Having to take time to reflect on your actions and inactions can feel awkward. The fundamental truth is that you have to sit with the truth, accept the feeling and forge ahead.
It is a known fact that you want to live your dream life. However, it becomes more fun when you have a system that tracks your progress and keeps you accountable. Living your dream life in poise, class, excellence and perfection takes time: it takes consistent practice and routines.
Would you stay alive if you get tired of breathing?
If your answer is No, you are going repeat your choice set of actions over and over again. And if you answered Yes, trust me, you are one of the legends we’ve been looking for. Build a product of this spectacular skill of yours and monetize it. It’s about time you cashed out!
Self – Reflection is a fundamental part of your system. You must be familiar with the saying that: nobody goes from zero to a hundred in one instant. A closer look will make you realize that someone was monitoring the progress. I am sure you’re familiar with the Rome was not built in a day narrative as well. The truth is that it took continuous laying of bricks (the day 2000 bricks were laid, the day the unexpected happened and they struggled to even lay 50). Someone was monitoring the process and evaluating the actions and inactions.
This periodic exercise is not a license to sulk or gloat in your wins! Self-reflection can be tricky because it becomes so easy to be on a particular divide. To feel:
- extremely good or bad,
- you are incredibly smart or pity yourself,
- overly excited or depressed,
However, it is a time to be honest with yourself, evaluate your actions, place your output against the plan and ask yourself what your next steps should be.
Taking a step back and reflecting on your life, questioning your belief system and behaviour is courageous. It is also interesting because a sincere exercise helps you connect the dots hidden in your character, actions, inactions and motives.
This article has one goal: trigger you to build a self-reflective system that affords you the opportunity to record your thoughts, monitor actions and track progress.
What Do You Need to Self – Reflect?
Quite basic. Top on the list is your mind. It helps you boost concentration, flexibility and self-awareness. It is relaxing.
You’d be taking notes. A pen and paper or a digital note taking app: I’d suggest Roam Research, Notion or Evernote.
I need to add that this is not a time to multi – task. It is a serious moment to sit with your thoughts and engage them one after the other. Do away with distractions and focus.
I am an advocate of blocking 1 – hour a week to reflect on your actions and see how well you’ve done and what you need to improve on.
Imagine you have to wait till the end of the year before you can make necessary tweaks on an incident that occurred in March. There is a likely tendency that you’d have lost track of some of the most fundamental details.
A weekly review gives you 52 chances to reflect if you are achieving your goals in a year.
52 chances to improve on the previous week; and 52 moments in time to learn more about yourself and how you work.
Record your thoughts by journaling every day. 30 minutes to recount and relive your day on the pages of your notepad. Interestingly, you can record audio or video clips as well. Do what you want! Do what makes you comfortable to lay your thoughts and emotions bare.
If you dedicate 30 minutes per day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year: for 1 year, you will have spent 182 hours recording your thoughts. Looks bulky but quality input is all that matters.
It’s easier to work with your daily entry every week. Your weekly entry makes it easy to work on your monthly review; with your monthly review, your quarterly review becomes stress – free and quarterly reviews will guarantee a holistic annual review.
I will be citing a well-recognized cliche in scientific circles: In God we trust, others must provide data. Recording your thoughts can be likened to data entry. With a substantial amount of data, you can be sure of seeing clearly.
What you need is good data before you’d conclude that an action is not yielding results.
Good decisions are based on facts, not just opinions and emotions. You must adopt the view of objectively weighing your actions against your goals.
Why record your thoughts and monitor actions if it’s not to keep yourself accountable to you? Self-Reflection is an opportunity to clearly see where you need to make necessary tweaks and forge ahead. If it’s not a viable thing to do, you can fail fast and adjust. If you are good, you identify where you need to intensify your efforts.
You are engaging your five senses about You!
It’s your Me – time and you deserve to do what makes you happy. Speak so loud to you about you that you can be convinced about you. The essence of it all is for you to understand yourself better and untie the knots.
Cheers to that brighter life!