Are you the type to review your notes taken in class, in order to let the material sink in more deeply? I’m the type who takes copious notes but forgets to make time to review. The importance of review in learning is well documented, of course. We know that review greatly improves the chance that something learned will become part of memory. The more often a learning is reviewed, the more easily retrievable from memory it becomes to the learner. If we want to have a chance at implementing what we learn, review is essential.
This goes for life lessons too.
Which is one reason journaling is so powerful: it provides a breadcrumb trail of prior learnings, through the field of memory. When you review your life discoveries from old journals, you are giving the material chance to breathe again, to stretch into your current circumstances and forge new pathways inside you. It can help you see just exactly how gloriously far you’ve come – definitely celebrate these wins!
Conversely, when we find ourselves in developmental pickles where the same life lesson keeps revisiting us in new forms, it is a good idea to go back and review – what did I learn about this the last time around? Have I really integrated the learning? Do I reliably implement what I now know about (myself/ life/ relationships)?
In the life lessons department, life itself is our ultimate teacher. While you may have important teachers and guides along the way, you are the one in charge of your own evolutionary journey. While you might wisely practice surrender to a higher power, you are the one ultimately responsible for the development that does or doesn’t happen in this life. While Grace often does swoop in and bring miraculous results, waiting for Grace without doing your own work is like playing the lottery without securing an income. As the ancient Arab saying goes, “Trust God and tie your camel.”
Reviewing previous learnings is one of the highest ROI activities you can perform toward effectively directing your own evolution. If you’re not a journaler, maybe reviewing last year’s intentions, or calendar, or even last year’s finances will jog your memory. Winter is the perfect time to integrate last year’s learnings.
I’ll leave you with these journal entry prompts:
In 2021 I am grateful to have learned _____________.
In 2022 I am excited to discover ______________.