Tag Archives: Journaling

Using your journal as a microscope

Use your journal as a microscope that makes the small experience large!

What happened?

Describe your experience.

What would you change about this situation?

What have you learned?

Was there a moment of failure, success, indecision, doubt, humor, frustration, happiness, sadness?

Do you feel your actions had any impact?

What more needs to be done?

Does this experience compliment or contrast with what you’re learning in other setting? How?

Has learning through experience taught you more, less, or the same as in other ways? what ways?


Using your journal as a mirror to reflect

Use your journal as a mirror – a clear reflection of the Self.

Who am I?

What are my values?

What have I learned about myself through this day?

Do I have more/less understanding or empathy than I did the day before?

In what ways, if any, has my sense of self, my values, your sense of “community,” my willingness to serve others and be thankful, and my self-confidence/self-esteem altered through any experience in my day?

Have my motivations for changed? In what ways?

Which feelings and emotions surfaced?

How did I respond in the moment?

How did I acknowledge the feelings and emotions that surfaced?

How has an experience challenged stereotypes or prejudices I have/had? Any realizations, insights, or especially strong lessons learned or half-glimpsed?

Will these experiences change the way I act or think in the future?

Have I given, opened up or cared enough?

How have I challenged myself, my ideals, my philosophies, my concept of life or of the way I choose to live?


How do you structure your journaling?

Use your journal, written or recorded, as an invitation to come forward, as a moment to meditate and reflect on your prayer and what you’ve seen, felt and experienced throughout your day.

How did I become aware?

How was I grateful?

Which aspects of my day’s experience or prayer excited, troubled, impressed, inspired or unnerved me?

What challenges did I face?

Which thoughts, emotions and feelings surfaced?

How did I acknowledge them?

What became of them?

What commitments did I make and what happened around those commitments?

What choices did I make? How did I discern?

Which feelings and emotions surfaced?

What made me smile and laugh?

What results and successes made me happy?

How do I look toward tomorrow?

Use the questions as a platform to help you gain clarity and keep you focused.

Use the questions to keep you writing!


What to write in your journal

Here are a few ideas to keeping a great journal:

Journals should be snapshots filled with sights, sounds, smells, concerns, insights, doubts, fears, and critical questions about issues, people and, most importantly, yourself.

Write freely. A journal is not a work log of tasks, events, times and dates.
Grammar or spelling should not be stressed in your writing yet notice repetitions or patterns. These may tell you about how you pay attention to details or if they affect your other writings.

Write an entry each day. If you can’t write a full entry, jot down random thoughts, images so that you can return later and expand into a colorful verbal picture.

Honesty is the most important element to successful journals.

See Reflection: Getting Learning Out of Serving, Mark Cooper.

Who will read your journal?

Your journal is a very private document.

You might want to take some notes during the day, but capture your thoughts at the end of the day.

Do not let others read your journal.

For more, Mark Cooper, Reflection: Getting Learning Out of Serving,
Florida International University.

What are reflection journals good for?

A daily or weekly reflection journal can capture personal judgments.

There may be people’s actions that you find unpleasant, ways of doing things that are not as you would do them, work environments in which you would not want to remain.

Your judgments, your prejudices and biases, even the ways you discern and discrimate, will help you learn about yourself, your values and your limits.

Journals allow you to speak your mind!

For more, see Mark Cooper, Reflection: Getting Learning Out of Serving, Florida International University

What is a reflection journal?

Journal writing is unstructured and personalized writing and key component of experiential learning.

Look at yourself as an experiential learner. You are a participant and observer. As a participant, you promote your own growth. As an observer, you look at what is going on around you.

A well-written journal is a tool that helps you practice the quick movements back and forth from your environment to abstract generalizations of thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions.

For more, Mark Cooper, Reflection: Getting Learning Out of Serving, Florida International University

What do you enjoy about journaling?

Journaling is recording or writing about yourself, your prayers or your spiritual life to capture, memorialize and examine your experience in praying.

Journaling helps you to create a baseline and to remember the fruits of your prayer, those things you heard during prayer and those things you can change.

“It is always so good to write out our problems down so that in reading them over six months or a year later, one can see them evaporate.” (Bergan and Schwan, Birth: A Guide for Prayer).

Use your aPrayer app’s journaling feature to record your problem so that six months or a year later, you hear how they’ve become silent.