Saturday, April 22, 2017

Journaling: S = Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones are what I consider the defining moments of life - moments of great significance and/or transformation.

Each life experience helps us become closer to the person we are intended to be. And each prepares us for the next logical step in life.

What do your Stepping Stones look like?
Think of the milestone moments in life first - watershed moments that you never forget. Place those on the timeline of your life. 

Next, think of distinctive phases in life. Some possible areas might include:
Birth to age 5
Elementary School years
Middle School years
High School years
College and/or young adult
Newly married and/or 20s
New family and/or 30s
Raising family and/or 40s
Empty Nest and/or 50s
Retirement and/or 60s
Post-Retirement and/or 70s, 80s, 90s....

Give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm each phase. Don’t judge the significance of the event right now, just allow memories to come to the surface and write them down. This brainstorm session will serve as future writing prompts for weeks to come.

Once you have developed a healthy list, review the various experiences and events to determine which ones were most significant in your life journey. Plot those on the timeline.

At this point, you have a visual summary of your life to date. 

Now it is time to review each stone separately and journal about the event. Delve into the event and don’t forget to include sensory details as well as any emotions of feelings you had at the time. 

* * *

Remember, there is no "perfect" number of Stepping Stones. If you can't remember much before the age of five, don't worry about it. This is a work in progress. When you least expect it, you may recall another milestone moment. Write it down. Plot it on your timeline. See how it informs your life's journey.

Up next: T is for Types of Journaling


  1. love your advice! I need to give those stepping stones some thought!

    1. I hope you find them as helpful as I do, Lisa!

  2. Good ideas and examples!

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Sunsets near the equator

  3. I have never tried this journal method. As I read it, I found myself thinking "that would work great for character development". Maybe it is time to start a fake journal for one of my story characters.

    1. Oohh... I LOVE this idea! I am in desperate need of doing some character development exercises. I devised an interview questionnaire, but I think creating a stepping stone map would be useful as well. Thanks for the suggestion :)

  4. Stepping Stones is an original post for S. Well thought out. S is for SEO Strategy as you Build a Better Blog #atozchallenge

    1. Thanks so much, Shirley! I pinned your SEO article for future reference :)

  5. My milestones appear more in the vein of gaining independence. Each period illustrates a lesson learned (sometimes a lesson forgotten and re-learned!) that allowed me to move toward the next stage of my life. It is an ongoing process that I've come to realize lasts a lifetime.

    1. Yes, Gail... independence is a common theme in my life. And I am constantly trying to learn from past mistakes :)

  6. I don't have kids, so my stepping stones are completely different!

    1. Perhaps you could just look at the decades of life rather than the suggested life phases (?)


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