How do you learn more about yourself? Weird question, right? But take a moment to think about your answer. How do you learn more about how you think and function in yourself and in the world? When I first asked myself this question, I couldn’t answer it because the process seemed abstract. So at the beginning of my self-work and self-care journey, I knew that I needed to bring the abstract into the real world. If you ask me this question now, I can answer with certainty. I journal to cultivate self-awareness.
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I didn’t journal consistently before my self-work journey and I regret it! How else am I supposed to see my progress?! If you’re anything like me, then you probably are hard on yourself. Looking back on “how I used to be” doesn’t help me track my progress because I was likely unfair in my self-assessment.
That’s why I committed to journaling. I needed a way to learn more about myself (my shortcomings, habits, good qualities, etc.) and know how I’ve progressed.
So in January of this year, I bought a lined journal from Michael’s to motivate myself to journal daily. Unsurprisingly, free-form journaling didn’t help me be more consistent. While I love chatting about my day, I didn’t feel challenged. I felt I needed both qualities in my journaling routine: the everyday stories and the self-work. I love memory-keeping, but I also wanted to journal to cultivate self-awareness.
The Reflect + Refine 1:1 Journal does just that.
When the company reached out to me about their Journal, I was happy to try it out! I needed another way to cultivate my journaling habit. I’ve had the Journal for over a month now. Needless to say, the Journal is an essential part of my evening routine.
The Journal’s structure is elite.
All my planner people know the importance of a book’s structure. The Journal is gorgeous. I love the Black exterior and its smooth texture. The Journal is just the right size for my handwriting. (The Journal measures 5.3×7.9 inches!) The paper has a smoother finish that compliments most of my favorite pens. The structure makes for a sleek journaling experience.
The Journal is undated.
As I used the Journal throughout February and now March, I realized that I don’t necessarily want to Journal every day. Sometimes I fall asleep before completing my evening routine. So I appreciate that the Journal is undated. You can start or stop at any time. No pressure!
(But keep reading to know how this might affect your journaling experience!)
True to its name, the Journal gives you the tools to reflect and refine.
The Journal has three journaling layouts. First, the daily pages help you reflect on your day while practicing gratitude, noting your daily wins, and noting the good moments in your day. There’s also space to write about any challenges you faced and how you can improve them the next day.
My favorite layouts so far are the weekly reviews! The questions help you reflect on the good and the bad. For example, the second section asks you to reflect on your systems (i.e., your routines and habits). My answers to these questions have helped me realized that my morning routine needs some work as I transition back into the office. I also that my reactions to challenges and adversity could use some work!
There are also mid-trimester layouts to reflect on your life and progress and how you want to improve. (I haven’t reached those pages yet because I just started using the Journal in February 2021!)
Whether you’re looking for a journal to cultivate self-awareness or simply memory-keep, the Reflect + Refine 1:1 Journal is your answer. Check it out on Align and Refine’s website. (Plus, the Journal is on sale at the time this post goes live!) You can use the code “theimanimichelle” for 10% off your entire order.