With every new year, new month and new week, I find it extremely beneficial to ask myself a few specific questions to check in with my goals, intentions and priorities.
This helps me stay focused on what I’m doing and why.
You are destined to succeed and fail. You are bound to face obstacles in the way of achieving your goals. But if you can approach every moment with a growth and development mindset, you’ll likely do well, no matter what happens. Keeping your focus is the key to motivation and ultimate success (however you define that).
My favorite way to maintain this mindset is to be rigorous about personal self reflection. Every week as I fill up my planner, I take a moment to bullet point the first things that come to mind as I answer these three questions.
- Reflect: What would you do differently from last week?
- Appreciate: What are you most proud of from last week?
- Commit: What are 3 promises for yourself for the new week ahead?
- (optional word of the week): Write a few thoughts on why you chose that word.
This takes me about 5 – 10 minutes, depending. As the week progresses, I return to my notes and check in with how I’ve been doing. No judgements. Just reminding myself what I originally intended to focus on this week.
When I first started this “weekly checkpoint” it wasn’t easy. What made me stick to it was that I was primarily doing it as part of a 12-week fitness challenge, intending to stop after twelve weeks. But when my fitness program was over, I felt like these checkpoints were really beneficial, so I kept them up. They helped me to gain awareness of the type of lifestyle that makes me the healthiest and happiest.
Now it’s 2018. A new year! Which is always a great time to set some intentions. Remembering, progress is the goal, not perfection.
So here are three MORE questions. I like to dig a little deeper with these, maybe spending about 10 minutes with each one, to let my thoughts flow. (I found these from an excellent post by Gabrielle Berstein on Well and Good about new year success.)
At the end of 2018…
What do I want to change?
What do I want to attract?
How do I want to feel?
In the article, she says “Make changes stick by starting now. The new year offers a beautiful opportunity to turn inward and get aligned with what we want to call into our lives.” Gabrielle shares personal steps that keep her centered and free from judgement, which she thinks is a large part of why women hold back in life.
It took a while, but I truly value self reflection.
It felt scary at first because I inevitably had to get up close and personal with my faults and areas of improvement. I started holding myself accountable in tangible ways. This is beautiful because I’m getting closer to accepting exactly who I am and realizing what’s important to me, which is where the real magic happens.
Let me know if this inspired you to try out structured self reflection and how you felt after exploring it!