
- What are you letting go of?
- What are you making space for?
- Write out today’s affirmation.
Reminders when it comes to journaling
Often, clients want to start journaling but feel resistance, also known as a mental block. Some assume there’s a ‘right’ way to do it. Some don’t see themselves as writers (and that’s okay!). For others, the issue is not knowing what or how much to write. That’s why journaling prompts are essential, as they get the creative juices flowing.
Reassure your clients that this doesn’t have to be an elaborate activity. Simply taking 5 minutes daily to write down just a few words is enough to start feeling the benefits of journaling. This will also get clients used to picking up their journal every day, instilling the daily habit.
You can also encourage clients to have fun with this by personalizing the habit, and the journaling prompts, to their own routine. For example, some clients are night owls and may do better journaling as an evening reflection piece for the day, rather than first thing in the morning. Not only will lifestyle matching help the habit stick, but it will empower clients to take charge of their mental health journey.
How to keep clients on track with a healthy journaling habit
To keep your clients on track and help them shift as needed, try utilizing a homework app like Therachat. It’s a simple way to give your clients the nudge they need between sessions while continuing to build client trust. With daily homework reminders, mindfulness exercises, and emotion tracking, it’s an innovative way to help your clients feel supported between appointments.
If you’re a counselor ready to level up your practice in 2023, digital technology is essential. Meet clients where they are — right on their own devices — with a digital homework app. Learn more about Therachat for clinicians.