Take the Time To Reflect
by Erica Quam, President & Founder of The Coaching Experience
During the shorter days of winter and the underlying bustle of the holidays, the Earth is preparing in the northern hemisphere for a long period of stillness before the rebirth of spring. The closing of the year elicits contemplation. What has happened this year? Where am I headed? What is left that is undone? Taking time to ask these questions and reflect for yourself about your year, helps you re-connect to your inner purpose to your why.
In yoga, there is a process called svadhyaya or “self-study”. It refers to the understanding of self by using the skill of self-observation. Observing the moment-to-moment changes in your body and in your mind helps you cultivate a quality of balance, introspection, and connectedness.
I think it’s fascinating to think of self-observation as a skill. It is! It’s definitely easier said than done! It is a skill to allow yourself to stop and reflect on where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.
Many times we are so busy living in a state of overwhelm. The holidays are no exception. We are just trying to get caught up and then stay caught up. We take on too much and we never get ahead. We definitely don’t take time to reflect. In fact, as we get closer to a goal or an accomplishment, we typically up the ante. We make an even bigger goal or we change what we want to accomplish to something even bigger. Which is awesome! It’s great! That’s progress! That’s high achievement!
However, we typically don’t take the time to appreciate or celebrate our accomplishments along the way. Many times we are so focused on the 2% that’s not going well, instead of the 98% that is going well. When we accomplish something, we forget to take the time to celebrate it. This leaves us with a feeling that we’ve never fully arrived. We’re never good enough. With this always advancing ideal, we can feel frustrated, depressed, and hopeless instead of grateful, positive, hopeful, and maybe even surprised at what we’ve been able to do. This is a major shift in energy!
Taking time to stop and reflect can help you to re-connect with your purpose. It can be massively important for your confidence. It can give you the proof that if you did THIS…you can also do THAT. Instead of putting you further off schedule or off track, it can give you clarity and pin-pointed focus.
So, schedule some time for yourself to stop and reflect during this time of the year. Think backwards instead of forwards for a bit.
- Think back to last year and make a list of where you were then and where you are now.
- How has your life improved this year?
- What have you accomplished?
- Is there anything that you’ve done this year that last year you didn’t think you would be able to do?
Take some time – even ten or fifteen minutes to answer these questions and write them down. Allow yourself to reflect on what has gone well instead of focusing on what hasn’t. Allow yourself to celebrate your successes – big and small – and acknowledge yourself for what you’ve done. You deserve it!