When one year ends and another starts, we reflect on our past year and plan to make changes in the coming year. What can we do to make this change easier? What can we do to make the new year better? How do we make New Year's resolutions that work for us? Join me in this episode to find answers to these questions.
What you will learn in this episode:
- What is self-reflection
- How to practice self-reflection in different ways
- What is the question you shouldn’t ask
- How to build your future based on self-reflection
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When one year ends and another starts, we tend to reflect on our past year (and our entire life) and plan to change... well... everything in the coming year. What can we do to make this change easier? What can we do to make the new year better? In other words, how do we make New Year's resolutions that work for us?
Let's start with the basics.
What is self-reflection and why is it important?
Reflection (often called self-reflection) is a practice where we review our past activities and identify our strengths and weaknesses, then improve, develop, and change our activities in the future.
There are a lot of studies on reflection. And in short – you can use reflection in all professions and also in your personal life. There are no limitations to its use.
Different studies have shown that reflection increases the ability to successfully complete a task. Additionally, reflection identifies personal and professional strengths and weaknesses, increases learning from an experience or situation, encourages self-motivated and self-directed learning, and acts as a source of feedback.
As entrepreneurs, reflective practice assists us in both personal and professional development. You could say that, without reflection, we would wander in total darkness. We would not have any clue what our choices have created or what the results of our activities were.
So how do you perform self-reflection?
You can reflect on your personal life as well as your professional life and your business.
There is no right or wrong way to do reflections. You'll gain awareness by asking questions.
However, there is one question that won't bring you any awareness. This question is "Why?" As you probably understand, the main idea of reflection is to change and develop. "Why," on the contrary, forces you to find the cause of your choices, actions, or results. And then you focus on reasons why certain things happened. By asking "why," you keep yourself from moving forward and making any changes.
Take your time when you do self-reflection. Start by allocating ten to fifteen minutes for each reflection session.
You can answer using bullet points or do some journaling. I suggest you use a method that suits you and doesn't scare you away from this task. The idea is to find some clarity, not provide punishment.
Where to start?
Start by asking "What is important to me, and does it reflect in my everyday life?"
What are you spending your time on? Does it correlate to things that matter in your life? Or is there a big mismatch?
I have a small assignment for you... You can do it while listening to this podcast episode. You can also download a special workbook, which includes so much more than just this exercise. You'll find the workbook on the show notes page at stepupandthrivepodcast.com/10.
So, back to the assignment...
First, pick three areas that matter to you the most at this point in your life. Which are the most important in your life? Write them on paper, your computer, or a phone app.
Next... Which three areas in your life take most of your time while you're awake? Which activities do you spend most of your time on? Write down these areas as well.
Look over these two lists you wrote. One has three areas in your life that are important to you right now. And the other list has three areas that are taking most of your time.
How much do your lists overlap? Are the two lists are completely different?
What can you do to spend more time doing activities that are important to you right now? What can you change in your life?
One thing you should know is that these important areas may change during different periods of your life. And this change is quite natural.
For example, when you've just had your first child, your core family is usually the most important thing at this time. Or when you're establishing your business, then it's your business that’s the most important. Quite often, when you have a lot of stress or you've recently burnt out, your well-being and self-care takes precedence. Or at least it should...
Weirdly enough, we won't embrace these shifts in our priorities, but we’ll often get stuck in old patterns.
How about changing that now? How about concentrating on priorities that matter to you?
What else can you ask? Maybe something about your business?
For your business, you can start with a few simple questions:
Where did I succeed last year?
What difficulties did I face last year?
My suggestion is that when reflecting, don't dwell on all your problems, misfortunes, failures, and bad luck. The idea of practicing reflection is to get insights and awareness, and then change your future.
So how can you change your future?
There are a couple of useful questions you can ask after you have explored the previous questions (about your successes and challenges).
What would I like to continue? Is there something I like to do? Is there something I'm successful at? If yes, would I like to continue doing that (or these things)?
I suggest that you don’t look only at the numbers... Sometimes there are business activities that you like to do and that give you great satisfaction, and yet don't produce money directly. Keep doing them, because money doesn't always come in a direct way. People may notice how much you like doing those things and start following you and finally buy from you. Besides, if you do something that you like to do, it is easier to do those not-so-fun-things that you must do for your business.
What would you like to change? Is there something that hasn't work very well and should be done differently? Is there something new you have learned and would like to test?
When you change things, or ways of doing things, keep in mind that enjoying yourself and having a good time always creates more. - Tuuli Paaksi, Podcast Step Up & Thrive
When you change things, or ways of doing things, keep in mind that enjoying yourself and having a good time always creates more. If you don't like doing something, why not delegate it to somebody who likes doing it and is better at it? That way, you can concentrate on doing what you like to do and what you are good at.
A word of warning when making plans for the next year.
Our lives, businesses, and environment are not static. Everything changes. EVERYTHING. All the time.
The year 2020 is the best example of this with lockdowns, changes in our family life, and also how we have managed our businesses.
So please review your plans constantly. And practice reflection. You can allocate ten to fifteen minutes of your time to reflect on your life and business daily (or at least weekly). When you notice that something doesn't work anymore – for you, your family, or your business – then make some changes. If it still doesn't work, make new changes.
I like what Tom Bradley, the ex-Mayor of Los Angeles, once said: “The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”
So let's make a great kickoff for 2021 for us and our business, and fulfill our dreams. You can also grab the workbook I've created for you to assist you in reflective practice and creating a better year for you and your business.
MY DREAM YEAR OF 2021
Make a great kickoff for 2021 for you and your business, and fulfill your dreams.
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