For karate class, we are encouraged to keep a notebook to write down things we learn or should be working on for improving our techniques in karate. I find it very helpful for remembering details that I need to practice. I can refer back to things I wrote down months earlier to see if I've actually improved in that area and if not, it's a nice reminder to still work at it. This past week at the Zen meditation class, Sensei brought up on interesting idea - he suggested maintaining a notebook for improving one's personal life or character outside of karate. Many people are familiar with the idea of trying to work on improving skills. That's basically what you do all through school and college, but you are seldom really encouraged or taught to try to improve your character or try to constantly be a better person.
Most people are content with who they are. For example, I might consider myself a "good" person, but why not try to constantly work at being an even better person? It's definitely not an easy thing to do - it's easy to just be complacent. So, I really like this idea of trying to maintain a notebook of things to work on at a personal level for improving one's character - it's not something I would have normally thought of trying to do. Nobody is perfect, so we all have plenty of things we could work on improving. And a good way to start is make a list of what we'd like to improve.