The Power Of Reflection: The Life-Changing Magic Of Reviewing Your Goals
Progress not perfection, eh? You’ve no doubt seen these words splashed across your Instagram feed, and it’s good advice to follow, but be honest with us for a sec: how often do you take the time to reflect on where you’re going and look back at how far you’ve come?
“Don’t look back” might be good advice when you’re considering reconnecting with an ex, but it’s an ethos best avoided when it comes to setting your goals. Why? Because often you have to look back to be able to move forward and let us tell you a secret, amazing things happen when you do.
Sure it might seem counterintuitive but by constantly looking back at your past triumphs, successes and, yep, even your failures you can empower yourself to move forward. And, get this, when you continually reflect and review your goals you are more likely to achieve them.
That’s right, the simple act of reviewing your goals, monitoring your progress, and deciding on a course of action as a result virtually guarantees your success.
Get those goals…
Look at it like this: Setting goals without reflecting on the progress you’ve made is a little like running a marathon without any training.
A good runner will have pounded the pavements religiously before race day, they’ll have studied the route, got to know their strengths and weaknesses in intricate detail, and developed a game plan for what to do when things go wrong.
When they start lagging mid-race they’ll know all they need is a big chug of water or to adjust their pace. You might not be running a marathon, but the same goes for you and your goals. When things aren’t going as planned, you can get yourself back on track with a little reflection.
It’s all about priorities…
Reflection also helps you suss out what’s really important to you. With reflection, you might realise that having a massive circle of friends isn’t important to you, but having a gaggle of close mates you can really trust, is.
Maybe when you really reflect you determine that having financial stability is more important to you than having a wardrobe full of fancy, clothes, shoes, and bags. Or you realise that what you really want to achieve is a feeling of peace, calm, and contentment in your life.
Reflection helps you to get crystal clear on your goals and aim for wonderful things that are truly aligned with you. And here’s the clincher: Once you know exactly what you want, it’s a helluva lot easier to get your hands on it than when you don’t.
Supercharge your self-confidence…
Do you know what often happens when you look back? You realise how much you’ve achieved. Your confidence grows and you feel empowered to achieve more. You marvel at the progress you’ve made and the person you’ve become. Reviewing your progress makes you feel like you can take on the world and if that doesn’t spur you on? We don’t know what will.
How To Do It
Don’t forget to remember
Whether you never forget like an elephant or you have a head like a sieve, all of us need to be reminded of our goals, day in, day out. It’s the one way to keep them front and centre of your mind.
You could crack open the spine on your journal, and read over your top 10 goals first thing every morning. You could close your eyes and visualise all the goals you’ve set. Or you could write them out and pin them to the fridge where you’ll see them throughout the day.
With so many demands justling for position on our to-do lists these days it’s easy to let our goals and dreams fall by the wayside. Reviewing what you want every single day is a surefire way to keep those aspirations top of the to-do list. You choose the way that works best for you.
Note your achievements
Remember when you finished school and received a record of achievement? It might be at the end of the day, week, month or all of the above, but when you reflect on all you’ve achieved it spurs you on to do more.
An achievement doesn’t have to be something massive either, like acing a job interview or hitting 10,000 followers on Instagram, it can be something simple like remembering to eat your greens at dinner or completing a work project you’re proud of. Celebrate the tiny wins too!
Here’s our tip: try writing down at least one thing you’ve achieved at the end of each day, even if it’s something small, like getting up without hitting the snooze button, and you’ll soon see your self-belief skyrocket.
Consider why you were successful
Celebrating your successes is all well and good, but the real nuggets of wisdom come when you delve into the reasons why you were successful. Does a solid eight hours of sleep set you up for success? Are you most productive when you chug a tall glass of water first thing in the morning? Are you most likely to go after the things you want when you’ve been practising positive self-talk?
Success is rarely down to luck or chance, and once you know why you were successful, guess what? You can repeat those behaviours and enjoy the same success over and over again. Hooray!
Every time you achieve a goal, don’t forget to grab pen and paper and reflect on the steps that helped you get there.
Own your failures
We all have bad days. Sometimes we have crappy weeks and meh months too. While the bad times might seem completely hopeless they’re actually your biggest opportunity for learning.
Forget about beating yourself up when things go wrong, start assessing your failures from an unbiased standpoint. Stand back and ask yourself what went wrong, what have I learned, and how can I do things differently next time? Never a failure, always a lesson, and all that.
Sometimes we outgrow our goals. What we wanted six months ago isn’t necessarily what we want now and regular reflection can help you identify that. Priorities shift and change, and the more you reflect and review, the more clarity you get on what you actually want. Sometimes that means your original goals get pushed out for something better, and that’s okay.
Look through your goals on the regular and ask yourself: am I still excited about this? Is it still something I really want? Is it helping me get to where I ultimately want to be? Then edit and delete as required. Goals are kind of like an old pair of jeans. You don’t need to keep them around when they no longer fit.
So there you have it. Self-reflection is the surefire way to boost your self-esteem, keep a positive focus on your goals, and achieve the things you’ve been dreaming about. Now, what are you waiting for? Go and get ‘em.