As the year draws to a close this is often the time when people get out their pens and paper (or technology devices) and start making New Years Resolutions. Creative vision boards, sticky notes on the fridge, a dream item of clothing hung up, a reminder on your phone; whatever your methodology, these resolutions can often be the same year in and year out. We finish the year and commence the new one with good intentions, we start off well, but for most, with time, our motivation can drop, ‘life gets in the way,’ and old habits resurface.
For many, this time of the year can be a realisation that their previous resolutions did not stick and were not achieved. This can be quite disheartening. However, we do need to cut ourselves some slack here too. They may not have stuck because of many reasons including; a change of mindset, priorities have adjusted, time, finances, energy levels, lack of commitment, minimal support and the list goes on. These ‘not so achieved goals’ and resolutions, as well as the challenges and hurdles we have faced throughout the year, are never mistakes or failures, as long as we choose to use these moments and experiences to learn and grow.
Therefore, with any goal setting or New Years Resolution making, it is just as important to reflect on what has been, and what is, before we set the scene moving forward. In fact, if we do not reflect on our lives, on our feelings and our behaviours, then nothing will change. Year after year moment after moment will continue to all blur into one. Not reflecting also continues to allow the time and the years to be in control per se.
So what is reflection you ask? It is the process of asking yourself thought-provoking questions in order to develop a deeper understanding of yourself or situations. By engaging in reflection, we often explore how we feel about something, how it impacts us, what is important to us, why we reacted a certain way etc and this can help us to change not only how we view ourselves but also how we act.
When we get stuck in ‘day to day’ living and the ‘busy-ness’ of life, often running around like headless chooks or operating in the ‘monkey brain,’ we do not allow ourselves the virtues of stopping and reflecting. Ultimately this can delay our growth, lead to greater burn out and reduce our successes in life.
If you are new to reflection, it can feel uncomfortable in the beginning and often you may forget to practice it regularly. However once you make the effort you will find a greater sense of awareness, greater insight and for many, a greater sense of control over their lives and future directions. Life can stop feeling like it is happening ‘to us,’ and start feeling like we are making it happen.
Some of the tools we use to help us reflect include:
Of course, we do not implement all of these at once and there are many more tools and strategies available to engage in reflection. It is important, like anything, to practice practice practice and identify what works for you!.
If however you are unsure where to start or are not sure how to implement reflection into your daily life, or you have trouble viewing set backs and challenges in a different way, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Further if you want help to develop SMART goals or need someone to support you and assist with accountability then we are here for you.
So take back your time, stand up for you and reflect in order to move forward.
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We have lived through poverty, built ourselves up, worked in the corporate sectors and now live a life of Thriving personally and professionally.