Jumpstarting Journals ~ Home of the Razorbacks
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jumpstarting Journals

I have noticed that some of you are having difficulty in fulfilling the journal requirements for your CAS activities. Remember that the expectation is that you write journal entries regularly (generally once a month) for each activity or project that you are actively involved in. Here are some tips on how to get yourself in the groove to write:

  • Journal Entry #1: Self-assessment

Make it a point to write a journal entry when you start each activity. You can use the following questions as writing prompts:

  • What is my past experience with this activity?
  • What new learning or skill do I hope to achieve or develop?
  • How will this experience be different from that of the past?
  • How am I going to know if I am making progress in achieving the goal/s I have set?

Answering these questions should help clarify where you are headed and what needs to be done for each activity.

  • Staggered Journaling

Avoid having to write multiple journal entries in one sitting. Instead, spread out your journaling sessions into 3- or 4-week cycles. For example, Week 1 would be journaling for Activity A, Week 2 for Activity B, Week 3 for Activity C, and so on. Your reflections should certainly be more authentic and sincere as a result of this practice.

  • Journals as Checkpoints

Set short-term goals that you hope to accomplish before the next journaling session. Your can then write about whether or not you achieved these short-term goals and the reasons and factors that affected each outcome.

These are just some simple ways to help develop the practice of journal writing. Journals provide you with opportunities to reflect on your experiences and record your insights and learning in a timely and organized manner. As an added benefit, you will have a better resource (than just your memories) to draw from when you need to write your final reflections at the end of each activity or project.

Happy journaling =)

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