As we leave behind the celebrations of Christmas and begin a new year it is a great time to pause and reflect on our behaviours, successes and failures of the past year and to consider how we can use these learnings in the year ahead. One of the best ways to do this is to start a journal.
Why should I journal?
It can be very easy to drift through life, going through each day in the same manner as the last. To use the popular expression: we eat, sleep, work, repeat. It can also be easy to wonder why nothing is changing when we do nothing that will bring about that change. The only way to make a difference is to do just that... make a difference. If you tried to open a tin can with a broken tin opener would you just keep trying again and again with the same result? Or would you try using a different tin opener? The answer seems obvious doesn't it? The same should go for our psychological behaviours. We have all been guilty of it at one point or another; repeating the same habits day in, day out, wondering why nothing has changed when we are not actually making any conscious effort to change our habits. It is only when we take the time to step out of our routine to look back over our daily actions that we can begin to pinpoint negative patterns.
What are the benefits?
Journalling is hugely beneficial for self development, it can help us to review what we are doing and decide whether it is working for or against us in terms of growth. When we journal we learn to evaluate our behaviours and thoughts which can help us to become more rounded, emotionally intelligent individuals and have a better understanding of our needs, goals and ambitions both in the workplace and in our personal lives.
How do I do it?
There are many different elements we can reflect upon when we journal; emotions, productivity, values, reactions, drives, feelings, thought processes, defences, goals. Approaching these simultaneously can sometimes become overwhelming so it is important to break them down into bite size chunks. By allowing ourselves to focus in on one small area of life each day we can give it our full undivided attention which in turn allows us to get the most out of keeping a journal. Writing the answers to the same questions repeatedly at regular intervals is the best way to keep track of how our responses changes over time. If a negative answer remains the same, what can we do to change it? To grow from the learning? What can we take from that answer to ensure we are responding to the situation in the best way we can in order to live the best we can? That has got you thinking hasn't it? See, you're ready to start writing!
What are the questions I should be asking?
It is important when we journal to ensure we are asking the right questions. The 9 JOURNAL cards within the Mind Cards pack contain questions which are varied across different elements and specifically chosen to ensure you are asking the right sort of questions to stretch you and your limits. This is to allow you to be honest and open about whether you are living your life as the best version of you. Make sure you keep your answers in one notebook so you can reflect back on previous answers when you pick a card a second or third time.