Journaling is a great way to learn about yourself. Seeing things on paper is a little different than just thinking about them. Reviewing your day and your thoughts can be a powerful tool for self-awareness and personal growth.
You can learn something from each day, but only if you have the intention of doing so. Journaling provides the insight to make positive changes to yourself and your life.
Use these journaling techniques to learn more about yourself and enhance your rate of personal development:
1. Make journaling a habit. Write in your journal daily to get the maximum effect. Journaling less frequently will allow you to be lazy in living your life. When you journal each day, you’ll feel compelled to have something to write about. Set aside 15-30 minutes each evening and make journaling a habit.
2. Review your day. Begin each journal entry by reviewing your day. What happened? Record anything you might want to remember in the future, whether it’s a day or 50 years from now. Hit the highlights and be willing to be honest with yourself.
3. Look for ways to improve. When you lay out your day in front of you, you’ll notice ways you can improve. It might be dealing with difficult people more effectively or deciding to look for a new job.
4. List your challenges and shortcomings. Write about the challenges you’re facing in your life. Put them down on paper and see them from a different perspective.
◦ What are your personal shortcomings? Are you impatient? Do you want to work on your social skills? Do you lack goals? What can you work on to enhance your qualities or skills?
5. Use writing prompts. There are books of journaling prompts. These are questions you can ask yourself and then write your responses to them. Here are several to get you started:
◦ My three greatest strengths are…
◦ My three greatest weaknesses are… (also list some ways to overcome them.)
◦ My version of success is…
◦ I would be happier if…
◦ If I could travel anywhere, it would be…
◦ My biggest mistake was…
◦ If I could start over, I would…
◦ The most important things I can do to improve my life are…
◦ How would you like to be remembered?
◦ What is something you want to learn? Why?
◦ Describe yourself in detail. Include the positive and the negative.
6. Review your life. This could take a few hours or more. Start at the beginning and record your thoughts on your life. Write about your home life and schooling as a young child. What were your teens like? What were the mistakes you made along the way? How have you ended up where you are?
◦ How have your perceptions and understanding of life changed over the years? What do you want to change going forward?
◦ If you could redo certain parts of your life, what would you do instead?
Journaling is intimidating for most people. We don’t want to look at the dark places in ourselves and our lives. However, shining a little light on these areas can do more for your life than you realize.
The basis for personal growth is gaining a greater understanding of yourself. Journaling is an effective way to accomplish this. Create a journaling habit and watch your personal growth take off.