“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way.” Margaret J Wheatley

How often do you stop and reflect on who or what is leading your life?

In yoga philosophy, the mind is the architect of your life.  But who directs your mind on where to focus?

If you are like most of us, you have a job or lead a business, you get up every day and start putting one foot in front of the other.  You are good at planning work and excellent at delivering your KPIs but when it comes to personal and career goals, we relegate these to the bottom of our to-do lists and by default, deprioritise our personal growth.

Most of us use our minds to plan out work and we act on those plans to deliver outcomes.

How often do you reflect on what you have learned and how it is helping you to move towards your goals?  The ability to reflect (metacognition, as the psychologists call it) is unique to humans and is a key step in ensuring that you are moving towards your goals.  It’s a step that is often neglected in favour of the ability to plan and set goals.

The ability to set goals is not, in itself, enough.  How often have you set personal or career goals, particularly at the start of the year only to find that at the end of the year, the business of life has taken over and you are not any closer to your goals?

Building in time to reflect adds the ability to measure success, adjust goals or plans and apply key learnings to help you move closer to your desired future.

The complaint I hear most often from clients is “I don’t have time to stop and reflect”.  Here’s the weird part, if you slow down, your perception is that you have more time.

Research on meditation shows that it slows down time.  I know, right?  Time is an arbitrary concept that we have all accepted as a “truth”.  It turns out that your view of whether or not you have more time is based on your perception.

“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day; unless you are too busy, then you sit for an hour”  Zen saying

So how do you ensure that the actions you take are leading you towards your goals?  Build reflection time regularly into your year:

  1. Reflect on everything that went well (go on, make a big list) and what you did to influence those outcomes.
  2. Reflect on one thing that you would differently to have the biggest impact (notice this is just one thing, not a long list?)
  3. What is your reflection roster?  Book in regular time to reflect in your schedule.
  4. Start a meditation practice.  5 minutes, twice per day (before breakfast and before dinner) is perfect to begin feeling the benefits of bending time.

What tools do you use to achieve your personal and career goals?