Alex Banayan’s 30-day Journaling Challenge

I first heard of this 30-day journaling challenge from Alex Banayan, the author of The Third Door. I was listening to a podcast where he was discussing this journaling exercise and I got very intrigued by the questions. Thus, aI decided to commit to doing this exercise for 30 days straight.

I’ve been journaling for over 30 days, some weeks more consistently than others. However, I’ve never done it for such a long time without skipping a day. I was serious about getting the most from these exercises, and trust me when I say — I did!

Before we get into the challenge and what it is exactly you need to do, I want to stress how important it is that you do this for 30 days consistently. I know it can be quite tempting to miss a day, and when the hype wears off after the first 4-5 days it might be more challenging to stick to it – but do your best and persevere!

If you’re serious about getting the most out of this challenge, be consistent and commit to it fully!


The rules are simple.

  1. Answer 3 questions every day for 30 days, at the end of each day
  2. Do it pen to paper — not on your phone or tablet or computer
  3. Don’t skip a day. If you skip a day, start from the beginning. (I know it sucks, but trust me on this one!)

To not forget to do the exercise, I always put my notebook on my pillow, so if I’m getting ready for bed and I haven’t done the exercise yet — I’m reminded to do it!

It’s easy to forget if your notebook is hidden away somewhere in a drawer. Place it in a visible place where you’re reminded each night to do your journaling exercise.

The 3 Questions

These are 3 questions that you need to answer every day. They’re fairly simple, but you’ll be surprised how much you will get out of it. Often the simplest questions and practices, when done consistently, can have the most profound effect on us.

When you answer the below questions each night, write until you leave everything on paper. Don’t hold yourself back, don’t worry if it makes sense or not — just let it flow. Don’t hesitate, overthink, or analyse. Dump everything that is in your mind!

The 3 questions from Alex Banayan’s 30 day journaling challenge are:

  1. What filled me with enthusiasm today?
  2. What drained me of energy today?
  3. What did I learn about myself today?

That’s it. These are the three questions. Fairly simple, right?

If you’re feeling called to do this exercise, or if you’re just slightly curious — I really encourage you to do it! It will only take 10-15 minutes each evening, and you’ll be in awe of how many breakthroughs you’ll have.

When I was doing this challenge, I was working with a very difficult client. After about a week of journaling, I realized that under the question ‘what drained me of energy today?’ I always wrote the same answer: my client.

This went on for about 2 weeks until I was able to fully see that this client is the primary source of me feeling drained, exhausted, and unhappy. Needles to say…. he became an ex-client 🙂

Try it out for yourself

Enjoy this journaling experience and most importantly — have no expectations. Be open to everything that might come out and all the things you will learn about yourself. At the end of the 30 days, go back and re-read your entries. Try to see if there are any patterns.

What is consistently filling you with enthusiasm? What is consistently draining you of energy? What have you learned during this 30-day period? Look back at all of the insights that have come up in the last 30 days.

If you’d like to dive deeper into this exercise, you can check out my online class: Journaling for self-reflection: a simple 3 question practice. You might also want to check out some free journaling prompts that you can incorporate in your journaling practice.

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