Reflective journaling: a personal record of your thoughts. I have been journaling for a few years, writing about random events in my day, concerns, and even revelations. During the pandemic, systematic problems within our society were revealed. Whether that be through #blacklivesmatter or the #2020election, this was most definitely a year of vulnerability, unity, and humility. Of course, I knew this information throughout the year, but it wasn't until the very end on New Year's Eve that I understood what was happening in our world. Looking to the horizon of the future through my phone, I observed the streets filled with cheer; the skies shining from the fireworks; the people cheering for "a new day"; and the chorus of the birds chirping away.
Moving out of such an enlightening year into a "fresh start" with 2021, there are two ways you can reflect and learn from 2020. First, you can choose to believe this year only led to bad things, and we should just try to move forward. Secondly-- my preferred way of thinking--you can realize the structural issues in the world and even reflect on what you stand for. Two of the most valuable lessons I learned from 2020 were the importance of gratitude and giving back. Going into quarantine for a few months made me reflect on the opportunities I am given, the people who support and love me, and how the rest of the world was feeling. I realized the number of issues in the world that need addressing. I realized the significance of telling the people you love how grateful you are to have them in your life. I used to overlook this, but now that I see the repercussions of people not able to see their loved ones, expressing my gratitude is something I try to never forget to do. I also realized the importance of self-growth.
"Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there is more growing to be done." - Michelle Obama
Reflection is one of the most important self-shaping strategies I use to ensure I continue to improve and grow into the person I will be proud of in 10 years.
If you decide to begin documenting your thoughts and ideas, know that there is no right way to do it. A few of my favorite strategies on how to get started:
Answer one reflective question you get from the internet or a journaling app
Write/type/draw exciting thoughts you have about your day/week/year
Write for a convenient amount of time about anything
Just WRITE. This is not an essay. It is just a collection of your thoughts. Nobody is grading it... hopefully, lol
Try not to write with a filter. Express what you are feeling with no intentions of other people judging you.
Some of the resources that might provide other thoughts/tips :)
Remember to stay positive, stay inspired, and change the world. Bye, everybody!