Journaling can help you reach all your goals and guide you to becoming the ideal authentic version of yourself. Here’s a guide and tips on how to journal for personal growth.
Related: Journaling: What to Write? (20 Journaling Prompts)
Why Journaling Leads to Self-Discovery
Journaling helps us gain self-discovery become it forces us to be reflective and introspective about ourselves. We may for example write down things that have been in our subconscious, but that we weren’t consciously aware of. And suddenly, we may have an understanding of why we’ve felt the way we have, and why we’ve done the things we’ve done.
Journaling is like sitting down and staring straight into our inner worlds (minds). It’s scary at first because there’s so much going on in our heads that we might not know where to begin, and we might not even feel ready yet to tackle everything. So if you’re a beginner at journaling, take a look at these 20 journaling prompts, that may help you get started. And you can always take it as easy as you want to in the beginning. But as you unfold new layers of yourself, I think you’ll find it hard to stop going even deeper.
When we talk to other people about ourselves, there’s always the social aspect of “What is the other person going to think of me?”. Even when it’s someone who loves us like a partner or family member. And that social aspect always affects what types of threads we are willing to unfold. That’s why so many people feel like it’s much more helpful talking to psychiatrists and therapists because they are more objective and many times act in an impersonal way (like empty mirrors). Journals work in the same way. You can see journals as your personal therapist, never judging, never taking what you reveal to someone else. It is a safe space for self-exploration and discovery.
In addition, if you have never really thought about what your own personal dreams and goals are in your life, you are probably living the dreams of other people. Perhaps it’s the dreams of your parents, siblings, partner, friends, or society. Because, how can you know that they are truly your own dreams and ideals if you have not thoroughly examined your own mind and self? That’s what we’re going to learn how to do here.
How to Journal for Personal Growth
There are many different ways to go about journaling for personal growth. I think the most effective way is to first determine what area of personal growth you want to focus on, some examples are to find out:
- What are your current thinking and acting habits/patterns and what would you instead want them to be?
- What do you really want out of life and what goals do you really want to strive for?
- How do you feel about your current life situation (relationship, friendships, career choices), and is it ideal?
- How is your ideal/highest self like?
You will get the answers to all these questions from self-questioning and examining different answers and noticing how you feel about every answer you come up with.
So, start by picking one of the questions above (or multiple) and start exploring your personal answer to it. Keep trying until you have an answer that feels right, authentic, true, exciting, expansive, and that fills you up. When you feel that, you know what path you need to follow for authentic personal growth.
After that, I’d suggest getting into the habit of journaling daily. Every day, take a moment to reflect on how it’s going for you on that goal or path. Here are some prompts to help you get started:
- What have you done the day before or earlier that day to take you closer to it?
- What can you change?
- What’s stopping you?
- What are your biggest challenges currently?
- What have you done well?
- What should you continue doing?
- What advancements have you made towards your goal?
From this daily self-reflection, you will get a very clear picture of how it’s going with your personal growth and progress towards how you really want to be.
Of course, this method of journaling can be used on any type of goals you may have. It does not even have to be about the big life questions, it can also be outcome-based goals. For example to help you reach fitness goals, financial and career goals, and relationship goals. It works the same way. First, decide what your personal aim or goal is, and then, every day, sit down and reflect on how it’s going. What are you doing right, what’s challenging for you, and how do you plan to move forward? And then take action accordingly. Over time, you will be amazed at the progress you are making in every area of your life. It is the best secret weapon for personal growth.
I hope this guide on how to journal for personal growth was helpful!