Have you ever finished a week feeling like you
simultaneously got a LOT done, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done at all?
The spinning your
wheels in a rut feeling is one of my least favorite forms of exhaustion. It’s a
feeling that I am doing and doing and doing but not getting anywhere. It’s also
a quick and easy way to burn out.
Reflection is a key tool of mine to make sure I’m not
heading full steam in the wrong direction. It’s recalibrating my compass, and
it’s making repairs on the vessel as needed so I can keep moving where I want
to go without capsizing or getting totally lost.
The Importance of Scheduling
To make this a habit, I encourage you to SCHEDULE it in your planner or google calendar as a recurring appointment. Treat it like you would any other appointment and show up. It doesn’t have to be long. 30 minute to an hour should be enough.
When you reflect on the week, it’s better to have a
structured way of going about it rather than just mulling over the week
aimlessly. There is a very important reason for this. Human brains have a
tendency to remember negative events more strongly than positive ones, and
reflection can quickly turn into ruminating or catastrophizing about what went
wrong or what might go run next week.
I am sharing my reflection process with you today on the
Weekly Reflection Worksheet, so make sure to pick up a copy of that at the bottom of the page.
Weekly reflection is most effective when it’s a balance of
praise and constructive criticism. Just like when you sit down with a mentor or
coach, if all they do nothing but point out where you need to improve you’ll
feel disappointed in yourself, but on the other hand, if they do nothing but
praise you, you’ll have no road map for how to build on what you are doing
Here’s a couple questions to consider asking yourself during
your reflection time:
Where was I most effective this week?
What helped me be effective in these areas?
What didn’t work out as planned?
Where did I procrastinate?
Where was I the most focused?
After I’ve thought about my week, I ask the big question
that for me, has made a huge difference in my output and well-being over time:
What can I learn from this week, to make next week even
I try to crystallize that learning into a mantra and take it
with me throughout the following week.
Here’s some mantras I or my clients have used in the past:
Anxiety is a liar.
I make my own energy.
My life is entirely up to me.
Fail again. Fail better.
Every Friday afternoon, I spend a little time reflecting,
and it always helps me to put the week into perspective so that I can enter the
next week with even more clarity, resilience, and focus.
Don’t forget to pick up the companion to this entry, the weekly reflection worksheet, so you can make the most out of this success habit.
Cultivate your mind every week, with intention and kindness, and you will be amazed how much and how quickly you will grow.
When will you schedule time to reflect this week?