I should be doing laundry, or scrubbing the toilet, or any number of household tasks. But I’m here to tell you to put those things off. If you have a few moments (and I’m going to guess so, if you’re reading this blog post) it’s likely the most useful way you can spend this time is in the simple act of focused self-reflection.
Studies and anecdotal evidence show that when we take time to reflect on a regular basis, we are often able to grow and make changes in ways that otherwise have been impossible. Last year I posted some year-end reflection questions here, and I just spent an hour looking over my own answers from a year ago and answering the same questions again, from where I am today.
Having time and space to reflect is both a luxury and a necessity (kinda like all those other good things: physical movement, time with people who care about us, nourishing food, etc.). Sure, it would have been helpful to have spent the last hour doing laundry or another hundred household tasks, but when we prioritize the immediate, it makes it harder for us to make medium and long-term changes. I believe strongly that most of the time household tasks can wait – what’s a little extra laundry tomorrow? – in favor of reflection that could have way more long-term payoff.
So here are a few questions to kickstart some reflection time. Turn off your phone notifications, find a quiet space, and give yourself 10 minutes to reflect.
- To the extent I have control and influence over my life, how would I like to start the new year?
- What would I like to let go of (self-defeating thoughts, behaviors, relationships, etc.) as 2019 starts? Who and what can support me to do this? What barriers can I anticipate and prevent?
- What would I like more of in 2019? Who are what can support me to do this? What barriers can I anticipate and prevent?
- What are the values and priorities I want to keep front-and-center in 2019?