The Power of Reflection

In my last post Reset Your Life I talked about some of the reasons why it's important to make changes in life.

  1. Opens up more opportunities for us

  2. Out with old and in with the better

  3. Feeling more fulfilled and not stagnant


But these days I hear a lot of people saying they feel stuck. No one likes to feel stuck it's not the best feeling. You're not really moving forward


So in order to start the process, you need to do some thinking. Now don't mistake thinking for action it's not, but it is important to set up the why you want to make the change so it is more likely to happen


Reflection


Reflection is a time to take some serious thought and consideration on what you want to change, how you want to change, and where it is going to take you.


When I was making changes in my own life here is what I did.


  1. I cleared my schedule for a few days

  2. I focused on 4 areas Work, Family, Personal, & Service ( You can pick the areas that you feel are important to you.) It may be one or it may be many.

  3. Write down a guiding principle for those areas

  4. Create an action plan


The ideal solution would be to give yourself some time off, Time off of work, or just get away from your day-in and day-out activities.


Find a place to relax where it can be quiet and you can think through things without interruption. Make sure you are away from all screens. Turn off anything that can distract you from what the purpose of reflection is.


Some suggestions:

  • A quiet office

  • Go on walks

  • Book a weekend away

  • Get out in nature


Building a Daily and Weekly Practice of Reflecting


Taking the time to think and reflect is important but the next step is to make sure you write it down. You have to build a regular habit of reflection its not just a one-time thing when you decide to make changes.


It has to happen regularly on a schedule the most successful people have these types of schedules (1)


  • Maya Angelou would rent a local hotel room and go there to write. She arrived at 6:30 AM, wrote until 2 PM, and then went home to do some editing. She would never sleep at the hotel.

  • Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon writes five nights per week from 10 PM to 3 AM.

  • Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4 AM, writes for five hours, and then goes for a run.


Here are a few simple practices that will begin to build up a regular habit of reflection.


1) Write it down


It's difficult to reflect on anything if it's not recorded. A great way to do this is when you get an idea, feel frustrated, or fail at something write it down.


Note how you feel at the time as well as your immediate thoughts. It's good to write in real time because you can capture things right then and there


It's important to understand why. Why was I feeling this way? Why did this happen? Did I make a mistake?


2) Set aside time each week to review what has happened


Every day I re-read the entries from the previous day. This allows me to review and figure out what it was I do if I need to improve, and where.


3) Don't just re-read your journal add to it


I do this frequently. It may be difficult to admit I screwed up in the past or made a mistake. But I take that lesson and look back at it and add something I am doing now that has benefited me or how I have gotten better.


I write a journal entry every Friday called 1 Percent Better. The main goal I have with it is to reflect and pick out the things that went right and things I can improve. It celebrates the victories and helps me look back and figure out the problems so I can solve them.


It's a measuring stick of the progress I am making and it's something you can implement too.




Here are a couple of toolkits you can use to help you with reflecting

Gibbs Reflective Cycle

What? So what? Now what?

Integrated reflection cycle

The 5R Framework




Special Invitation


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1. Copy the following link https://www.bricehogan.com/train-of-thought

2. Email or text it to your co-worker or friend






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Hello, My name is Brice. I am glad you're here.  I am excited to share with you all the things I'm learning and writing.  I am on a journey to share what I learn with you and in some small way give back so you can share with others  There are a few resources on this website that can help you accomplish that.

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