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Journaling Challenge Day 7: Schedule a Monthly Review

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Challenge 7 : Schedule in your calendar when you will do a monthly review for the next 3 months on your calendar, e.g. first Sunday of every month. That’s when you spend an hour rereading all your journal entries of the previous month. It can be scary but you’ll see opportunities for growth.

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of our journaling challenge. By now, you’ve:

  • Decided what medium to use (pen & paper or digital) and answered the question “what did I learn?”
  • Decided a set time of day to journal and scheduled it on your calendar
  • Identified your “why” for journaling and written it in your journal
  • Reflected on your why and adapted it as needed
  • Made journaling “fun” by adding pictures or drawings
  • Reflected on the journal entries you’ve written so far this week

Now we want you to take it a step further.

As we mentioned in a previous post, one of the benefits of journaling is that it provides a written record of your progress. This is important, but only if you actually do something with all that information. That’s why we recommend that you review your journal entries at least once a month.

By reviewing your journal once a month, a couple things will happen:

  1. You’ll be able to see the big picture.  When you write in your journal every day, you can’t really see the context of your accomplishments. By looking at all your entries for the past month, you can start to “see the forest through the trees” and you’ll be able to more accurately gauge what progress you’re making towards your goals.
  2.  You’ll see patterns and areas where you can make improvements. As you journal, be honest. If you had a bad day, don’t be scared to document it. If you slipped up and hit the snooze button a few times instead of getting up and eating your frog, make a note of it. It’s important that you don’t judge yourself when these things happen (everybody has a bad day once in awhile), but as you review your journal entries for the past month and start to see negative patterns it gives you an opportunity for course correction.
  3. You’ll be able to recall (and re-live) some of the highs and lows. The tendency can be to “just keep swimming” through life, and it’s easy to lose sight of the major life events that happen along the way. By reviewing your journal every month, you might be shocked at the significance of something that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time it happened.

Reviewing your journal every month is a critical part of the journaling process. Now that you are on your way to developing a journaling ritual, don’t cheat yourself out of the full benefit by neglecting a monthly review of your journal.

Takeaway

It’s been said that

“if it isn’t in writing, it doesn’t exist.”

Great intentions won’t help you actually sit down once a month and read through your journal entries – make sure that you actually schedule it. Carve out an hour where you can sit down and read all of your journal entries back-to-back (like a Sunday afternoon newspaper) and put it on your calendar. Do this for the next 3 months.

Journal Challenge Posts

 

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