I’ve been journaling in Questions For Life: Two Year Guided Daily Journal For Intentional Living for a year now. Since it’s a two-year journal, I’m at the wonderful point where I can reflect back on what I wrote last year: what I did every day, what my happiest moments were, what I was grateful for, and how I answered the self-discovery questions. I read what I wrote through the end of 2016. It’s been insightful to see what a difference a year has made, and at the same time, where I’m still stuck. Some things that upset me this time last year no longer matter. But there were areas where I was struggling that I still find myself struggling with today. This self-reflection and comparison over a year’s time helps provide an understanding of my emotions, strengths and weaknesses. It provides me with clarity and direction for moving forward. This is the magic of journaling and reflection.
For example, here is the question for December 23: What are you avoiding? Why?
Last year I wrote three things each followed by “because it’s hard.” One of those things I no longer want to do, thankfully. One of those things I’m still avoiding because it’s still hard. And one of those things is still really hard, but guess what, I’m not avoiding it anymore.
I think that question alone is a great example of the difference a year can (and also can’t) make. And now I know one of my 2018 goals needs to be that thing I’ve avoided for two years because it’s hard. I don’t want to still be avoiding it next year, too. I know I can do hard things. It’s time to tackle this one.
This is the magic of journaling and reflection! It is crucial to our well-being to be able to see our change, our growth, and yet also identify where we’re stuck. Not to mention, we tend to have amnesia when it comes to the day-to-day. Reading through my happiest moments from December 2016 has brought back lovely memories that didn’t necessarily make the 2016 highlight reel.
I’ve also been expressing gratitude in this journal every day for over a year now. Not once did I struggle to find something to be grateful for. Many days, I was grateful for things as simple as laughing with friends, a long chat with my oldest brother, being home after a couple days away, or being able to help a friend… Identifying something you feel grateful for every day helps you realize how truly fortunate you really are.
This post is not intended to be an advertisement for Questions For Life (although I highly recommend it not only because I wrote it, but because I use it every day). This post is to share with you the magic of journaling and reflection. This is specifically why I created it as a two-year journal. Journaling alone is reflective and wonderful, but having a direct comparison to what you wrote the year before is where the magic happens. Being reminded of what was going on, what you did, what made you happy… learning from it and growing from it.
I’m enjoying this journal very much. I always look forward to writing in it, but now even more so reading about last year.
Questions For Life is on sale at Amazon right now for $15.99. Although it can be started any time of the year, the new year is a great time. Buy one for a gift and one for yourself and experience the magic of journaling and reflection for yourself.