Analysing your data
Posted Tue 24th Sep 19 - 5 mins read
Once you’ve made at least three entries in your FOML journal, we'll start generating reports in table format. You'll receive a weekly email from us reminding you to log in to your account to review it, but you can choose to review it whenever it works for you. We've carefully designed the table to enable you clearly see trends in your thoughts and feelings.
The next step is for you to review and analyse your own data.
We believe that reviewing and analysing your FOML journal entries is a key part of the guided journaling process. By completing multiple journal entries a week, you'll form a collection of data for you to analyse. Once you've analysed your data, you'll be ready to work on creating positive action for a better future.
Positive action = rested mind
We recommend that you create an analysis procedure that looks like this:
- This is the time to take 5, turn off all notifications and concentrate on YOU.
- If you’re really looking for results from FOML journaling and you want to make sense of what you’ve written look inwards, be self aware and conscious of your life - not anyone else’s.
- If you’re finding something doesn't work, it’s not a failure, it’s a learning experience. Try something new and keep going until you find what works for you.
It's all a game of trial and error, this is just one way to speed up the time it takes you to get there because we're here to live our lives and not remain stuck, stressed and fearful.
Stop procrastinating, stop judging yourself and fearing the unknown and live your life in a way that suits YOU.
Create action, transformation, positive change, shifts in perspective and new thought patterns.
What do you do with it now?
At this stage, you might find it useful to export this data onto an editing software programme so you can make notes or print and add to a physical journal (we've made that easy to do at the the click of a button). If looking through your results table on a screen works for you, that's great too.
- Read everything through and make a mark next to anything that interests you or any anomalies that stand out for later.
- Look at the words, topics and phrases you have used. Feel the tone, language and inferred meaning you have used. Have you used words like really, truly or honestly? (click here for more on that) Look for and pull out any patterns you see. This could include specific things you intend to achieve, consistency in things you like and or don't like, things that went right or wrong, how you feel on specific days or when specific things occur e.g. getting stuck in traffic or being late to work or family days/days out and holidays. These patterns can help you understand how you really feel about things and even how these things impact on your life in a positive or negative way. Don’t beat yourself up over the negative stuff. Try to make sure you use these experience as learning curves. None of us are perfect and there’s plenty of room for improvement if that’s what you’re looking for.
- Look for and pull out any repetition of positive text e.g. “I liked that” or “I enjoyed” or “today was a good day”. Look at that data and understand what was positive about it and why.
- Look for things you didn't know about yourself and/or things that are surprising to you to read back to yourself. What can you learn from this?
- Make a note about positive information and things you want to integrate into a larger part of your life e.g. good habits or experiences, things you want to keep going to further enhance/enrich your life. Include the anomalies and/or items that you found interesting after your initial read through.
- Ask yourself what you want to learn from this experience and see if you can find any evidence that you are achieving that in the data.
- You might find it helpful to write this process down and you'll have access to a journaling prompt sheet specifically to help you with that
Some further questions you could ponder at this point for further clarification and a deeper understanding.
- Are you using journaling as a substitute for real action?
- Is your writing intellectual instead of self-reflective?
- Are you using journaling as a forum for uncensored complaining?
- Are you disclosing with no self reflection?
- Is your writing an exercise in self reflection or self absorption?
- Do you need more clarity in your career?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed with work which is leading you to feel that you don't like your job when really you just need to be more organised, or have more help around you or devise a plan that gets the family to school and you to work on time etc?
- Do you need to simply be more organised with your priorities / to do list?
- Do you need to clear out mental/physical blocks e.g. clear out your wardrobe, email inbox, facebook friends or make a start on a new exercise routine to reduce some overwhelm?
- Are you trying to start a new habit e.g. drink more water, get to bed on time on a Sunday night, make the effort to see friends on a regular basis?
- Can you see signs of anything you want, need or things you need to change or shift?
- Do you need to get back to basics?
- What are the priorities in your life?
- Are you looking for something bigger? Do you need to move onwards and upwards?
- Do you need to incorporate some positive self talk/affirmations/mantras into your life to keep you moving on up or keep you feeling positive and confident? See more about those here
- Do you need to increase your skills or self development to satisfy the next phase of your life?
- Have you successfully done something good? Achieved a goal? Reached an impossible dream?
Make sure that you celebrate the good stuff in some way. It doesn't have to be huge but take sure you reflect on whatever it is that you have achieved.
This method of disclosure is useful and can be healthy but it’s always best to talk to someone if you can about what you've learned. This way you get feedback, support and advice as well as the feeling of release.