One way to design your journal is to include a monthly or weekly overview. It’s your chance to review your goals and the daily practices that will help you take steps to reaching them.
The monthly section could provide a rough framework for the next thirty days. For example, outlining key events like a PD seminar or a performance review. This notion is taken from Bullet Journaling (which includes many other great ideas for journaling).
Here’s an example:
You can set up your weekly review with more specifics. It could include the particulars for each day, like reading a journal article on sacroiliac join pain or discussing a challenging case with a colleague.
You can add different columns such as structured tasks that move your towards your goals:
- Monday – Read article of sacroiliac joint pain
- Tuesday – Write summary of sacroiliac article
- Wednesday – Apply principles to patient at 10am
- Thursday – Write summary of findings
- Friday – Present to the team
Or, you could forgo the rigidity of a table and leave space for each day to list what you wish.
Also, the weekly section is a great place to jot down the practices (that help you move towards your goal) in the form of a ‘habit tracker’. A tracker serves as a great tool to build momentum.
Tracking your practices also helps you to understand why you did (or didn’t) achieve your goals. After all, it takes consistent application to reach anything of significance.
In addition, consider using the weekly section to remind yourself of your goal (at the start of the week). Then, reflect on whether you moved in the right direction (at the week’s end).
Above, we can see that this physio completed all of their pre-planned practices. She saw growth of her caseload (her goal) as a result.
One component of your daily section could include a summary of the key happenings of the day, the tasks you want to achieve and important reminders.
Above, we can see there is an ‘event’ (team meeting), a ‘daily habit’ (hands on new patients), a ‘question’ (how to tape for tennis elbow) and a ‘task’ (book pain management workshop.
Of course, your daily reflection is an opportunity to reflect on your day. What was challenging? What can you do better? What immediate actions should you take?
Glass half full
Don’t just report on things you believe you didn’t do well. Note down when you expertly managed a tough situation too. What approach did you take?
Then you can apply the same skills in the future to achieve more great outcomes.
The reflection section is so versatile.
You might find you stick with certain habits – like using a ‘birds-eye’ approach when setting up your month ahead. While you might change other sections – such as the questions you ask yourself when you reflect on your day.
Share your ideas below. What reflective questions do you find promote growth? How do you make your journaling sustainable?