Reflection Is A Game-Changer: How To Use It To Achieve Your Goals
Reflection is a huge part of growth and goal getting! Just ask motivational speaker Richard Carlson, who said “Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful tools for success.” Or philosopher John Dewy who believed “We do not learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience.”
Looking back when you’re trying to move forward might seem counterintuitive but by regularly reviewing your goals and reflecting on your progress (like we encourage you to do in The Head Plan) you’re building on your success and accelerating your personal growth.
Reflection is a little like watching your progress in real-time. You aren’t looking back 10 years from now; you’re seeing your success in action.
Just in case you need a little extra convincing, here’s why it’s such a powerful practice…
It realigns your priorities
If you’re a regular goal-getter you’ll know that the secret to success is laser-focusing on what you want and believing you can get it. Trouble is, busy schedules and competing commitments can really test our focus and leave our precious goals jostling for position. Regular reflection ensures your goals stay front and centre where they belong.
And bonus point: Reflection also helps you to notice when your goals and priorities shift and evolve over time allowing you to realign and refocus on goals that feel more ‘you’. Win-win!
It supercharges your confidence – and your motivation!
Looking back at all you’ve achieved gives your self-esteem a powerful jolt and helps to establish a game-changing belief. That belief is: Yes. I. Can. Realising what you’ve achieved and knowing that you have the power to do it - and so much more - again is sure to give you a jolt of motivation too. It’s a double whammy!
It helps you to continually improve
Here’s the thing about reflecting on your successes and failures: by analysing what went right (and crucially, what went wrong) you become an expert in playing to your strengths and weaknesses.
In turn, that enables you to develop new systems for the stuff that’s likely to set you back and build on the ass-kicking hacks and habits that move you forward.
Chomping at the bit to get started? Here’s how…
How To Reflect And Grow With The Head Plan Method
Recount your wins
We have a whole page dedicated to weekly reflection in The Head Plan, and we encourage you to turn to it on a dedicated day and ask yourself ‘what did I achieve this week?’ Really think about it.
We’d wager that when you look back for a minute you’ve actually accomplished so much more than you even thought. It could be something small like hitting your steps goal every day or something major like finding the courage to ask for a raise. Whatever it is, write it down and take pride in it.
Studies show recognising your progress can dramatically improve feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and satisfaction, so taking the time to celebrate your wins – no matter how small - is a no-brainer really.
Go on, let yourself enjoy the dizzying highs of success. You deserve it.
Consider the stuff that set you up for success
It could be that you started your morning with a meditation that allowed you to bring the best version of you to the rest of the day. Maybe you created a healthy #Nourish meal plan that enabled you to feel energised and upbeat. Or perhaps you simply made a schedule for your daily tasks and actions and stuck to it.
They say knowledge is power and totting up on the steps that led to your success is a very powerful practice indeed.
Spoiler alert: it’s usually the habits that help you feel motivated, inspired, energised and confident that lead to achievement so if you’re stuck, think about how you tapped into those feelings and go from there.
Take stock of what could have gone better
Maybe you didn’t get the sleep you needed and that left you feeling cranky and burned out. Perhaps you weren’t clear about your boundaries and found yourself tending to other people’s priorities instead of your own. It’s easy to spot distractions in action; they are the tasks and to-dos that pull your focus away from your goals.
Be honest about what didn’t serve you this week and remember this: there’s no shame in acknowledging that there’s still room for improvement. In fact, researchers say being aware of your mistakes and shortcomings makes you more likely to notice new opportunities and learn from past experiences.
And us? We believe this is one of the most powerful practices in The Head Plan because identifying what sets you back gives you the power to change it, which neatly leads us on to our next point…
Make a game plan for the week ahead
Now you’re armed with bag loads of knowledge. You know how to play to your strengths, the daily habits and rituals that set you up for success, and the distractions that hold you back. The next step? Avoiding those distractions in the future.
The good news is, you don’t need to make big, earth-shattering changes to your routine. It’s about small, manageable tweaks. Ask yourself: What is the next logical thing I can do to overcome this challenge?
Think about what you’ve learned
Life is a series of lessons, but often those lessons can pass us by if we’re not paying attention. That’s why we encourage you to write down one thing you’ve learned every single week. Stuck on this one? To find your lesson, use these questions as a guide:
What did I learn about myself this week?
What challenges did I overcome this week and what did they teach me?
What did I learn from the personal development books I read this week?What were the key takeaways?
What did my friends and family teach me this week?
When was I at my happiest this week and what do I need to tap into that feeling again?
What did I learn about my personal strengths and attributes?
What goal setting hack really helped me this week? And how can I use this again?
Got one? Great! Now take that lesson and put it into practice.
Personal development author Robin Sharma says, “The real value of setting and achieving goals lies not in the rewards you receive, but in the person you become as a result of reaching your goals.”
Reflection allows you to see that growth in action and build upon it. So, are you ready? Realign, refocus, reset and GOal!