Come up with a list of questions you want to reflect on in the evening. Here's my list to help get you started. Each question is preceded by a one- or two-letter label or symbol. I write the label in the left margin of my journal before I start writing the responses.
The 2-hour rule
Dan Pink's "2-hr. Rule", which he mentions in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans. He says that this practice has given him the highest Return On Investment (ROI) in his life, and helps him balance the short term with the long run.
In my journal I start off by writing down the number of the question above in the left margin, followed by the answer. That way I don't have to copy down the questions. I have also added these similar questions gathered from other mentors like Derek Sivers:
a. What am I doing that I could give up?
b. What would I hate not doing?
c. What can I take less seriously?
d. What is great about ___?
e. What are the "Hell, yeah's" in my life now?
f. What is the opposite of what I'm thinking?
g. In the past when was I happeist? What do I tend to like?
h. What seems to be a constant thread in my past?
i. What has worked consistently for me?
j. What would it look like if my actions were in line with my beliefs?
k. Who do I want to affect? How do I want to affect them?
l. What do I want now? What do I want most?
m. What's my goal for the next ten years? What's stopping me from going it in the next six months?
n. How can I make the most of the next 3-6 months, to make them the most productive of my life?
o. I can't control this situation. How can I respond to it?
p. What would this look like if it were easy? What is the path of least resistence?
q. How can I be kinder to myself?
r. Are my goals motivating me towards action?
s. What am I doing what I'm doing? Is it just because that's the way I've always done it?
t. What would something better be? How can I do better than I have before, knowing what I know now?
u. How could I be of service to someone or to the community?
From The WIllpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigut
w1. What is something that I would like to do more of, or stop putting off, because I know that doing it will improve the quality of my life?
w2. What is the "stickiest" habit in my life? What would I like to give up or do less of because it's undermining my health, happiness, or success?
w3. What is the most important long-term goal I'd like to focus my energy on? What immediate "want" is most likely to distract me or tempt me away from this goal?
w4. What is the thought or feeling that makes me want to do whatever it is I don't want to do?
w5. What have I done because I wanted to do it? What was my goal? How much do I want to do more of it?
w6. Pay attention to what captures my attention. What unleashes that promise of reward that compels me to seek satisfaction?
w7. When we free ourselves from the false promise of reward, we often find that the thing we were seeking happiness from was the main source of our misery.
w8. Separate the real rewards that give our lives meaning from the false rewards that keep us distracted and addicted.
w9. How am I most likely to get distracted from my goal?
w10. Feel what I feel, but don't believe everything that you think.
w11. Remember your goal. Remind yourself whatever your commitment is.