Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution before you took the time to reflect on the year that has just passed? It seems that these days everyone is in such a hurry to press forward without out pausing and contemplating what actually worked and what did not.
Reflection is such an incredibly powerful tool allowing me to bring into sharp focus areas of improvement and causes for celebration. Plus who doesn’t want to sleep better?
I am sure you have heard or maybe even uttered the phrase "hindsight is 20/20."
We usually do not do something perfect straight away, like learning a new skill it takes time. When we take the time to reflect on what we could have done better we can also see where we can make small tweaks or changes. We can also examine things that have happened and make sense of them more quickly, seeing connections between actions and outcomes.
Taking the time to reflect allows us to use the distance or time between what has happened and our thoughts about what has happened.
For example, a very relatable holiday scenario that took place between you and your partner.
You feel like your partner is always blowing up at you over the smallest things. Your own work pressure was mounting as you went into the holiday season and you have a limited supply of patience. Your last email was to your least favorite customer and their response enraged you, after all your hard work. Then you arrived home and the _______________ fill in the blank was not done AGAIN and you vented your displeasure before you even asked how the other day went… and Bang you threw a grenade into a fireworks shop.
Let’s say this does sound familiar and the stress is tightening in your chest, causing you anxiety and affecting your sleep… does this sound familiar? You might be staying awake at night playing the scene over again and again in your head…
When you take time to reflect you realize that maybe there were some steps you could have taken to avoid this argument – finding ways to quickly replenish your patience, walking in the door, and asking how the other person's day went. Making a to-do list so that thing that is never done to your liking is done, ideally by you…
Can you see that through reflection you could improve your self-acceptance, sleep reduce your stress, and potentially even have a better relationship? Do you start to connect to why reflection is so important?
So before you set a New Year resolution, pause, reflect, and consider what you truly need to feel fulfilled and happy in 2023 and then consider setting an intention to make that happen.
This article is brought to you by Allyson Kukel, the founder of Rooted in Calm. Allyson is a Transformational Coach specializing in motivation, confidence, and resilience. She is passionate about supporting Expats in taking control of their mental and physical health.
Expert Tip: Reflection should be honest, it need not be critical. In fact talking to yourself as a friend would, tapping into self-compassion may allow you to be truly honest as we are generally extremely harsh on ourselves