Reflection- a word that we may hear often, but what does it mean? Reflection is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation”. Maybe reflecting is something you practice often to inform your current actions or future goals. Perhaps reflecting is something that you do during periods of transition like a change in career or when a child leaves for college. Or maybe you do not do much reflecting currently.
What can reflection do for you?
We all have areas in our life that we would like to improve or that we might even need to improve. Reflection can help you understand why you may want or need to make a change or maybe specifically what it is that needs to change. Conversely, there are aspects of our life that we want to continue as they are. This is also great and important to recognize! Thinking about the core pieces of our life that we want to remain relatively the same is important to ensure that we “protect” those things. For some, it may be the time they spend at barre class, on a walk, practicing yoga, etc. For others, it may be protecting their sleep schedule or time they carve out for a social engagement.
How do we practice self-reflection? Below are a few questions to get you started. Use some of them, all of them, or none of them! Reflection can be as structured or unstructured as you would like. After all, this is something you are doing for yourself with no expectation to share what you find with others (unless you want to!).
Approach this practice without judgment and expectation. You are doing this not to put pressure on yourself, to judge yourself for what you reflect upon or find, or with expectations for what will come out of it. It can be a beautiful practice if you let it be what it is- an opportunity with many possibilities that you will discover as you go along.
1. What aspects of 2022 made me feel like my most authentic self?
Make a plan to continue these things in 2023.
2. What about 2022 would I change?
How or why would I change this? (Do not use this question as an opportunity to “complain” but rather as an opportunity to recognize a negative emotion/situation and create a solution to prevent something similar (if possible) in the future)
3. What are my top three to five priorities right now? (Try to make at least one focused on yourself — to serve others, we must ensure our cup is also full :) )
4. What is one thing that I can cross off my bucket list or say that I have done by next year at this time?
Perhaps you want to finish a home project, connect with a new friend, run a marathon, attend a class at Pulse Barre all 52 weeks of the year, etc.
5. What takes up a majority of my time?
Is this energy-producing or energy-draining?
How would I like to spend my free time?
Are there shifts that I can make in how I spend my time or the amount of time allocated to a certain task?
In 2023, consider how reflection can help you to achieve your goals or set this new year up for success! Are there any other questions or prompts you use to reflect on circumstances or goals? Comment below what they are!
- Anna Schatz