Have you considered the importance of making reflection a part of your daily routine?
Ecclesiastes is one of those books of wisdom in the Bible that is filled with reflection. King Solomon reflected on life. Maybe he sat down at the end of his day, gazing at his beautiful surroundings reflecting on his success. Records show that Solomon wrote this book at the end of his life reflecting over his prosperity and accomplishments; wealth and pleasures. In this poetic book, is there a thread of regret, where after knowing and experiencing so much, Solomon concluded that life could be summed up as pointless and meaningless. With immense riches and power that matched his lavish lifestyle, is there something we can learn from his poignant reflection of sadness and emptiness in the end? Did he prove that money cannot buy you happiness? What can we learn from his conclusions in this thought-provoking book that will prompt us to make reflection a habit? I have outline my quick guide, to prompt you to make reflection a habit.
Table of contents
Where to start
When it comes to reflecting on your own life. Maybe you don’t know where to start. Or perhaps you think you don’t have the time. If you haven’t started making reflection a part of your daily routine, then the best way is to begin practicing immediately. I am sharing with you quick prompts to make reflection a habit you won’t regret beginning. Decide how much time you want to spend in reflection. 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Then allow this time to bring renewed ideas to your day. Once you have mastered how to reflect. Transfer the same concept to your work, your home and other areas in your life.
- In one sentence, outline your goals for your personal growth and development. List between 1-3 to help you be more specific. For example – to become more confident or emotionally intelligent. Ask yourself questions such as – What do I plan to do. When will I do it and lastly, where will I try this. Set a time and scenario. This year, in a month, a week or a few hours. Will this be in general conversation or an upcoming networking event.
- Set a schedule, every day at the same time for the next month. Draw 4 columns – for your day, your work, your home, your life. In each area. Jot down these 3 questions. What went right today. What went wrong. What could I improve.
- Plan for the week ahead by diairising when to start doing this. Maybe before your exercise class. Or when taking an evening stroll. Or 15 minutes before you leave work for the day. Make it a quiet calm space where you can rest and reset.
- Use a journal or diary format, and if you commence this every day right now, by the end of the year you will have at least 100 reflections to ponder over when 2021 closes. Allowing yourself the chance to monitor your learning in a structured way.
The most important point is sticking with your new routine and not beating yourself up, if you are unable or forget to set time to reflect on your day. Just jump back on the wagon the following day.
1| Quick list of questions to keep to hand
- How do you feel about the day? List the helpful parts. And the unhelpful ones.
- What did you do that worked really well?
- What could you have done differently?
Keep practicing, and you can simplify and improve according to your own needs. Before long you will have bullet points of the key reflections for each day.
- Challenges – you are tackling issues and finding solutions for.
- Accomplishments – things you achieve that can slip by unnoticed.
- Lessons – those insightful moments you can reuse in the future and things you are grateful for, which fill your life with joy and beauty.
- In the process you have begun a journal of memorable achievements to treasure. And reflections to recollect and read at a later date.
From questioning the meaning of life, Solomon concluded that the foundation of our life is only established if we are deeply rooted in obedience and reverence for God’s truth. We know that heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s truth in our lives wiill remain. That is where our peace can be found, as we point all our reflections to the centre of our faith.
2| Why is reflection important?
Whether we are deciding what to make a priority tomorrow, or evaluating the way things stand and what we could change. Reflection is beneficial because it helps us to review and assess our personal growth. This composes an essential part of our life, if we aim to excel.
- Slow down, make sense of your day or where you find yourself in life.
- Consider your emotional and mental state.
- Think about the relationships in your life.
- Do you have new ideas and desires that you have pressed the pause button on?
- Stop, clarify and capture all the thoughts you have to wade through on a daily basis.
- Deeply process your thoughts, experiences and challenges that may have led to unclarity.
- Is what you are doing aligning with what you believe in?
- Do you feel like you are heading in the direction you want to go?
- Relevant change can only be made if you keep on track.
3| Personal tips for reflection
Journalling can serve as a checklist which can prompt you to think about necessary points. Be prepared to ask youself some tough questions, where you have allowed fear to make you stand in your way of progression. Then think of the smallest step you can take, to move away from your self-limiting beliefs, right now – today. Not forgetting everything you can be grateful for, as you pursue a growth mindset and progress. When you become mindful of every action and reflect on what you do (difficult or easy) you are embedding this practice to reframe your ideas and make changes where required.
4| Reflection in practice
In order not to dwell on the past, when you take 15 minutes daily to reflect. It helps you make meaning of the significant and insignificant elements in your day. Leading the way for transformation and change. Additional benefits include deepening your understanding of different situations and strengthening connections with your colleagues and clients. Although there are no rules, you can add this to your schedule on a personal or professional level.
- What happened today?
- What were my thoughts and emotions?
- Outline both the good and bad feelings you experience and try recall the different situations.
- What sense can you make out of the situation so far?
- Is there anything else you could have done?
- What can you learn about this for next time?
Reflecting on your practices will save you energy and time in the long term, making you more self-aware. To promote a better understanding about yourself and others. This concept is well founded in research that outlines we learn more through reflection. To prevent you from doing things the same way you have always done them. Paving the way for a positive assignment that outlines your strengths, skills and achievements. Assisting you to work on your weaknesses and problems. Then devise better or quicker solutions with creative thinking.
Share your thoughts…
What benefits have you gained from reflective practice in your own personal and professional self-development?