How To Set Up Your Self-Reflection Practice
Is true happiness something that’s attainable?
One thing that all people have in common is a desire to be happy. Self-reflection is an essential component of being able to live your best and happiest life.
Living your best life means living a life where you appreciate the blessings you already have.
Self-reflection gives you the ability to gain a measure of control over your life. For you to check in and see what you’ve been doing to reach your goals. What’s been working and what’s not working , but you need to make sure you practice it in the right way. If you take the wrong approach, you'll find yourself stuck with thoughts of "could’ve, would’ve, should’ve."
It’s important to take the time to make the time for your self reflection practice. Consider scheduling it in as you would any other important appointment.
Most people only make time for self reflection once a year at best, usually during New Years. But not you! Since you’re reading this post, I’ll let you in on a secret, the more time you spend engaging in self reflection, the more progress you’ll make in reaching your goals.
Whenever you’re getting ready to begin a session of self-reflection, start out by breathing deeply. Deep breathing helps you to calm any angst or anxiety you may be feeling so that you don’t carry that into your session. It helps you to get in the right frame of mind to really think through what’s going on in your life.
To get started the right way and build a successful self-reflection practice, try these tips:
Daily Reflection (Evening)
A daily reflection in the evening allows you to take a hard look at everything that happened during your day. You can review what went well and what didn’t and it helps you plan and set goals for the next day. You don’t have to review all of the questions each day, you can split them up or assign certain questions to certain days. Ask yourself the following:
What good did I do today?
How did I feel today?
What did I learn today?
What new decisions did I make today and what do I expect to happen as a result of those decisions?
How did I treat others today?
Am I getting trapped in routine? Am I fully engaged in my life?
If not, what can I do to become more engaged?
Am I pushing myself hard enough? Am I pushing myself too hard?
What did I do for self-care today?
Am I severely neglecting one area of my life?
If so, what can I do to have better balance?
Next Day Plans
Planning for tomorrow today helps you begin each day on the right foot. Having a plan as you start each day helps to eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed and helps you to manage your stress before your stress manages you.
What are the most important things to focus my energy on tomorrow? (No more than 3 – 4 important tasks). Thinking about your most important goals will help you find the answer to that question.
What does my ideal life look like? Visualize your perfect life and let it manifest.
At the end of each week, use the following questions to help you take stock of the progress you’ve made in reaching your goals and helps you to get in touch with your inner self.
Am I getting weaker or stronger?
Who am I? Who do I want to be?
What’s the one thing I’ve done this week that’s taken me closer to my one goal?
What are my current character flaws?
What can I do to change them?
The next set of questions will help you work through any problems that you have. They’ll help you look closer at your goals to make sure that they’re right for you.
Check on your goal. Is it written in the SMART format? If not how can you rewrite it so that it is?
Where am I now in my life? Health? Financially? Socially? Romantically?
Where do I want to be? Do I need to make a pivot and change direction?
Why do I want this goal?
What are my top five priorities at this point?
What’s working in my life? What isn’t working?
Am I making the right decisions for the long-term? What will I regret when I’m 80?
What recurring problems do I need to fix?
Keep the answers in your journal so that you’ll have an overview of how you are progressing over time.
It doesn’t matter if you want to handwrite in your journal or if you use an app or other form of digital journal. Whatever feels best to you is the way to go.
You just need to be consistent with it. There will be days when you don’t feel like writing out your reflections. But do it anyway. You’re working on creating a habit, you need to stick with it, even when you don’t want to. Even writing a few sentences is better than nothing – and a paragraph is even better!
Many people don’t take the time to self-reflect or ask themselves these type of questions, which means they typically stay stuck right where they are in life.
But that doesn’t have to happen to you. You’re someone who’s consciously deciding to take more of an active stance in shaping your life. You’re the exception! If you practice self-reflection regularly, there’s no telling how much progress you’ll able to make very quickly in pursuit of your goals. It's all about making time.
Let’s talk, what do you do as a way of reflection about your life goals? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In