Where does positive change in life come from? What is the key ingredient, the compass? Mindset is an obvious answer: it’s no secret that how we view ourselves, other people and circumstances determines the direction in which life flows. Many of us want a mindset that is optimistic yet flexible, focused on growth and reaching the goals we set for ourselves. Yet, thinking how we know we should think demands practice and hard work. So, how do we train our minds to stay resilient in the face of challenge, look at the bigger picture and pinpoint where we need to improve in order to move forward?
Through unbiased self-evaluation, you can search for a more nuanced answer and overcome our instinctive tendency to search for simple conclusions. This, in turn, paves way for personal development by identifying the exact problems at hand, their origins and how they stand in the way of your goals. We must, in a sense, learn to take an aerial view of our lives.
Journaling is one of, if not the best way to practice self-evaluation and reflection. Many people, from scientists to historical figures and writers, identify their journaling habit as a centrepiece aspect of their success.
Others are skeptical of how a little notebook can supplement their journey to self-improvement. This used to be me. I worried about investing precious minutes into something without a tangible, immediate outcome. Yet by giving it a go, I learnt that journaling has a strong grounding influence. This in itself makes it worthwhile. Putting pen to paper streamlines the countless thoughts swirling around our heads. We can hold onto anything useful while taking out the rubbish. We can understand ourselves better and live each day with an uncluttered mind. And you guessed it – we can use journaling to get closer to our objectives and reflect on our personal development, whatever that term may mean to you. Just like they can help us organise our time, finances, tasks, journals put our thoughts in order and bring to light significant facts we may have otherwise missed.
I’ve talked before about how productivity and becoming your best self go beyond to-do lists and one-size-fits-all solutions. You need to personalise your approach and think within a longer timescale. Here’s where journaling can assist you. It’s your platform to reflect on yourself and your life as extensively as you wish, combining an emotional outlet with a roadmap for future action. And of course, effective journaling does not mean time consuming. Think five to ten minutes a day, or a couple of sentences. That’s all you need to give yourself momentum.
I’ve compiled a list of 25 prompts broadly related to productivity and reaching your goals to give you some ideas. Use these, and anything else that comes to mind, to initiate a journaling habit. Remember to be as specific as possible in your answers and journal consistently, because it is very much an activity the benefits of which are maximised in the long run.
Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This does not result in any extra cost for you, but it does mean that I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.