Yay we’re in the final few days of the year! Whether or not you have accomplished everything you wanted to for the year, it’s not too late to end the year with a bang! Reflecting on your past year is a fantastic way on how you can do so!
Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. While this may be true, self-reflection is not the easiest thing to practice. In this fast-paced world where we have endless to-do-lists, taking out time to reflect has become somewhat a lost art. However, this shouldn’t be the case…
To start off, let me first briefly give you a definition of self-reflection. Self-reflection, also known as personal reflection, is taking time to think about, evaluate and give serious thought to your behaviours, thoughts, attitudes, motivations, emotions, feelings and desires. Simply put, it can be seen as discovering your “Why”.
The Importance of Reflection
1. Allows us to pause and think
Without reflection, we might go through our days and months on autopilot and lose sight of what truly matters. By reflecting, it can allow us to take a step back and gain perspective on what matters and what can be ignored. Then, we can process life events and achieve clarity on them.
2. Enhanced wellbeing
Engaging in self-reflection can enhance our wellbeing by allowing us to better manage our stress levels, reduced anxiety have a better understanding of ourselves and be more self-aware of our thought patterns and lifestyle habits.
3. Allows us to celebrate your accomplishments
When we set New Years Resolutions, the first thought usually comes to our mind is what we’re lacking in. But why not think about what we’ve done successfully in the past year? We are quick to acknowledge others’ successes but slow to acknowledge our own—or even worse, we don’t acknowledge our successes at all! You might have missed out on many successes that you’ve had in the past year!
These successes that I’m talking about doesn’t have to be huge accomplishments. Even things like cooking yourself a meal, ticking all items off your to-do list, going for a run, etc., are worth celebrating!
4. Allows us to keep track what you’ve learnt
After giving ourselves a pat on our backs, we also must acknowledge what we’ve learnt in the past year.
Putting this into a sporting context, my Basketball coach used to say this to us, “Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn”. She believed that every match lost can be a good lesson for the team to learn and progress as long as we reflect. In the sporting context, we had post-game analyses where we scrutinize each play and discuss how we could have played better as a team. This was how we reflected and learnt.
Thankfully, these lessons don’t always have to come from tough situations or setbacks! When I talk about what you’ve learnt, I’m talking about certain things that you want to remember as you move into your next year of life. It can be that you learnt a new language, you learnt how to roller-skate, you learnt a new recipe, etc.! With that, it is also easier for us to keep track of our growth in our personal and professional lives.
5. Gives us clarity to set goals for the next year
The last reason why self-reflection is important is that it can provide us with the clarity we need to set SMART goals for the next year. This clarity stems from the fact that we pause, think, celebrate, and keep track of what we’ve learnt in the past year.
According to Forbes, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the beginning of February. The reason for this is because these resolutions seldom have actionable steps and are created based on an arbitrary date.
In fact, goal setting can happen at any time—it doesn’t have to only be at the start and the end of the year. I can go on and on about the benefits of goal setting which include giving us direction, allowing us keep track on our progress, keeps us motivated, halts procrastination, etc. Goal setting can also help us build confidence and positivity for the next year, month or day, depending on how often you set goals!
Through trial and error, setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based (SMART) goals have worked the best for me. Try it out for yourself today!
(Read more on SMART goals here: https://sg.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/smart-goals)
Ending your year with self-reflection can be a good way to celebrate your wins, keep track of lessons learnt and set aligned goals for the next year! Having said that, you can also practice self-reflection consistently throughout the year to reap more benefits and elevate your wellbeing!
Let us help you if you realise (through reflection) that your employees need help to elevate their wellbeing even further! Check out the wellbeing solutions we offer here.