Roses, Thorns, and Buds Silver Lining Daily Journal

Roses, Thorns, and Buds Silver Lining Daily Journal


The roses, buds and thorns exercise has been used by groups, organizations, and families for decades as a check-in on how things are going. I created a journal with tips and prompts so you can use this time-tested system to check in with yourself, savor the feel-good moments, process the challenges, and identify new opportunities for happiness and growth.


Roses, Thorns and Buds Silver Lining Journal for Daily Joys, Challenges and Inspirations


What does Roses, Buds and Thorns Mean? What is the Rose, Bud, Thorn Exercise?

The Roses, Buds and Thorns reflection activity is sometimes performed as a team exercise or way to start a group meeting. It's also sometimes used by classroom teachers or by families as a check-in. 

The common way to see the title of the exercise is using the order Roses, Buds and Thorns. I prefer to change the order to Roses, Thorns, and Buds so that the reflection begins and ends with something positive. 

Roses are the sources of happiness, big and small.

Thorns are the prickly, uncomfortable, or outright painful things that happen during the day.

Buds are not yet fully developed but contain the potential for something good. They lift you up with the glimmer of things you’re looking forward to or the spark of inspiration.


Roses, Thorns and Buds Daily Journal 

My Roses, Thorns and Buds Silver Lining Journal for Daily Joys, Challenges and Inspirations provides a place for you to have both the happy and the crappy parts of your day acknowledged, and reflect on what nourishes and inspires you.

Having a goal of writing about the highs and lows of your day helps you notice the sources of happiness as you through your day. And it gives you a place to air your irritants and potentially process them. 


Roses, Thorns and Buds Silver Lining Journal for Daily Joys, Challenges and Inspirations


This Silver Lining Journal includes:

  • Six months of daily pages with prompts and spaces for writing about your roses, thorns, and buds.
  • Weekly illustrated quote pages to provide some built-in buds of inspiration. The quote pages offer a variety of activities you can use if you like, including a word puzzle, a maze, find the hidden items, and coloring. (Check out this blog post for my review of no-bleed coloring options: Simple Helpful Journal and Planner Accessories.)
  • A few lined and blank pages at the back of the journal in case you have more to say.
  • My 101 Emotions list to help you label the feelings connected to your roses, thorns, and buds if you’d like to do that. (Research shows that including how you feel about things in your journaling improves both mental and physical health.)


Roses, Thorns and Buds Examples

Roses are the positives of your day. They might be:

  • Successes or accomplishments (Celebrate the micro-wins! Don’t wait for the big accomplishments—though note them too!)
  • Sources of smiles or laughs
  • Things that are working well
  • The day’s high points (It doesn’t need to be skyscraper high. On a day with a lot of low points, the high may not be all that high.)

Thorns are the challenges in your day. They might be:

  • Moments of emotional discomfort
  • Sources of stress
  • Things that you wish had gone differently or aren’t working well
  • The day’s low points

Buds are about potential. They might be:

  • Something you’re looking forward to
  • Sources of inspiration or a different way of looking at things
  • Things in development, like new or upcoming projects, that encourage or energize you
  • Growth opportunities and related plans (possibly ways to deal with thorns that you identified or nurture your roses)

There are more specific examples of roses, buds, and thorns to stimulate your reflecting and writing in the introduction pages of the journal. 

 Roses, Thorns and Buds Silver Lining Journal for Daily Joys, Challenges and Inspirations


More Silver Lining Workbooks and Journals

Silver Lining Workbooks and Journals


Through the work I've done helping my counseling clients, I've created a series of journals, workbooks, and planners to help make your life better. Any of them can be used alone or as compliments to each other. 

Check them out:

Building Skills to Uplevel Life: Silver Lining Emotional Intelligence Workbook

Learn, Let Go, Lighten Up: Silver Lining Emotional Detox Journal & Workbook

Becoming Calm: Silver Lining Anxiety and Stress Resilience Workbook and Journal

Increasing My Happiness Quotient: Silver Lining Joy Journal & Workbook

From To-Do to Ta-Done! Silver Lining 6-Month Daily To-Do List Planner

Roses, Thorns and Buds Silver Lining Journal for Daily Joys, Challenges and Inspirations

Discovering How Foods Affect Me: Silver Lining Elimination Diet Journal



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  • Ann Silvers
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