6 Benefits of Reflection

New Year, New You?

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 around the turn of the year is one of them. Rather than committing to strict annual goals, I make commitments in shorter bursts – right now, it’s probably four weeks. I call it my commitment cadence (read why here). I still track annual metrics, but my resolutions are more frequent, smaller, and easier to keep.

The Ritual of Reflection

Part of reflection is learning from the past to prime yourself for future commitments. Individuals and businesses should build in the Practice of Reflection. It has the following benefits:

  1. Recognition & Gratitude: A driver of productivity and wellbeing, it’s helpful to give ourselves credit for our achievements.
  2. 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.
  3. Clarity & Purpose: Reflection forces us to ask ‘Why we are doing this?’, thereby ensuring our actions connect with our higher purpose, values and strengths.
  4. Continuous Improvement & Learning: Built into the ritual of reflection, we ask ‘What worked? What didn’t?’ so we continually improve and develop. It includes taking risks and leaving our comfort zone.
  5. Overcoming Challenges: Reflection involves a 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.
  6. Finally, Fun! Reflection helps us identify new experiences and epic goals to enjoy life!

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.

12 Annual Reflections Download

The 12 Reflections below is a simple exercise to try annually if not more often.