How a one question a day journal helped me improve myself

Galen Eye Centre

The importance of self reflection 

Bullet journal in a Kingston coffee shop.

What if you could know exactly what you were wearing, eating or thinking about on this very day exactly five years ago? Well, I am about to find out.

Recently, in the midst of procrastinating at my summer job, I found myself scrolling through my Facebook feed to come across an article on Buzzfeed titled “Q&A a Day: 5 Year Journal”.

The focal point of the Buzzfeed interview was a small brown book with gold trimmed pages and a beautiful interior. Within the journal in discussion, there are five slots on each page to allow for five years of entries per date, each day with a prompting question at the top of the page. These questions can be anything from as trivial as “what are you wearing today?” to as ponderous as “which part of your life feels empty currently?” and as personal as “when was the last time you talked to your parents?”. The idea of the book is that the owner will answer the same question on the same day for five years and be able to look back after that time and easily compare their answers. 

Without too much thought considering I had a loaded Amazon gift card, I proceeded to load my cart with the 5 Year Journal and check out.

In a world where we’re constantly rushing around trying to turn in essays, pick up groceries, visit with friends and balance school, work and social life, it can be very easy to forget to stop and reflect on our lives, memories and feelings. 

I, myself, am a very sentimental person – constantly yelled at by my friends for always filming our candid moments. I do this because, the way I see it, time flies by so quickly and I want to hold on to every moment for as long as possible. Even though I’ve always been an advocate for documenting moments, the five year line a day journal takes it to a different level. Answering a different insightful question each day makes it more about what someone is personally dealing with, not for the sake of Snapchat or your Facebook album but for the sole purpose of reflecting on the person and place you are in that moment. 

Now that I have this journal, I make sure to answer my question of the day every night before I go to bed, no matter how late I get home. This summer, I’m spending my months away from school living and working in a city with a job I’ve dreamed about having since I can remember. I wasn’t fully thinking about how proud, mad, excited and melancholy I was in any given moment because I was always focused on something else. It was from this that I realized I wasn’t taking in everything from the experience.

Whether you want to buy a journal just like this online or make use of an old notebook, take a couple moments a day to reflect on what’s going on in your life. 

Even if you aren’t the type of person who likes to journal or you don’t want to have the responsibility of writing something down every day, I think it’s a good idea in general to take a few moments each day, week, month — however much time you can spend — to sit back and think about yourself in that moment. What do you want to change? What are you happy to be doing? Where can you improve? 

These silent moments of reflection, whether it’s in a journal or just in our heads, can do wonders for our mental health by allowing us to take the time to think about everything going on in our lives and how it effects us.

 

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