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Journal your way to the future you want

July 31, 2022 - 19 min read

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What is a manifestation journal?

8 questions to ask yourself in your manifestation journal

12 manifestation journal ideas with examples

How to choose the right manifestation journal for you

Let anxiety go

There’s a tool that can unlock the full powers of the brain. It can reduce your stress, improve your mental health, and free up cognitive resources to work on important tasks. It can even lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system.

No, we’re not talking about a pill that gives you extra brainpower and causes addiction. We’re talking about something much healthier (and less expensive): journaling.

According to a study conducted at Michigan State University, your brain can only handle so many thoughts and emotions at once. But by writing them down in a journal, you take them out of your head and leave them on the page — freeing up extra cognitive resources. When you clear your mind like this, you can focus on other important tasks.

It’s important to be mindful of where you direct that extra mental energy. Different journaling techniques will point you in different directions. But when it comes to achieving your goals, a type of journaling known as manifest journaling might be your best bet. 

The concept of manifesting or manifestation has gained popularity in recent years and gained an equal amount of criticism. But a few of the tools from this movement, including journals, have been around in some form for years and have some evidence for their effectiveness.

With the right balance of thought and action, you can use your manifestation journal healthily and effectively.

This type of journaling orients your brain toward achieving your ambitions. It keeps your goals front-and-center so that you see the world through the lens of what you want to achieve. That way you’re always ready to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

You might already be using a manifestation journal. Or, you might be a long-time journaler who wants some additional structure to move in the direction of your goals. Or you might be a journaling beginner, that’s okay. Let’s start with a quick refresher on what this tool is.

Then we can go over some manifestation journal examples so you can get started on your own.

What is a manifestation journal?

For true manifesters, the manifest journal is based on the laws of attraction, which can sound a little like wishful thinking instead of doing. But you don’t have to believe in the law of attraction to use a manifestation journal.

Instead, think of it as a way to practice future-minded thinking, training your mind to visualize and start building your ideal future.

Visualization is a useful practice backed by science, and so is journaling. If a manifestation journal gets you into the habit, we support it.

What are the laws of attraction?

The laws of attraction are a set of beliefs about how the universe works. Despite the name, they aren’t natural laws and have no basis in science. However, understanding these three core beliefs can help you understand the intent behind manifestation journaling:

  • Similar things are attracted to each other. Positivity attracts positivity, and negativity attracts negativity. So, if you want positive outcomes in your life, it’s best to adopt a more positive outlook.
  • Nature automatically fills empty spaces. When you cut something out of your life, something else replaces it. You have to be deliberate about making sure the new thing is something positive rather than negative.
  • You can always improve the present. There’s always something you can do to improve your current situation. Even the smallest actions accumulate over time. Before you know it, you’ll be in a much better place than before.

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Taken at face value, adopting a positive outlook, paying attention to how we fill the voids in our lives, and getting started with small steps in the here and now are all solid advice. It’s not mystical; it’s tangible. It’s in that spirit that manifestation journaling might prove helpful.

Do manifestation journals work?

When used correctly, manifest journals can help you visualize the desired future for yourself and identify and commit to the steps to make it happen. Manifesting isn’t just about setting goals; it’s about believing you can achieve them. 

Part of believing for many people is actually being able to envision themselves living that different life or feeling the sensation of having achieved that goal. Journaling can help by letting you really play out the scene and think through the details of what you’re trying to achieve.

But it’s important not to let your manifestation practice teeter into toxic positivity. The technique has received some criticism for encouraging the suppression of negative emotions rather than processing them healthily. Over time, this can be detrimental to your mental health. 

That being said, this approach to self-reflection shines in its ability to motivate you. It keeps your goals front-and-center and reminds you that a better life is possible. These are valuable assets when the world can feel overwhelming.

Are you ready to build your future? BetterUp can help. Our coaches could be exactly what you need to reach your full potential. Together, you will set meaningful goals, make a plan, and work toward a life of greater passion, purpose, and clarity.

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8 questions to ask yourself in your manifestation journal

The first step to manifesting is knowing what your goals are. This sounds deceptively simple, but figuring out what goals really matter to you can be a process.

One criticism of manifestation is that it tends to jump to the manifesting without doing the hard work of self-discovery to understand your values and self-motivation

But you can’t make something happen, and get satisfaction from it, if you don’t do the work to understand what your goals really are? (Hint: the goals that will bring satisfaction and fulfillment probably aren’t tied to a specific dollar figure of wealth or a certain number of followers.)

Here are some journal prompts that can help your visualization:

1. What are your short-term goals?

2. What are your long-term goals?

3. How do your short-term goals help you achieve your long-term goals?

4. Do you still want the same things you used to? How have things changed?

5. Can you adjust your current goals to reach your attain your desires?

6. What do you want to accomplish before you die?

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7. How do you imagine the last years of your life?

8. What can you do now to get there?

12 manifestation journal ideas with examples

Now, what do you write in a manifestation journal? That will depend on your approach and technique. 

Here’s a summary of how you can approach your journaling practice. We’ve compiled the common types and examples of how to write a manifestation journal.

1. Gratitude journal

This manifestation process involves creating a gratitude list. Your perspective shifts to something more positive when you appreciate what you have. That’s why showing gratitude is a popular manifest journaling method. 

Example: I’m grateful for the support of my boss as I develop new skills at work.

2. The 5x55 method

Here you write an intention 55 times every day for five days. This helps your dream feel real, rather than something far off in the future.

Example: Write, “I will be a manager next year” 55 times.

3. Evening reflections

The goal here is to take care of your emotional health before bed. Put your worries on the page and etch positivity into your subconscious as you sleep.

For example: “I loved that I received a compliment on my work today. It makes me feel valued, even if the job is hard sometimes.”

4. Letting go of limiting beliefs

Write everything you believe about something (e.g., relationships, money, or work), then cross out the ones holding you back. Letting go of limiting beliefs can help you achieve your goals.

Here is an example from a manifestation journal sample:

Here’s everything I believe about my career:

  • I’m a strong worker with great skills in this industry
  • I’m capable of running my own team
  • I thrive on responsibility at work

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Notice how one of them is crossed out? That item is a limiting belief that will only hold you back at work. Acknowledge it, and then get rid of it.

5. The 369 method

This is similar to the 5x55 method. But instead of writing your affirmations 55 times, you’ll do more repetitions over a few days:

  • Three lines in the morning 
  • Six lines in the afternoon
  • Nine lines in the evening

Do this 21 days in a row.

For example: Repeat “I will be able to live off of my own business by the end of next year” at the intervals above.

Both the 5x55 and 369 methods play with the idea of power through numerology. If that makes it fun for you, go with it. Otherwise, understand that these methods are based on using repetition to guide your focus and rewire your brain.

The numbers don’t matter, but some pattern of repetition for a few days can help the thinking stick.

6. Daily intentions

Every morning, write down something you will accomplish today. This will set your direction for the next 24 hours.

For example: “I will speak up in my budget meeting this afternoon.” 

Or, “I will think out loud today to share my thought process with my colleagues rather than waiting until I am positive to share my ideas.”

7. Romantic manifestations

If you’re single, list everything you appreciated about your previous relationships. Then visualize how they might come together in a future romantic partner who is more compatible.

For example:

Here’s everything I loved about my previous partners:

  • I loved how Partner 1 checked in when they were running late at work
  • I loved when Partner 2 took care of me when I was sick
  • I loved how Partner 3 encouraged me to pursue my goal

Now you know what to look for in your next partner.

8. Synchronicities

Pay attention to small bits of luck and ascribe meaning to them. This will help you feel like the universe is going your way.

For example: “The problem I had at work practically solved itself. It was like my whole team was looking out for me today.” 

Now take it a step further and identify what you did that made it seem like the universe was on your side.

Because the problem with ascribing meaning to synchronicities is that it is deeply disempowering: if the universe is for you one day and against you the next, there’s now much you can do about it, right? So think about the ways you flexed your strengths or compassion or relationships, today or in the past, that might have made your team want to help you out. 

For example: “I realize the time I have invested in caring about my teammates and building positive relationships was paying off in their willingness to help me today.

In particular, the fact that I stayed late to help with last week’s presentation, even though it wasn’t my responsibility, probably created goodwill and modeled the way I want my team to work together.”

9. Positive affirmations

In your daily journal, write down positive statements that help you overcome negative thoughts

For example:

  • I am capable of succeeding at my goals
  • I am open to being the best version of myself
  • I open my mind and soul to creativity 
  • I welcome positive energy in my life
  • I release all of my insecurities
  • I have a right to fulfill my dreams
  • I am capable of self-love

10. Surrender statements

This exercise aims to relax and have faith that things will work out. Manifesters may frame this as surrendering yourself to the universe, allowing the chips to fall where they may. 

But it’s equally an exercise in self-compassion and self-care. You accept yourself for being human. You embrace the importance of managing and reducing stress for yourself.  

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Write down what is causing you stress and let it go. You can use a locus of control exercise to help articulate all of the things on your mind and which ones you can control and which you cannot. You forgive yourself, as a human, for not being the one to control all of the other pieces.

For example:

  • I can relax because this problem is only temporary
  • I let go of the negativity this difficult co-worker is directing at me

11. Future scripting

At its core, future scripting is about writing your dream life in the present tense.

In other words: Imagine what it’s like to achieve your goal. Write what you’d be doing every day, who your peers are, and what tasks you’d do. It’s what it’s like to be in your dream life. 

For example: if you’re just starting your company, imagine what it would be like to grow. 

“Today, I was my third meeting with my senior staff. As CEO, I directed them on some core issues related to the company’s growth.”

12. Manifestation journal prompts

You can use writing prompts for each of your journal entries. There are many available online, but here are some examples to get you started:

  1. The type of rest my mind and body need right now is… 
  2. In the next five years, a habit I want to develop is…
  3. I feel the happiest when…
  4. I can strengthen my self-awareness by…
  5. If I feel like I don’t have enough self-confidence, I can…

How to choose the right manifestation journal for you

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for what type of manifestation journal will work for you. If one feels easier than the others, go for that one!

You might also find that some manifestation techniques suit your goals more than others. Feel free to experiment and see what works for you.

Let anxiety go

Manifestation journaling and other kinds of journaling are powerful tools for self-care and letting go of your anxiety. It allows you to turn negative thoughts into hopeful ones and break anxious spirals with positive action.

Armed with these manifestation journal examples, you’ll also find the motivation you didn’t know you had. You’ll find the courage to turn your goals into reality and take the steps necessary to improve your life.

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Published July 31, 2022

Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

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