Nightly Writing Exercise

Clear Your Mind in Order to Build A Stronger Foundation

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Jill Sylvester, LMHC

Here is an exercise I often give to my clients:

Get a journal, notebook or pad of paper you like, with a pen or pencil of your choosing (I prefer blue ink for journaling) and sit in a comfortable space at the end of the day.

Write down three challenges you faced today and how you might handle those differently tomorrow. It can be as long or as brief as you like. List the challenges and see if you feel compelled to write a bit more about how those challenges made you feel.

Then, list three goals for tomorrow. They may or not pertain to the challenges you just wrote about. They could be in the area of physical health, emotional health, mental health, or spiritual health, or perhaps a combination of all four areas of wellness.

Finally, list 3–5 things you are grateful for and why. Example, I am grateful for my partner because it is another person to bounce things off of, someone to share time with, someone who has the skills I don’t in certain situations. If you tend to write the same things night, that’s ok, simply challenge yourself to write different reasons why.

Go to bed knowing you have emptied yourself of the noise in your mind, creating a stronger foundation in which to experience the world.

Jill Sylvester is a licensed mental health counselor, author of the Nautilus award winning book,”Trust Your Intuition: 100 Ways to Transform Anxiety and Depression for Stronger Mental Health,” and host of the “Trust Your Intuition Podcast.” Her work has been featured in Well+Good, Bustle, SheKnows, WorkingMother, Parenthood, TeenMentor, and To receive her weekly blog offering strategies to better your life, subscribe at

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