BREAK Journaling (in progress)

Designing for a persona

Media: booklet design, branding

When: 2021 (in progress)

Client: Self-initiated

Tools: InDesign, Illustrator, Figma

Goal: To combine my design and personal development interests for a target persona.

BREAK is a journaling process I created while on vacation in Thailand just before the pandemic in February 2022. Days after a stressful project, I noticed myself ruminating on negative thoughts that I knew to be untrue.

On the trip I noted all the limiting beliefs I observed and a fact or two to disprove them. After a few days of this, my anxiety subsided. I drafted this five-step process on my last night of vacation, knowing it was special.

The Journal Steps

  • Belief: State the limiting belief
  • Reframe: How could you describe this situation without judgment?
  • Empower: What is an empowering alternative belief?
  • Attest: List facts that disprove the limiting belief
  • Kill: What can you do to totally eliminate the limiting belief?
My notebook with the first concept of the BREAK journaling process written out

My original BREAK Journal outline from 2020, pre-pandemic.

A screenshot of the first BREAK presentation cover slide, white text set in Inter on an orange background.

The first BREAK presentation from 2021.

Target persona

The pandemic triggered mental health issues for many people. I used the BREAK process repeatedly to keep my emotions in check throughout the summer of 2020. I shared my BREAK steps and vacation anxiety example with some close friends and a few found it helpful.

I defined this persona based on conversations with my friends, hoping to improve BREAK. In doing so, I made a clear picture of the kind of person BREAK could help. I uncovered a few ways to access the framework through these conversations, initially as a slideshow, but a guided workbook would be the most helpful.

A screenshot of an Instagram story from @roxamk showing the BREAK framework translated into Spanish

My reaction to the framework being translated into Spanish!


  • 26, female
  • Lives in Dallas, TX
  • Business analyst
  • Annual income: $80k
  • Pakistani American


  • Living with roommates
  • Recent break up
  • Immigrant trauma
  • Bullied until high school
  • Fitness journey after college


  • Confidence
  • Self-advocacy
  • Learning to set boundaries
  • Open her heart again
A moodboard depicting the lifestyle of the target user persona for BREAK Journaling

Moodboard based on the lifestyle of the target user persona.

The Booklet

Page dimensions: 11" x 8.5", US Letter size

I chose to design a physical booklet for many reasons, and the primary one is to learn about the process of designing a booklet. It’s easy to download PDF workbooks and forget about them in the downloads folder (I’m guilty of this myself). I continued using BREAK because I had a dedicated notebook for it.

Each of the five steps is accompanied by a typographic image, an explanation of the step, and an example.The BREAK booklet concludes with a journaling worksheet to guide the reader through the process for their own limiting beliefs.

As of January 2022, this booklet design is a work in progress. Through the Faces from Places support group I started in 2021, I have facilitated short BREAK workshops to guide our members through the process.

One member of the group has already translated the framework into Spanish. With another group member, I plan to present a BREAK workshop with the Small Business Administration in Arizona sometime in 2022.


Initial notebook sketches of typographic expressions for the steps in the BREAK Journaling processInitial notebook sketches of typographic expressions for the steps in the BREAK Journaling process

Workbook Spreads (in progress)

The first two page spread from the BREAK Journaling workbookThe second two page spread from the BREAK Journaling workbookThe third two page spread from the BREAK Journaling workbook

Journaling Worksheet (in progress)

A mockup of the journaling worksheet from the BREAK Journaling workbook

The BREAK Journal workbook ends with a worksheet to guide the reader through the process.