How To Do A Self-Reflection By Keeping A Journal

When there’s no recollection of the past, there’s no guidance for the future since your future is build on yesterdays errors.”

The most important thing when it comes to creating yourself is being completely honest in your current situation. Many people don’t really focus on progressing in their life and just live it day by day. When you ask them;

“What’s up” they’ll always respond with;

“Not much”, “OK”, “Fine, you?” and so-forth. Not really thinking at all.

They usually just say this automatically and will respond vaguely just to avoid the question.

But are they really OK? Do they really like the situation they’re in? I believe it’s just a reflection of how apathetic they’ve become towards their circumstances. I like to call this “zombie-mode”

Something I try to stay away from at all costs.

They don’t really do a regular introspection by which they could gain more insight on how they are actually feeling/doing (and how they can actually make it better)

But at least you’re smarter than that, right?

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Self-Reflection

To do this I’ve designed for myself a daily & weekly reflection in which I ask myself some basic questions in order to clearly assess how I am doing and what areas I need to focus on more.

It allows me to see & fix recurring problems, record the progress I’ve been making and how I need to adjust my life for optimal results.

For the reflections I use the following questions;

Daily Reflection (Evening)

  1. What good did I do today?
  2. How did I feel today? (Energy, emotions, thoughts?)
  3. What did I learn today?
    1. What new decisions have I made and what do I expect to happen (feedback analysis)
  4. What were my character flaws? How did I treat others?
  5. Am I getting trapped in routine? AM I FULLY ENGAGED?
  6. Am I pushing myself hard enough (at edge?)<-> Am I pushing myself too hard (crashing)?
    1. Austerity/discomfort, challenge (what do I fear? –> Go do it)
    2. Relaxing breaks, baths, music, poetry, sleeping/naps, …
  7. Am I severely neglecting one area of my life that’s infecting others?

Plan Next Day

  1. What are the most important things to focus my energy on tomorrow? (3 – 4 important tasks)
  2. What will I write about tomorrow?
  3. What will my ultimate life be like? visualize perfect life and let it manifest

Weekly Reflection

  1. Am I getting weaker or stronger? (upward spiral or downward spiral?)
  2. Who am I trying to be (what person am I?)
  3. What are my current character flaws?
  4. Solution?
  1. Check on my goal template
  2. Where am I now? Health? Financially? Socially/romantically?
  3. Where do I want to be?/Do I need a change in direction?
  4. Why do I want this?
  5. What are my top 5 priorities at this point? (actions)
  6. What’s working (do more of this) & What isn’t working (do less of this)
  7. Am I making the right decisions for the long term? What will I regret when I’m 80?
  8. What are the recurring problems I need to fix?
  9. Re-prioritize my reading list

I simply write the answers down in my journal to get a nice overview of how I’m progressing over time.

How?

  • Keep a hand-written paper journal/digital journal
  • Write before 9PM (set a timer) I found personally that my mind starts to shut down after 9PM and I start writing gibberish in my journal.
  • Just Write Something. The most important thing when it comes to journaling is to make it a consistent habit. Whenever you feel like you don’t really want to write down anything, do it anyway. Just make it short.

Essence 

How many people actually ask themselves these self reflection questions?

How many people actually consciously decide what kind of person they want to be and where they want go in their life?

If you’re reading this post, you’re the exception! 

Anyway, what should be taken away from this post?

  • Do a full self-reflection every week/evening! (start right NOW!)
  • Get yourself a journal!

If you’re able to this self reflection regularly there’s no telling how much progress you’ll able to make in a very short amount of time.

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8 Comments

  1. Simon,

    What an interesting thought. I appreciate your unique point of view. It has allowed me to evaluate my our beliefs to identify the differences. Thank you for taking the time to help me become more cultured and open minded.

    -Britton

  2. This article was beyond helpful for me! I am 17 years old and anxiety has always been the number one thing to trump me. Seeing as I also have been diagnosed with severe social anxiety, I am hoping keeping this journal will help me move forward to the version of me I have always wanted to be!

    • Hey Jessica,

      Consider reading the “social skills guidebook” book by Chris Macleod. It’s a book specifically aimed at people with SA or introverts and who’ve had bad experiences with people in the past. Life-changer.

      You can also check out his free content at succeedsocially.com, good stuff!

  3. Simon:
    More questions you should ask yourself: Why am I a homophobe?

    Where does my hatred of gay people come from?

    Why do I think that homosexuality is unnatural?

    What does unnatural even mean?

    What does it mean to be gay?

    Why do I harbor this bigotry?

    How can I live up to my potential with this ignorance standing in my way?

    I think that getting to the bottom of this could provide you with some really valuable insights.

    • Hey FTL,

      Thanks for leaving some feedback man, I appreciate your opinion so I can improve myself.

      I understand where your anger comes from as I’m not always able to express my thoughts to the best of my abilities (but continuously strive to improve upon this)
      My opinions are ever-changing and can be somewhat controversial like the past has proven.

      I do however think I should be able to share my insights on this topic despite the fact we’re of a different opinion. I can’t change your beliefs nor do I intend to do so. The only thing I can do is to shine a light on my perspective.

      Anyway, I’ve written some of my thoughts on homosexuality in the video “How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are” by Andrew Solomon. I’m not sure if you read my full debate with “vorpal22” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiM5a-vaNkg)

      I quote;

      Q1
      “While exceptions occur, in most of nature offspring is created and nurtured by a male and female of the species. In my opinion homosexuality is a genetic modification that sabotages this basic instinct for survival (gay couples simply aren’t able to procreate alone), meaning there’s a defect in their genetic make-up.” (again my own opinion)

      Q2
      “Homosexuality is most likely (again theory) a combination of our genes and the way our environment enables us to express certain aspects of those genes (epigenetics). Guess it is fair to say then because we can’t control which genes get passed on to our children or whether or not they get expressed, we can’t conclude the cause of homosexuality.

      Note, I’m not asking homosexuals for limiting their life. Who am I to say how others should live their life. I believe everyone should make responsible choices for him/herself based on what they believe is true. ”

      Q3
      “My stance on this is solely that I see homosexuality as a defect (whether genetically or epigenetically, it’s still a change in genetic make-up) I don’t view it as bad nor particularly good either. It’s just strange to see a specie self-sabotage itself by becoming attracted to the same sex and I’m wondering if this will have a negative impact on the future generations.”

      I know I probably offended you (and others) by making these statements but yet I still believe these things to be true. I hope you’re somehow able to catch a glimpse of my concern and let the matter drop, I never intended this result.

      Anyway, let me know what you think FTL,

      Take great care,

      Simon

      • I think you mistake my intentions here, I do not come at you from a place of anger but from a place of correction. I see your views as errant, and one of the sources of pain, anger and hatred in this world (the other would be religion). With these views I certainly would wish that you do not reproduce as the views that you express would be psychologically harmful to your children whether they are heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual or asexual.

        The main problem with your argument is that you are trying to get an “Ought” from an “Is”. You see the way that evolution has produced children from sexual pair mating (the “Ought) and decided that that is the way that things should be (the “Is”). You’ve honed in on male/female genetic mating and decided that it “is” the exemplar in the world.

        But that honing in on male/female genetic pair mating is completely spurious. It isn’t even the way that the vast majority of life on Earth arises. Since bacteria outnumber us — your body contains more bacteria than your own cells, by a margin of 10 to 1, and they reproduce asexually I have to wonder: Do you consider asexual reproduction to be defective? Do you consider non-gender DNA exchanges to be defective? Aside from bacteria though, have you read any of the literature on current thought about why species (Homo Sapiens are not alone in this) produce LGBT offspring? I quote from the “Homosexual Behavior in Animals” Wiki page:

        “No species has been found in which homosexual behaviour has not been shown to exist, with the exception of species that never have sex at all, such as sea urchins and aphis. Moreover, a part of the animal kingdom is hermaphroditic, truly bisexual. For them, homosexuality is not an issue.”

        Finally, to address your belief that homosexuality might be self-sabotage I have to take issue with your belief that the sole reason for sex is for reproduction. Humans are a social creature, and like most mammals we do have sex to reproduce, but most of the genetic family that we belong to — Chimpanzee, Bonobo, etc. — use sex as more than a means for reproduction. Sex serves a lot of functions, so many functions in fact that I have to point you to a video from sexplanations “Benefits of Sex” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibk49rpHRlc) to give them all to you. So, if sex for us serves all of these functions then it is very reductionist to just zero in on reproduction as its function and worry that it might in some way harm our species. LGBT people have certainly existed throughout all of recorded history and before that, and our species is still going strong.

        • Sorry, I bungled the “ought-is” it should read: “You see the way that evolution has produced children from sexual pair mating (the “Is”) and decided that that is the way that things should be (the “Ought”).

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