The Self Awareness Journal: A Tool to Help Improve Your Working Life

A self-awareness journal fulfills the role of helping you to better connect with yourself at work. It can be particularly useful when you have certain doubts in this area of your life. Here, we tell you how to write one.
The Self Awareness Journal: A Tool to Help Improve Your Working Life
Sergio De Dios González

Written and verified by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 30 September, 2022

A self-awareness journal is a really useful tool for improving your performance at work. We recommend you start to write one, especially at times when you don’t feel particularly motivated or have problems performing your activities in the best way.

This tool is also extremely useful when you have doubts about whether or not you should continue working for a certain organization. Likewise, it can be really useful if you’ve had frequent conflicts with bosses or colleagues. In fact, the basic function of the self-awareness journal is to help you identify problems and possible solutions.

You don’t have to write one for good but, if you start one, you should keep it up for at least four weeks. Otherwise, it won’t be of much use. So how should you start writing one? We’re going to tell you.

Writing to me, is simply, thinking through my fingers.” 

-Isaac Asimov-

Man working on the computer
A self-awareness journal helps identify problems and solutions.

A self-awareness journal

The self-awareness journal, as the name suggests, is an instrument whose main objective is to get to know you better in the field of your work. This doesn’t mean that it won’t also help you increase your self-awareness in other aspects, but rather that it focuses on that related to your work activity.

It’s best to start writing it off guard, trying to be as spontaneous and honest with yourself as possible. That’s because, if you rationalize too much or become too methodical, you may not get as far as you would if you gave free rein to your ideas and feelings. It doesn’t really matter in what order you write. What does matter is perseverance and honesty.

Ideally, you should write every day, at the beginning and the end of your working day. However, you should also take the journal with you and write, draw, or doodle whatever comes to mind. Everything you write down will help you later get to know yourself better and obtain a more accurate idea of how you’re approaching your world of work.

How to make a self-awareness journal effective

Actually, there are no set rules for writing a self-awareness journal. We can make some suggestions, but it’s important that you feel free to add or delete whatever you think is most convenient. That said, it’s advisable that you write the first lines of your journal at the beginning of each day. Maybe after breakfast or on your way to work.

You must write down how you feel, what you expect from the day ahead, and what’s worrying you or motivating you. As we mentioned earlier, don’t try and be too organized or rigorous in your writing. It really doesn’t matter if you go from one topic to the other with no links. Nor does it matter if you leave certain ideas unfinished or make spelling mistakes. In fact, anything goes.

You should set a time limit for this exercise, around five or ten minutes. If you find it quite hard to write, limit your time even more, as this will help you not to overthink before writing. If during the day, something encourages or worries you, don’t hesitate to return to your journal and write some more.

Woman writing in a notebook
A self-assessment journal can show you aspects of yourself that you may not have previously known about.

The second part

Every night, you should carry out an exercise similar to the one you did in the morning. However, this time, concentrate on reviewing and evaluating what happened during the day. What was the highlight of your day? How did you feel? What was your greatest achievement? What did you fail to do? What were you worried about? What do you conclude about yourself after the events of the day?

At the end of this reflection, reserve a small space to write about what you’re grateful for. In fact, it’s a good idea to add a gratitude section to your self-awareness journal. Likewise, we recommend that you try to condense what you’ve learned about yourself in a single sentence. If possible, from this, you should develop a maxim for your life.

Your self-awareness journal will come into its own at the end of the week when you stop to read it. It’s then that you’ll begin to discover aspects of yourself that you may not have previously noticed. To a certain extent, this will help you to see the overall picture more clearly, better recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and make any necessary changes or decisions.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Aparicio Cabezas, L., & Muñoz Lima, M. D. (2015). Chance’u Programa de autoconocimiento para inserción laboral y el desarrollo profesional.
  • Saludes, M. À. R. (2016). ¡A conocerse mejor!. Aula de innovación educativa (256), 62.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.