Never underestimate the power of taking time to reflect. It is a new year and for many years people were making resolutions during this time, many of which were unrealistic which meant they were not achieved. In recent years, the idea of goals instead of resolutions has become popular. It is a notion that I agree with. However, the goals must be realistic. There are many conversations about how to ensure goals are realistic. This is not the purpose of this blog post. Instead, this post is to encourage reflecting, taking time to think about the choices we made, our actions, things that were out of our control and how they affected our lives. It is purposely taking the needed time to deeply think critically about what we learned from those choices, actions and uncontrolled life experiences. It is making the decision about what we will continue because it works or because we still have not completely figured out how to not… even if we clearly understand that it no longer works, fits, is healthy and/or needed.
- Reflecting helps us to make goals for the current year.
- Reflecting helps us to reevaluate the goals we made, to make adjustments where needed.
- Reflecting helps us appreciate our growth and where we may be stagnant.
- Reflecting helps us pinpoint our wins and our mistakes.
- Reflecting helps us to decompress.
There is no one way to reflect. For example, for me, I often take time each day to think about what happened during the day, things that went well, things that could have been better and things that totally went wrong. I think about the conversations I had personally with family and friends. I think about the conversations I had with my clients and how each session went and how I will approach the next session, if there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Other times, like the end of a year and the beginning of the next, I take time to write down all the experiences that stand out for the year and make decisions about how to move forward into the new year. I also reflect when there is a major life change, I think about how I handled past experiences similar and process through my feelings and thoughts about the change.
Thus, reflecting for me is daily, yearly and attached to major changes, each of which has a specific purpose. Daily reflections are about how I will move forward on a daily basis with small goals and adjusting the bigger goals I made for my yearly reflections. Yearly reflections are setting bigger goals for the entire year. Major life change reflections help me to work through my feelings and thoughts and encourage myself that things will work out. They help me to move forward while scared.
I encourage my family and friends to reflect. I encourage my clients to reflect. I am encouraging you to reflect. Make a habit of it. It is a healthy one to have.
Do you reflect? If you do, how do you reflect? If you do not, why?
2 thoughts on “Reflecting”
Reflecting is part of my life, a process that always benefits me. I’m in a book study group where we meet weekly to discuss our thoughts on the assigned reading. This kind of reflection sharing is also very good for me. We are reading Ladder to the Light by Steven Charleston now. Am enjoying thinking about spiritual growth.
Carol, I also think it is good to have reflections in a group setting like you described. We do grow from such experience.