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1. What has brought me joy lately?

Counting your blessings – aka reflecting on the good things – can help combat the few negatives to drown out many positives. What has brought you joy recently?

2. Things I achieved today

I don’t know about you, but I often end a day thinking that I achieved nothing. Making a point to write down my achievements from the simple like “had a nice chat with dad” or “finally posted those letters” to the more significant things crossed off a todo list, noting what you did during the day can help you feel like your time was not wasted after all.

If I have not given myself any time off recently, I will count things like, “took the afternoon off to play Terraria”. You get to decide what “achieved” means for you.

3. Where do I want to be in six months?

It can be good to reflect on medium-term goals from time to time. Such reflection can help refocus your efforts towards the things you want to achieve, do, complete, or reach.

This is a prompt that offers a review prompt six months later…

4. How well did my actions over the last 6 months align with my wider goals?

While you do not have to only use this prompt six months after the last one, that is a good place to follow it. Any time is good for reviewing the past months. The “things I achieved today” reflections can be a great way to look back and remember what you have been doing and felt were accomplishments.

Perhaps you may discover that what you want has changed or maybe you learn (like me) that you are easily distracted by… oh, look a…

brown squirrel
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

5. What makes me happy?

I have found that my answer to this question changes slowly. I find it a good topic to come back to and think about. This can be a good starting point for a little metaphysical spring cleaning. By which I mean evaluating my commitments and activities to see if some have out-stayed their welcome.

6. What three things do I want to tell or say to those close to me?

Keeping it to three things makes this reflection manageable. When it comes to keeping things to myself too much, I am a champion. This is bad. I need to communicate more. This prompt helps set my thinking in roughly the right direction.

7. What three things would I like my loved ones to know about me?

This journalling prompt is related to the previous one. Sometimes before I can know what I would like to say to my loved ones, I need to understand what it is about myself I wish to share. This reflection is good for deepening my knowledge of myself. After all, it is rather hard to share those things about me that I am not fully aware of yet.

8. What difficult thoughts or emotions come up most frequently for me?

Life is rarely made only of upsides. Life has a darker side too. Processing and understanding this part of my life is the only way to heal, grow, and learn about myself.

In this reflection, we can put words to that darkness and pin it down for dissection. Acknowledging difficult thoughts or emotions can be a path towards better mental health. If your difficult thoughts or emotions seem overwhelming it is okay to come at them sideways a little at a time.

It is vital to remember that you need not always face difficult thoughts and/or emotions alone. Please reach out for help and support from those you trust. Consider also, the support of people trained to help – there is no shame in asking for professional help.

9. What do I fear the most?

We all have fears. For example, my parents are getting old and I fear losing them.

Reflecting on fears can be a way to side-step up to difficult thoughts and emotions (from the last prompt). Fears can often be the underlying cause of many difficult thoughts and emotions. By dragging those fears out into the light, we can depower the fear and understand ourselves better.

10. What do I do to relax and how does it help me?

Remembering and reflecting on things you do for fun or to unwind can be a great tool for identifying activities that can be beneficial for self-care. It can also help identify “relaxing things” that maybe do not help as much as you think they do.

For example, I love playing certain computer games. I do not play them to unwind now because I know that I invest a lot of mental effort into planning, organising resources, and strategising. I still play these games for fun but never to unwind anymore. That way I enjoy the games more and have other activities to wind down with at the end of the day.

Over to you

What are your most used evergreen reflections for journaling? What else would you add to this list?

Reply here, reply with your own blog (and ping us for a WebMention) or reply to this post on Mastodon and other ActivityPub sites. Whatever you choose, I would love to read or hear your thoughts and ideas.