Before starting to reflect set aside some undistracted time. Spend this time with a long walk or in a peaceful place in the house or your favourite cafè. Helpful can be to take a piece of paper and a pen. If you choose walking, make sure that you have a time afterwards to take notes of your thoughts.
Very often when we want to get into moments of reflection, our mind is still spinning. Thousand thoughts of to dos are coming up. In order to calm that storm in your head write all important to dos on a piece of paper – in order to solve it later. Tell your brain that it has been taken care of and it won’t be forgotten. But for now, you want to concentrate on the reflection. Start inhaling and exhaling slowly. Use your full lung capacity to fill yourself with fresh air – and let go of all worries while exhaling.
Depending on how experienced you are with reflection times, this process of letting go of unnecessary thoughts can take a while. Walk through it. The results coming from a good reflection session are amazing.
When you are ready, walk through the questions of the three sections. At best, you already take notes while you are thinking. It reduces your thought speed leading to deeper understanding and new insights. For sure you can also just think about them without writing. You don’t need to take all questions. Rather take one and really think and reflect.
- What happened the last year?
- What were your highlights?
- What/Whom did you lose?
- What/whom did you win?
- What memory do you want to keep?
- What are you thankful for?
- What will you leave in the past?
- How are you feeling?
- Is anything hurting?
- Whom in your environment do you love?
- Are you happy?
- How do you want to be feeling?
- What are the problems you want to solve?
- Who do you want to have with you?
- What are your life goals?
- What makes you happy and satisfied?
Usually you will gain clarity during the answering of these questions. If you hit any topic that cannot be ‘solved’ by this one reflection, write down all questions and feelings that are running through your mind. Sometimes topics get started by a reflection but need more time to be cleared. Don’t push the topic away. Rather hold it in your mind and wait for clarity to come. Some stuff needs time.
If you want to intensify this reflection, take a coach. With a coach you will start with one of those questions and then go deeper. A good coach will stretch you by asking thought-provoking questions and providing observations. You will get new insights and gain clarity on what to do next.