self reflection

Self Reflection

Come the end of the month it’s always a good time for some simple personal reflection on progress made through the month now coming to an end. What are you proud of succeeding at? What progress have you made on that massive challenge? Or have you just gotten to end of another month with nothing special to talk about, if that’s the case what are you going to do differently next month to make sure you do step up!

Some people work very well with weekly reports and even daily activity reports – if that works for you and you gain from this process then good, keep on doing it. Personally, I don’t enjoy this, it’s too restrictive and school like, but that doesn’t mean to say it hasn’t worked when I’ve been disciplined and followed these methods, maybe I should do more of it? For others a simpler format might work such as a personal speedometer – it really is simple, consider your average car and its 5 gears, 1st gear is used for getting moving but not for speed and 5th gear is for cruising at higher speeds. We build up and down through these gears in our journeys to and from work, the shops or in life in general.

Let’s make this relate to your personal performance scoring 1st gear through to 5th gear – you select what gear you have achieved on a given day, that’s it. Complete your personal speedometer for a week, a month etc etc and then at the end of your chosen period of time calculate what your average gear achieved for the period has been. Do not over analyse your daily score before marking it down, just go with your gut feel – you know when you are awesome and you know when you are ‘Missing in Action’, we all do.

This is totally subjective and open to blatant misinterpretation and manipulation of the figures (if you choose to) if completed correctly however at a glance you can see how the month has gone before. Have you achieved a sense of flow where you have been in the right place the right zone or have you been distracted, unfocused and off your game? Clearly the objective here is to not use the results as a stick to beat yourself with when energy is low, health is off or focus is drifting, it’s there to get you reflecting and noticing trends and timings.

Self-reflection on the progress you have made this month can be really healthy for your confidence and self-esteem, self-flagellation for a poor performing month can have severe negative effects and if this is ignored it can build and develop further into a problem. Just sitting on your personal toadstool naval gazing and giving yourself a hard time won’t change anything, consider what will be different for you next month and what you will act upon to make those changes.

A key element here when we are self reflecting is the foundation piece of behavioural change – if there isn’t an emotional connection to what you want to change or where you wish to head to then nothing will change and the following month will turn out pretty similar to the previous. That can go on for years and result in what Richard Wilkins refers to as an NLE – a Near Life Experience where years are used up without progress being made!

For the month about to start choose a couple of things that you will commit to – there is no point in trying to change more than that at any one time as you will quit and fail to see through most of them if not all of them. Consider your (or your friends) New Years resolutions that have all been long forgotten as they just got a bit too hard. Small steppingstones of cumulative action will far out strip the massive changes that people plan and then fail to complete.

Finally asking for help is the best thing we can do here – as I always say being in isolation and trying to succeed all on our own is very very difficult – get the right people surrounding you in your team and make the difference for you next month!! It’s all in your control – so time to step up and make it happen one step at a time.

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