Why you should make time for self-reflection
It’s December! One of my fav times of the year, cause Christmas will be upon us soon! Tis the season to be jolly ~
And reflective, too, perhaps?
As another year is about to end, it’s the perfect time to look back on the past year and reflect on what you’ve done. What did 2017 meant to you?
2017 was interesting for me. I challenged myself and started new habits, which I’m still continuing to this day.
One of those habits was settling into the habit of self-reflecting. I started doing this last year in 2016. And it’s definitely one of the reasons for my immense personal growth this year. Now, I do daily, weekly, monthly and yearly reflections.
If you aren’t in the habit of reflecting yet, I offer some reasons below as to why it can be so helpful and useful:
Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. – Margaret J. Wheatley
You learn from your mistakes
If we don’t take the time to think about our mistakes, figure out what went wrong and rectify them; chances are, we will be making those same mistakes again. Repeatedly.
Life will keep throwing you curveballs until you learn some valuable lessons from your mistakes.
Mistakes are an extremely valuable learning tool, instead of something we should feel ashamed about. Reflection helps us with that.
Sharpens your self-awareness
Do you know why many of us have so many unrealized goals and New Year resolutions?
It’s due to a lack of self-awareness. When we do not monitor our behaviour, we don’t realise the discrepancies that exist between our ideal state (ie: exercising thrice a week) and our current state (ie: exercising once every fortnight).
We can’t then make the necessary changes to our lifestyle to achieve our goals. Reflection helps you achieve your goals!
Increases your emotional awareness
Similar to the point above, reflecting has made me much more aware of my emotions, feelings and moods; and what caused them.
I used to be someone who would get into these melancholic episodes and I wouldn’t know what got me so down.
Reflecting on the events and happenings before, during and after such emotional episodes, I could pinpoint the exact cause. Because of my self reflections, I know what situations/people i should avoid (or reduce contact with) these days as well as how to manage my energy levels.
It provides plenty of ‘aha!’ moments
I don’t know how many times I’ve been reflecting and new ideas just pop into my head. Ideas for my career, for my blog, for just about everything!
Reflecting helps you process things at a deeper level, you get more used to questioning yourself and finding solutions from within.
Be more present and mindful
It’s super easy to just go from one thing to another, one day to another, without giving much thought to the little things that happen in between.
When you get into a reflective state, instead of just rushing through life, you are able to be in the moment and process your actions and thoughts.
Your mind is able to register your experiences. And, interestingly, you will find yourself with a much stronger memory of your life.
Acts as a record of your life
My reflections act as a record for my experiences. I note down my successes, my failures, all the experiences that have made an impact on my life.
I celebrate them and give thanks where I can. Without reflection, It’s easy to forget these things even happened.
Reflections help us see the bigger picture. It’s very easy to develop tunnel vision in our modern lives.
We are so focused on something that when things go wrong, we feel like it’s the end of the world. Reflecting helps us reframe our thinking and enables us to come up with alternative solutions to our issues.
We feel more relaxed about the tougher things in life.
Keeping all these benefits in mind and racing towards the end of 2019, what better time to start reflecting than now? Think back on your year and ask yourself – Have you achieved your goals? What did you do well? What did you learn about yourself? Asking yourself questions like these sheds new light on your experiences and provides greater perspective to your 2019.
And to help you with your year-end reflections, I’ve designed a workbook just for you. You’ll find questions like the ones above and many more. Have fun learning about yourself!
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Need more goal setting tips? Check out my other goal setting posts:
- How to conduct effective weekly reviews
- Why you need to set goals
- How to set effective goals and slay them
- 17 Mistakes you make when setting goals
With 10 years of experience as a Researcher (MSc) in Psychology, Neuroscience, Mental Health, Consumer and Organisational Behaviour; I help action-oriented, time-strapped people and solopreneurs crush their inner critics, navigate toxic workplaces and relationships and build their self-esteem so that you can have the freedom, happiness and confidence you desire. I spend the rest of my time daydreaming and downing cups of tea/coffee – my life’s vice.