If you have ever taken the Honey and Mumford learning styles questionnaire (Here’s a link if you’re interested: Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles), you will know if you are a reflector.
I’m not, not really at all, but I am working on it.
So, what is a reflector, what is reflection really about?
It’s something I teach a lot about in my other life as a social worker. Reflection is about stopping to think, learn and understand what worked and what didn’t before, during and after doing something. I used to resist every attempt at reflection, at looking back and considering what to do next. Thinking before doing feels full of effort to me and inconvenient. How about you? After the madness of this year, are you constantly busy getting life back to something resembling normal? When I suggest looking back and really thinking through what you’ve learned, do you feel uncomfortable?
So many of us were brought up with the message that we have to keep going and stopping is a weakness, a lack and an admission of failure. It’s not any of that. It turns out that the times when I have stopped to think about what I want and need and get clarity around that, I’m more focused, energised and deliberate about my future and present.
How do we reflect? Where to start? How do we get past the uncomfortable feeling that we are wasting our time doing this?
Here are some ways to reflect that you can try and, hopefully, find something that works for you before we launch into a new year!
Here’s a tool I use with clients who want to work on their relationships
Often, we spend a lot of time in relationships with people that might not be fulfilling and we need to prioritise and be more intentional in this area. Finding that people are in the circle of transaction when we may have been treating them as friends is worth knowing. We can think through who are the people closest to us and where we want to spend most of our time and energy going forward, and think about how we might make changes to do that.
Try a brain dump! Write on a page everything you do in a typical week including all the mundane stuff. Then go back through it and label each activity as:
This will help to streamline how you are currently spending your time, and how you could be more focused going forward.
Use a values list like this….
Go through and make sure you choose only five values that really resonate with you and feel you want to carry forward into the year ahead. Now think about how you can embed those values in your work, home and family life.
If you feel like you want some more help to structure this reflective process, here’s my guide to reflecting on lockdown….
Here’s to 2021 and I really hope it’s a fulfilling and focused one for you taking forward all the learning from 2020.