This article is the first on a six-part series published each Friday bringing you through a journey of personal development using pragmatic tools you can use every day.
I’m not a great believer in new year resolutions. I’m committed to making and keeping promises – just not necessarily new year ones. That said, there are natural times to reflect, to take quiet personal time to reflect and refresh a life vision, and Christmas is one of them. Rather than committing to annual goals, I work in 8 week bursts. I call it my commitment cadence (read why here). I sometimes use annual metrics but my resolutions are more frequent and easier to keep.
Part of reflection is learning from the past to prime yourself for future commitments. Individuals and businesses should build in the Practise of Reflection. It has the following benefits:
- Recognition & Gratitude: A big driver of productivity and wellbeing, it’s important to give ourselves credit for our brilliant achievements.
- Mental Calm: Reflection forces us out of the day-to-day, to take stock of loose ends to be quickly closed for a cleaner slate before making new commitments.
- Clarity & Purpose: Reflection forces us to ask ‘Why we are doing this?’ to ensure our actions are linked to our higher purpose, values and strengths.
- Continuous Improvement & Learning: Built-in to the ritual of reflection, we ask ‘What worked? What didn’t?’ so we constantly improve and develop. It includes taking risks and leaving our comfort zone.
- Overcoming Challenges: Reflection involves connection with our deeper selves, asking what held us back, challenging limiting beliefs and identifying people who inspire, who we want to connect with to change for the better.
- Finally, Fun! Reflection help us identify new experiences and epic goals to enjoy life!
The 12 Reflections below covers this and is a nice exercise to try annually if not more often.
James Parnell is the founder of The Wellbeing Gym, which provides offline and online wellbeing, performance, productivity and life design programmes to individuals and corporates.
Twitter @TheWellbeingGym, Facebook @Thewellbeinggym (here).