The Reflective Diary: an inner dialogue
The act of documenting what has happened to you, and what experiences you went through, often requires you to evaluate the effect your decisions had on the actual outcome. Your diary is an inner dialogue between you and… Yourself.
Don’t judge yourself halfway through, finish your description of the event before pausing to think about what you should, or shouldn’t, have done differently. Spelling mistakes happen, and so what? You will have time to correct it later, or in 5 years. Who cares now? The race might be long but in the end, it’s only with yourself.
How to start a reflective diary
A reflective diary requires you not only to record an experience, but also to analyse it and lear from it. No one can tell you exactly HOW you should write your diary. You are the only intended “customer” of your own “product”. However, you might want to follow a few guidelines to help you successfully write a reflective diary.
1. KEEP IT CLOSE
You should always be prepared to write down your thoughts and opinions on what…just happened. Say you just went out on a first date, and you have mixed feelings. Why wait? Write down what happened, and your thoughts on it. It is important to have your diary at hand, and for this Diaro can help – it’s always one tap away on your phone or computer.
2. WRITE REGULARLY
Sometimes you will have to force yourself to write, but it’s ok. Not every day is eventful, but this doesn’t mean we have to skip writing for too long, lest we lose our newly acquired habit and find ourselves with nothing to read on our thoughts down the line. So make sure to give yourself some kind of rule (ex: minimum one entry per week) and to stick to it. In no time it will feel more like a pleasure than a duty, guaranteed.
3. DESCRIBE, REFLECT, DRAW CONCLUSIONS
Remember that you should follow a logical order while recording your experiences and observations. First, describe what happened, then, and only then, reflect upon it and draw your own conclusions. In a way, you should start from the “mere facts” and move on to your interpretation of it. A reflective diary should be about observations and lessons learnt, not the other way around.
4. READ BACK YOUR DIARY OFTEN
Take the time to read back your previous entries. How do you feel about them as time goes on? Has your view changed or is it still the same? Would you do things differently now? Feel free to write notes about how you feel when reading back, and what you are learning from it.
What to write in a reflective diary
Here are a few reflective diary prompts to help you get started:
- Write about your family, friends, special others. Why are these relationship meaningful to you? How can you improve some of them, and which ones do you really need going forward?
- Write about the things you learn in everyday life. From school, from friends, from the internet.
- Write about someone who changed something in his or her life and inspired you to do the same.
- Write about your dreams fro the future, and your goals. Who do you want to be 5 years from now?
A reflective diary is by definition a private one. With Diaro, you can securely access your account (from desktop or mobile app) from anywhere, and nobody can steal or read your diary!