Skip to content

The Truth About Keeping A Reflective Journal – 5 Reasons Why You Should

journal and pen

It can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to personal growth. There are many different things you could work on, and it’s difficult to know which ones will make the most significant impact on your life.

But that’s where a journal comes in, specifically a reflection journal.

In this article, we’ll explore reflective journals and how they can be incredibly helpful for personal growth. I’ll also provide a few prompts to get you started with reflective journaling.

This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy one of the products on this page, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you!)

What Is a Reflective Journal?

If you’re just starting your journaling journey then you may have a lot of questions about the different types of journals and their purpose. So, let’s start with the basics of a reflective journal.

A reflective journal is a type of journal that allows you to examine your thoughts, life, and experiences. It’s a safe space for you to explore your innermost thoughts and feelings, and work through the challenges you may be facing.

Simply put, it’s an examination of your thoughts, feelings, and observations, and also a way to process and make sense of the world.

Why Reflection Journals Can Be Helpful for Personal Growth

There are many reasons why a reflective journal can be helpful, but here are a few key ones:

– They help you become more aware of your thoughts and repetitive actions.

– They provide a space for you to process your emotions safely.

– They help you to identify your toxic habits.

– They allow you to track your progress and growth over time.

– They encourage critical thinking and reflective practice.

– They help you identify your goals and values.

How to Get Started with Reflective Journaling

reflective journal how to get started

Now that we’ve covered what reflective journaling is and why it can be helpful, let’s dive into how you can get started.

1. Choose a journal that speaks to you.

This is going to be a personal journey, so it’s important that you choose a journal that feels right for you. There are many different types and styles of journals out there, so take your time in choosing one.

I prefer the moleskin journal with blank pages because it allows me the freedom to express all my thought without the restrictions of lines or dots.

2. Set aside some time each day or week to reflect on your thoughts

Reflect on your day, what went well, what went sideways, and what was completely unexpected.

This is a time for you to really sit with your thoughts and feelings, so make sure you’re in a comfortable space where you won’t be interrupted.

My favorite time to journal is in the mornings when everything is quiet and I’m the only one awake. Find a time that works for you.

3. Write everything that comes to mind.

Now it’s time to write. Let your thoughts flow onto the paper without judgment or censorship. Your journal is a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings, so allow yourself to go wherever they may take you.

4. Reflect on your reflective journaling session.

When you’re finished writing, take a moment to reflect on the process. How did it feel to release all those thoughts? What did you learn about yourself? What could you improve?

By becoming more aware of your thought patterns and emotions, you can begin to identify toxic habits and start making positive changes to improve your life.

Read this article next for a more detailed guide on starting your reflective journaling journey: How to Start and Keep a Reflection Journal.

Tips for making the most out of your reflection journey

making the most out of your reflection journey

Reflecting on the things you’ve done and what makes you unique is a journey that is both rewarding and challenging.

Here are some tips on making the most out of your reflective journaling journey:

– Start Small.

If you’re new to reflective journaling, start with just a few minutes each day. You can gradually increase the amount of time you spend reflecting as you get more comfortable with the process.

– Make it a Habit.

The more you use a reflective journal, the easier it will become. Try to write in your journal at the same time each day or week so that it becomes a part of your routine and feels abnormal when you skip your session.

– Be Patient.

You won’t see results overnight, and you probably won’t notice any significant changes for months, self-reflection takes time. Be patient with yourself and trust the process.

Sometimes you have to write the same things over and over and over again before the true purpose reveals itself to you, so don’t become frustrated with yourself. Be gentle and the purpose will be revealed.

5 Self Reflective Journal Prompts to get you Started

If you’re stuck on what to write, these reflective journal prompts will give you a jump start on your journey.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers, just be brutally honest with yourself and allow your thoughts and feelings to flow unfiltered.

  1. What have I done that I’ve regretted instantly? Why did I regret doing it and what should I have done differently?
  2. What have I changed about myself in the past year, and why?
  3. What do I value the most? Why does it matter to me?
  4. What are some things I’ve done that I’m proud of? Why did I do them and what impact did they have on my life?
  5. Who has had the most significant influence on my life, and what attributes do I admire most about them?

If you’re interested in continuing your reflective journey, I’ve created 30 additional prompts to aid you on your journey for free, click here to download the printable and keep your journey going strong.

Regularly practicing reflective journaling will provide self-insight on levels you’ve never imagined and encourage you to make positive changes in your life.

Trust the process and be patient with yourself, the rewards are well worth the effort.

What’s your experience with reflective journaling? Please share them in the comments below!

Questions You May Have

What is the purpose of a reflective journal?

The purpose of reflective journaling is to help you analyze an experience in detail, how it affected you, and what you can learn from it. This type of journaling allows you to process your thoughts and feelings surrounding an experience so that you can move on from it in a healthy way.

How do I start reflective journaling?

The best way to start reflective journaling is to choose an event or experience that you want to reflect on, write about that experience in detail then analyze it part by part to understand what affected or made an impact on you and why it did.

How often should I do a reflective journaling session?

The frequency of reflective journaling is up to you, however, I recommend reflective journaling at least once a week or once a month. It will enlighten you on your progress and help you process and understand the situations you encounter frequently.

Pin It!



Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

15 thoughts on “The Truth About Keeping A Reflective Journal – 5 Reasons Why You Should”

  1. I love reflective journaling! It’s the best way for me to clear my head and process my thoughts! I’ll definitely be using some of your prompts soon!

    1. Jody

      I’m happy you’ll be utilizing the prompts Skylar, I hope enjoy them! Thanks for reading.

  2. As someone who journals a ton, I had to save this! Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Jody

      Thanks for saving Rob! I appreciate it.

  3. Nadia

    Thanks for explaining in-depth what a reflective journal is and how to get started. I am a therapist who believes a reflective journal can make a huge difference in a person’s life.

    1. Jody

      A reflective journal has done wonders for my life so I believe in its powers to make a difference in everyone’s life who gives it a try Nadia. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Akansha

    Never thought about keeping a journal specifically for reflecting. Might give it a shot in the coming year. Thanks for this post.

    1. Jody

      Go for it Akansha, you will not regret it!

  5. I’ve never heard of this style of journalling specifically but it sounds like it would be really helpful! Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Jody

      I believe it’s the most helpful Katherine, give it a try!

  6. I use a reflective journal every morning to write down my thoughts and it’s really helpful for not burning out and being more organized. Thank you for this article!

    1. Jody

      That’s amazing Maggie! Thank you for sharing how you use a reflective journal!

  7. Andreah

    What a great article! I journal weekly but don’t think I was journaling with as much intention. Thank you for writing this!

  8. I love reflective journaling and find it useful to process my stress, anxiety and life worries. Thanks for such a great post!

  9. Julie Russell

    Love, love, love this post! Reflective journaling might just be the best one to do because that’s where the magic happens. Like you said, this is the one where you write out all your thoughts. This gives you the chance to get a different perspective on what’s going on. I look forward to reading more articles!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *