These two powerful journaling prompts will help you reflect on the day with a sense of gratitude and positive outlook to unlock your potential.

JERRY’S SHORT: 2 Powerful Journaling Prompts to Unlock Your Potential

Are you ready to delve deep into your thoughts and emotions to unlock your potential? Join me on this episode of Beyond the Rut: Jerry’s Short as I discuss the benefits of how these two journaling prompts can unlock the power of self-reflection and personal growth in your life and career.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. The benefits of journaling every day.

2. Two journaling prompts that will help you reflect on the day and look forward to a better tomorrow.

2 Powerful Journaling Prompts for Men (and Women)

If you’re stumped on what to write in your journal every day, you can easily use one of the two themes listed and described below to get you going. The first prompt is “Rose, Bud, Thorn” while the second one gets you thinking about gratitude. Reflecting on either one on paper will shift your mindset into one of abundance and growth.

journaling prompts

1. Rose, Thorn, and Bud

The “Rose, Thorn, and Bud” journal prompt is a way to reflect on the past, present, and future. The “rose” represents something positive that happened or is currently happening today. The “thorn” represents a challenge or obstacle, and the “bud” represents something to look forward to or an opportunity for growth. 

This prompt encourages you to focus on the positive aspects of your life while also acknowledging and addressing any difficulties you may be facing. It is a great tool for personal reflection and goal-setting as well as a family discussion prompt at the dinner table.

2. Three Gratitude Statements

Journaling three gratitude statements every day in your journal is a powerful way to cultivate a positive mindset and focus on the things in your life that you are thankful for. 

By taking the time each day to write down three things you are grateful for, you are training your brain to look for the good in every situation and appreciate what you have. The challenge is to take the tougher parts of the day and state what it is about that situation you are grateful for. It may be support you didn’t realize you had until this exercise, or an opportunity that arose because of the difficulty you faced. 

The practice of using these two journaling prompts can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and increase overall happiness and satisfaction. Additionally, regularly journaling gratitude statements can also provide a sense of perspective and remind us of the many blessings in our lives that we may take for granted.

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Chapter Summaries:


How do you use the past to propel you into your future?


What is your bud? What is your rose? What was the thorn? What are you looking forward to?


Another way you can journal is having a gratitude journal.


Three gratitudes at the end of each day.


Journaling helps you see your progress over time.


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Other episodes and posts you’ll enjoy:

4 Reasons Why Men Should Keep a Journal and How to Start a Journal

John Lee Dumas: Igniting Success with Journaling for 100 Days of Microbursts – BtR 338

Reaching Your Goals with Journaling: 8 Proven Steps to Achieving Success

Connect with me:

Leave a voicemail at (469) 608-0355.

Send an email to [email protected].

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Hosted and Edited by Jerry Dugan


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Jerry Dugan  00:00

Hey, what’s going on Rutter Nation. This is another installment of Jerry shorts, the shorter mini episodes that I share at the end of the week to help encourage you through the weekend to plan a great week next week. Now, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared some episodes where I talked with John Lee Dumas about the power of journaling to help achieve your goals. And then right after that, we talked to one of my podcasting heroes as if John Lee Dumas wasn’t one of my podcasting heroes. And that was Daniel, Feb, the host of based on a true story podcast. And then we took a dive into seeing life and seeing the world through other people’s shoes. And that was with Neil Matthews. So we have three episodes back to back that are all about taking a look at the past, taking a look at other people’s lives. And then how do we use that information to change our own lives? So that’s what I want to share with you in this short episode is how do you use the past to help propel you into your future? So if you want to hear those episodes with, with John Lee Dumas that’s at beyond the 338, the one with Dan love fab based on a true story, great podcast, by the way, that is at beyond the 339. And then Neil Matthews, that episode is that beyond 340, so if you want to listen to those get caught up, that’s great. But this, this is fine. I’m going to talk about really two journaling prompts that would help you take a look at your life, and see how you’re doing overall. And one of the most popular things, I got this idea from my wife, actually, Olivia brought this into our family. And we would have this as a discussion during dinner time. And I wound up using it as a journal prompt years later. So when our kids were young, elementary age, preschool age, we would ask them, each to share with us what was their rose? What was their bud? Or actually what was the rose? What was the thorn? And what is the bud that they’re looking forward to? So like a flower, the rose flower? And you know, what was your rose? What was the good thing that you experienced today? And then what was the thorn? What was that thing that kind of stuck you that you weren’t expecting? And how did you handle that? How did it make you feel? All those things? And then bud is taking ideally that thorn and turning it into a positive into the next day? And if if he can’t do that, then what is just another thing that you’re looking forward to in the next day? So rose something good Thorn, some challenge that you faced? And then bud, what is it you’re looking forward to the next day. And fun fact, the the Freedom Journal that I talked about with John Lee Dumas kind of covers that form, at the end of the day when you start off the day talking about what you want to accomplish, and some action items towards a 10 day sprint. And then you finish the day kind of reflecting what did I accomplish? What did I face as far as the challenge? And then how am I going to make that difference? So your bud, so anyway, Rose Thorn, but great way to just reflect on each and every day, as the day comes to an end. Another way you can journal so Another prompt is having a gratitude journal. So leaving out the challenges or reframing the challenges as statements of gratitude. If you want, you can read more about this in The Happiness Advantage by Sean a core. And it’s really just taking this hat like choosing happiness first, and you’ll find success comes to you. Whereas a lot of us chase success. Thank you, that’s what’s gonna bring us happiness. Great book, it’s pretty much how I’ve lived my life for a long time, didn’t realize that that was a thing didn’t realize that there was this whole thing called positive psychology that backed it. But essentially what you want to do at the end of each day, or first thing in the morning, but I do prefer when I did do this, I will do it at the end of each day where at least in prayer or in silence, think about the three things I’m most grateful for. So now that’d be an honest, if I were to do this, this would be during my morning routine, but at least want to go to bed and think about the three things I’m most grateful for. So three gratitudes, three things you are grateful for that day. This is why it makes more sense to do this at the end of the day, because it makes you think through all the things that have have gone through, it’s easy to come up with the things that went well. And you’re like, I’m grateful that I got a pay raise. I’m grateful I got a promotion. I’m grateful that I got booked to speak at a new event, dropping a hint there. So that’s easy to be grateful for. But what if you wound up having to take your dog to the vet and it cost you like $1,000? That would probably be a thorn in the other format we talked about. But then the grateful statement towards that would be I’m grateful that I had the money and the access to a veterinarian to take care of my dog. Maybe it’s a child. I’m grateful that I had health care coverage, and that I had the means to pay for the deductible and that we’ll be able to figure out how To navigate the rest of our expenses, so that would be taking something that was challenging. And reframing it into a grateful statement kind of makes a little bit easier to pursue the solution the next day. It can be overwhelming when you’re faced with things like that. So that’s three gratitudes as journal prompts, and I talked about the rose, thorn and Bud format. And the cool thing about this is if you do this every day, for a year, and then you do it, friend of mine, Dave coffin does, he’s a pastor at what he’ll do is he’s got years and years and years worth of these journals. And what he’ll do is, when he sits down for his quiet time, say today, he’ll look at his journal entry from a year ago, this day, a year ago. And he will look at what were the challenges he faced, what were the things he was praying about. And what you’ll find is that a lot of the things he was concerned about, had been resolved over time, he gets to see how all these things connect. And then he also gets to see, you know, what were the things he was worried about, that really turned out not to be a big deal. But he also would share things he had learned. And so he’d be surprised at how far he had come in a year, where he did not know a thing. And now he does know a thing. So journaling does help you see your progress as you go from point A to point B in life, and C and D and so on a really great practice. So whether you write it down or you keep it in Evernote, or OneNote, or something other than that. The cool thing is when you journal and you put your thoughts down, whether in either the two formats I talked about, or something completely different. You can look back and see how much you’ve grown over the years. So there you have it. That’s another Jerry short, you can find the notes on this one at beyond the s 006. And as always, if you like what you heard here, share it with a friend, a family member, a co worker or that neighbor across the street. All right, well, I’m glad I joined you again and I’ll see you next time. We’ll be back on Monday with another episode. Take care guys