So, you have started the journey with me. You have read the first powerful moments in the Words Never Spoken story of how someone can strive, thrive and live with hope. Now is the time to share your thoughts, to put your pen to paper, to shape your story.

This is a self-improvement, self-help book. This story is told, these tasks are set, to help you to find a means of helping yourself through challenging times. Unique in this genre, the book encourages you to share your journey. We will cover one self-improvement topic each month from each chapter of the book, and I want to invite you to join in and share your journey. You can share your experience with depression, suicide, domestic abuse and molestation, to name but a few issues that impact us today. By sharing, you will be starting your own journal.

And, journals are a powerful self-reflective tool that can help your personal development.

Journals are a method often used in research and in industry, because they promote powerful self-reflection. These academics and experts understand that reflecting in detail about the role of their self in the process of development, imbues them with the learning to make better decisions in the future. Put simply, they can answer the question: why was I so successful just then?
So, what part can it play in your personal development?

It can help you to focus on why YOU are important. You can explore your views and your perspectives and shape a better understanding of how you feel about the world. This is an awesome platform from which to move into relationships. You know this is your ground, this is your belief. It will give you confidence and it will help others feel sure of who you are and what you stand for.

Journaling can help you to find some peace of mind. Over-thinking is the curse of all who have suffered with depression, anxiety, loss or grief. So, you can shape your world in words and you can let those thoughts loose. You can exorcise your concerns and from there you put them into perspective.

Writing a journal can validate your daily efforts. When we feel validation, we feel great. We feel we belong. When you flick back through your journal and you see how much you have grown, the steps you have taken to move forward, to improve: you will know why you wake up and live each day in that moment.

People always begin by asking for reflective journaling prompts or questions that will help them get started. Relax. This is your journal. So, start by declaring this journal as your space. You can do what you like, say what you like – you can just doodle if you want – it is your space. You could make it a scrapbook, you could make it a place where you let your artistry and your creativity run free. You can just write a diary, beginning with Dear Diary – if this helps. You can write the whole thing in metaphors. You can establish your own boundaries.

Then, maybe start with simple questions: What has happened today? What do I expect from myself? What do I fear? What is the worst thing that can happen to me? What strengths do I have that will help me cope with this situation? What qualities do I possess that mean I can reach my goals? Or, simply, what have I learnt today?

In addition to the lines and/or entries in the Words Never Spoken book, here is a simple reflective journaling prompt to get you started. This is easy and straightforward and just stops that page from looking quite so blank: start with the date, the time, the place, where you are sitting and the mood you are in. Use this as a routine to get started and then the rest will come. This is a fun way to improve your sense of self and personal self-improvement should always be fun!