This how-to guide will show you exactly how to get the most out of your Pledge to Stay Well Journal. We've included a written guide along with video tutorials and plenty of examples to get you started.
Got a question we haven’t covered? We’d love to hear from you.
You do not need to complete these in a particular order. Simply choose what you are called to journal about. Some days, you might prefer to write freely. Other days, you might want to engage in a deeper reflection. These prompts can pave the way for new insights and revelations.
Store your cards in the back pocket of your journal for easy access.
Write what comes to mind, not what sounds good. It’s not about perfecting your response, it’s about being truly honest with yourself.
Adopt a beginner’s mindset.Let go of any preconceived ideas you might have and create space for new insights and revelations to take place.
Let go of what you should value.Be honest with yourself as you complete this exercise. Let go of the expectations imposed by society, work, family and friends. This is about your values, not anyone else’s. Living by someone else’s values will only spark internal conflict since you’re not being true to yourself.
The Core Values exercise:
Complete the following set of journalling prompts: Discovering Core Values and Beliefs. Use the lined pages beginning on page 22 to write your responses. This process of self-reflection will help shine a light on your core values.
Once you have a list of values (extracted from your responses), group values that share a common theme and select a word that best represents each group. Use the template on page 9 to complete this step.
Eg. Values like learning, growth and personal development are related. Personal growth might work as a central theme for these values.
Refine your list down to five core values and rank them in order of importance to you. These are the values that resonate with you on the deepest level. Use the template on page 10 to complete this step.
Two strategies for ranking and prioritising your core values:
For each value, ask yourself:
Why is this value important to me?
Does this value represent how I show up in the world?
Is this value something I consistently stand up for?
How would I feel if this value wasn’t present in my life?
How would I feel if I had to compromise on this value? Be mindful of strong emotional reactions to the thought of compromising on certain values. These are clues as to what matters most to you.
Compare the pair:
Take a minute or two to rank your values intuitively, without thinking about it too much. You might be starting with an initial list of ten values or you might be using this exercise to simply rank the five core values you’ve already identified.
Once you have a list, compare value #1 with value #2. If you had to choose between living by value #1 or value #2 for the rest of your life, which would you choose? For the purpose of this exercise, you can only choose one to live by.
If value #1 wins, compare it to value #3 on your list and ask yourself the same question. Which is more important to you if you could only choose one and had to compromise on the other? Value #1 or value #3?
Keep going down the list until something beats value #1. If value #4 is more important than value #1, then compare value #4 with the rest of the list. If it wins against all other values on your list, then it takes the #1 position on your list of values.
Repeat this process until you have an order for your values.
In one sentence, describe what each core value means to you. What does living by this value look like?
Eg. Personal growth: building life skills that enhance my quality of life and challenging myself by taking voluntary steps outside of my comfort zone.
The following prompts, taken from Alleviating Stress and Anxietyand Cultivating Self-Love and Self-Worthcan help you dig a little deeper and identify helpful coping strategies for managing difficult emotions:
What can you do to nurture your heart when it is tired?
What self-care did you enjoy as a child? How can you bring this into your life now?
What is the most supportive, self-compassionate and optimistic thought you could have during a stressful situation? Write down a few ideas, then choose your favourite thought to use during stressful situations.
Imagine a friend is going through a stressful experience. What would you say to them to help them get through it? Next time you experience stress, read back over your answer to this prompt.
Choose one of your stress triggers from above and describe three positive actions you can take to minimise the impact of that trigger?
Describe three activities that make you feel supported, refreshed, or calm? Try scheduling these self-care activities into your weekly planner to help prevent stress.
Leave room for activities that resonate with you later down the track. You don’t need to fill in all the blank spaces. You can slowly add to it over time as you discover new ways to better care for yourself.
Ask the people who know you best what they believe helps you when you’re feeling stressed, exhausted or sad. You don’t need to take their word for it. Ultimately, what you add to your checklist needs to feel right to you.
It’s perfectly fine if you use a couple of the same activities or rituals to manage different emotions. For example, if taking a walk is your go-to strategy when you’re feeling stressed and sad, that’s perfectly fine. You don’t need to come up with a unique set of activities for each emotion if it doesn’t apply to you.
Revisit this section and use the responses of your inner coach to provide guidance and perspective when you need it most.
Read over the responses of your inner coach, not just when you reallyneedit but on your good days, too. The more frequently you read over your responses, the more deeply embedded they will be in your mind, and the more natural it will feel to channel your inner coach.
After every journalling session, ask yourself: Is there anything noteworthy from this journal entry that I would like to remember?Any important insights or revelations I don’t want to forget?If the answer is yes, log your breakthrough in the Lightbulb Moments section.