As the year draws to a close, I find myself thinking about how to take my energy and motivation and desires and go boldly into 2017. Moving forward successfully will require looking back critically through self-reflection.
Why Practice Self-Reflection?
Looking back means engaging in self-reflection. This is a really important skill to develop, because it helps you become the person you want to be. It does this by increasing your self-awareness and emotional intelligence so that you are more conscious of your emotions, manage them well, and use them to help you grow.
The practice of self-reflection is not that difficult. Ask yourself some questions, be honest with your answers, and harness those responses into positive change. A great resource for the kinds of questions you want to ask are in this guide from Holstee, but there are lots of sites with equally good questions, and I’ve provided links to a few below.
Basically, ask questions that will help you take stock of yourself, personally and professionally. The purpose of this isn’t to beat yourself up; it’s to fuel change. Consider what is working in your life and what’s not. Think about your strengths and your weaknesses. Clarify your goals and how your actions are helping or hindering you achieve those goals.
Develop the Habit of Self-Reflection
To make self-reflection a habit, start small. At the end of each day, as you lay in bed, ask yourself a couple of questions about how your day went and identify a few areas to try to work on the next day. A next step could be keeping a journal where you engage in daily, weekly, or monthly self-reflection. Write it down so you can continue to look back and monitor growth. This will help you see the areas where you continue to be stuck and the areas where you are moving forward.
I challenge you and me to form a self-reflection habit in 2017. To help me do this, I’ve printed the Holstee guide and put it in my meditation space to start each day with serious thought about my behavior.
May your new year be filled with peace, love, joy, and self-reflection.
Sites to Help Guide Your Self-Reflection
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.