The ideal time to reminisce on the year is right now, as the holiday season winds down and the year draws to a close. Research shows that employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting performed 23% better than those that didn’t, and commuters who were prompted to use their commute to think about and plan for their day were happier, more productive, and less burned out than those who didn’t. In a world full of constant and instant access to information, reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos in order to untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. True reflection takes practice, so take a few minutes and follow this guide to get started.
Challenge your thoughts. Self-reflection offers us the opportunity to challenge our ways of thinking. Most of us have a tendency to ruminate on the bad things; for example, our perceived weaknesses, mistakes we’ve made, or embarrassing moments. When you actually take the time to reflect and write these things down, it’s important to ask yourself if you really believe them. Eventually, you’ll start to realize that the things you tell yourself about yourself aren’t always true.
Find what works for you. There’s no one right way or time to reflect. Simply find a way to sit in the quiet and be alone with your thoughts. You can meditate, journal, do a writing exercise, take a walk in nature, talk to yourself outloud in the car or while doing dishes, perform breathing exercises, read, analyze a past event, or try a yoga class. Anything that helps you clear your head and analyze thoughts and feelings is worthwhile and beneficial.
Live with more intention. Ask yourself questions such as “What could I improve on?” “What went well?” and “How did I feel overall today?”. Reflecting on what’s going on in your life can simply serve as a reminder of what you do on a daily basis. Most of our days end up blending into one another, so regular reflection can be an opportunity to show you that your days are actually unique and different. It can encourage you to think about how you can add more joy and fun into your daily life.
A great way to begin reflecting is by looking back at your past planner pages. We offer Storage Binders and Sleeves to store your previous years’ pages. As you are making the transfer, take time now to read through the year in a calm and restful way. Remember and reflect on your challenges and triumphs, important events, changes, and celebrations. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve accomplished and experienced over the past 365 days. Enjoy reliving the happy moments and don’t hesitate to acknowledge and accept the difficult times. Let these memories act as a springboard for your 2022 goals, so you can pick up right where you left off.