Deliberate, constant self-reflection—my thoughts and analysis.
I made a conscious effort to write a reflection at the end of every day since the start of 2022. I was no stranger to self-reflection and documenting my thoughts + actions for critical analysis at a later time, but I would reflect only at times I felt was necessary, which is prone to bias. I didn't want to leave time that seemed “uneventful” at the moment, undocumented. So, I started what most people would call journalling. Here are some patterns I've noticed, and thoughts that follow.
Some days seem uneventful when first opening notion (my tool of choice for writing). After deeper, deliberate, recollection of recent events and more important thoughts, however; can great meaning be extracted from what would seem like a mundane day
If done correctly, documenting thoughts that would have normally been forgotten will feel relieving, allowing you to let go of those thoughts which would have otherwise been lingering. Documenting them gives you a chance to revisit them at a more appropriate time
There will be times when you revisit entries from days, weeks, or months in the past, and realize that some thought/action/event you believed to be novel had occurred sometimes multiple times before
Thoughts + Analysis
Reflection and analysis of past entries is fruitless unless followed by an appropriate change in behavior—if needed
Metacognition is being aware of one's thinking patterns and processes. Journalling facilitates strong metacognition—it allows you to analyze your thinking, with the additional knowledge of the consequences which followed from that particular pattern of thinking.
A good heuristic to use when trying to gauge what should be included in a reflection is to pretend as if you are taking a snapshot of your current cognitive state, and attempting to preserve through language in a way such that semantics are maintained if it were to be revisited. i.e, you should be able to feel the same way you felt upon reading the reflection as you did writing it.