Look in the mirror and think:

  • You know your age, height, and weight.

  • You remember your first pet and car.

  • You know your favorite food and color.

  • You remember your first crush.

A series of icons depicting a person's biographical information

Does that mean you know yourself?

  • What can you say about your strengths and shortcomings?

  • What motivates you? What scares you?

  • Can you recognize your thoughts and emotions?

  • How do you cope with distressing situations?

A person asking, "Who am I?"

What Is Self-Awareness?

A person looking in the mirror

Answering questions about who you are requires a vital skill called self-awareness, which means:

  • paying attention to the way you think, feel, and behave at any point in time

  • understanding yourself and how you relate to other people

Self-awareness can help you lead a fulfilling life. It's a skill you can improve through practice!


image of a notebook and a pen

Keeping a journal is an effective way to practice self-awareness. Journaling helps you :

  • Prioritize problems, fears, and concerns

  • Track day-to-day mood changes so you can recognize triggers and learn ways to control them better

  • Identify negative thoughts and behaviors

  • Set aside time for positive self-talk 

How Should I Start?

Starting a journal for self-awareness can be intimidating. The simplest way is to start writing using these three questions:

  • What made me feel good today?

  • What didn't work so well?

  • How can I improve my day tomorrow?

a series of images showing happy, sad, and determined faces

By answering these questions:

  • You pay close attention to your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

  • You assess what happened during the day, how you reacted, and how you can change your unhelpful reactions in the future.

Which Format Should I Use?

There's no right or wrong way to write a journal. Find what works best for you!

Here are 3 common methods:

Free Writing

You can start wherever and however you want to. Get your creative juices flowing using either pen and paper or an electronic device!

a long paragraph where a person writes down their daily thoughts

Free writing lets you get in touch with deep thoughts and feelings that your rational mind might not want to get into.

Bullet Journaling

This form of journaling involves not just text but also structured lists, graphs, schemes, and illustrations. There are so many ways to plan and track your self-awareness needs by using a bullet journal! It's also useful for personal organization.

A bullet journal book opened to two pages: one is a planner for the month of March, the other a to-do list

Journal Prompts

Some people need direction to take up the habit of writing. Using prompts is a good way to go. You can find plenty of prompts on the internet on different topics. Here are two lists of prompts about self-discovery and gratitude.

image of a bullet journal page

Matt's Journal

"I have too many deadlines coming up at work, but I’ve had way worse periods and was able to rise to the challenge. Luckily, my team is awesome! If only this office drama between T and F would stop for everybody's sake, though…Well, it is what it is. I need to choose my attitude wisely and not let myself be distracted by what is not within my control."  


This is Matt's journal entry for the day. What can he learn about himself from this entry?

Take Action

There's really no right or wrong way to journal. Just keep these tips in mind to further improve your self-awareness!

a person says "and start writing"

Be honest! Don't forget that your only audience is you!


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