Time for reflection
2017 is almost done and dusted, except for the presents, alcohol and food-generated heartburn! So, what happens now for you?
Is it more of the same or an opportunity to grow by reflection?
Don’t worry, this article is not about making 2018 “your best year ever” or “finding your authentic self in 2018” – it’s anything but, and you will be exposed to enough of those sentiments in your social media feeds between now and the end of January. Rather, it’s about looking forward and achieving personal growth... by looking back.
Socrates once said that “An unexamined life is not worth living”. So, let’s examine your life now and see what lessons you can learn for your future journey.
If we can’t reflect, then we run the risk of expecting a different result while doing the same thing – and that is, as they say, one of the definitions of insanity. Alternatively, if we willingly reflect, then we grow and learn the critical lessons life has given us over the past 12 months.
So, what are the tips for effective reflection? The first one is to commit to doing it. Action is more important than intentions – so create that willingness to reflect.
Another tip is to set a target date – and that key date is December 15. Why? Because after that date the busyness of the festive season takes over and we all go into automatic mode until about the second week of January.
Effective reflection is about the questions not about the answers. Pose questions to yourself and let them rumble around in your heart and mind for a period. The answers will come when they are ready to come – it’s a process.
Carry a notepad or, if you are technologically inclined, a smartphone to capture your thoughts and reactions.
I notice in the personal development retreats I conduct, when I first pose a question to someone about themselves I get what I call a level 1 response – the first thing that comes to them, an off-the-cuff response. As the week progresses and they allow these questions to percolate much deeper, more meaningful level 2 and 3 responses occur – and that’s when the real learning and growth occurs.
Again, the questions are important. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong list but here are some questions you can use for reflection. When asking yourself these questions, use the present tense and speak in the first person – this will make it real and current for you.
Some questions include: Am I on the path to finding my why – my reason? Am I using my time wisely? Am I taking anything for granted? Am I employing a healthy perspective? Am I waking up in the morning ready to take on the day? Am I thinking negative thoughts before I fall asleep? Am I putting enough effort into my relationships?
Take your time with these questions. If need be, ask a trusted friend for their opinion, advice and observations. It’s all about you and you are worth the investment.
So, reflect. Start it now – it’s later than you think. And have it done by December 15.
Happy festive season!