How often do you get to the end of the day and ask yourself “What have I done today?” or “What have I achieved?” I can get so busy and preoccupied with “what’s next” that I don’t even ask the question and by the time I do, I struggle to remember!
It’s worth doing though. A little bit of self-reflection can work wonders in bringing out the best in ourselves. I’m not talking here about spending long hours in deep thought or dwelling on past “ifs” and “buts”. Instead, it’s more about recognising the good things from the day and for any challenges or difficulties we encountered, how we might do things differently next time.
Of course there are lots of tried and tested ways to help with this. For example:
- Keeping a diary – a great way to have a written “conversation” with yourself and unravel thoughts and feelings
- Writing a gratitude journal – for example, writing down a short list of things you were grateful for today. Little things, big things… anything counts
- If you can, sharing with your nearest and dearest some thoughts on the day – listening and being listened to are wonderful gifts to give and receive.
- Drawing, doodling, sketching, painting – expressing how you’ve felt about the day or highlighting something important for you in visual form
- Keeping an achievements diary – Like the gratitude journal but this time listing a few things you’ve done that day which you were proud of yourself for. Things (big or small) that have increased your sense of empowerment, confidence or strength. This can be a great way to help build your self-esteem
- Making a mood board and adding a picture or photograph to it to represent the day.
- Simply taking 5 minutes of quiet time before you hit the pillow to play back a “movie” of the day in your mind and pull out the highlights.
What do all of the above have in common? They start to have a positive effect in our lives when we make them a habit. That’s the key.
I’ve started keeping a gratitude journal this year. I manage to write a few things most days and it’s definitely having a positive impact!
Life keeps us very occupied and there are lots of demands on our time. The danger is that we can just keep going, going, going without giving regular space for a bit of “review time”.
I like to think that when this happens, I’ve become too busy not to stop and reflect!