The Practice of Reflection

Treating Reflection as a Daily Practice & Routine

As we wind down the year, I can’t help but take a moment to reflect. I guess you could say it’s my way of hitting the pause button and taking stock before jumping into what’s next.

Reflecting on the year always feels a bit like flipping through the pages of a well-worn book. Each chapter tells a story of growth, resilience, and countless lessons learned. And while it’s a great tradition, I’ve come to realize that reflection isn’t a once-a-year thing—it’s a daily practice that keeps us grounded and present.

Today, I wanted to share my daily reflection routine with you. Maybe you’ll find a nugget or two to incorporate into your own routine:

Morning Start

Every morning, I kick things off with time for myself. I meditate and I exercise. I draw myself deeply inward. What am I grateful for today? What has me on edge? What do I need to see inside myself that could be the start of something great, or a “check engine light?” Taking a few minutes to clear the mental clutter through meditation sets a positive tone for the day ahead. And then making time to move my body and sweat opens me for health, creativity, and clarity. 

Midday Check-In

Around midday, I press pause. How am I feeling, both physically and emotionally? A brief self-check ensures I’m not running on empty. And here’s the key – staying present. Whether it’s enjoying lunch or tackling a project, being in the moment keeps me balanced.

Evening Reflection

As the day winds down, I reflect on the challenges I faced and how I tackled them. What brought me joy or a sense of accomplishment? Where could I have done a little better? What remains unspoken? Is there a series of events I should pay attention to?  It’s like a mini-review, helping me understand what worked and what I can improve on.

Reflecting on the Year

As the new year approaches, this daily introspection becomes a springboard for broader reflection. It’s like flipping through a mental photo album – a mix of snapshots capturing the highs, lows, and all those unexpected moments in between. No grand ceremonies, just a quiet acknowledgment that you’ve journeyed through another chapter of life. And in these reflections, there’s an invitation to unwind, let your guard down, and simply be with the thoughts and memories that shaped your past year.

So, imagine you’re sitting with me on a metaphorical porch, eating some great food, and shooting the breeze about the past year. There’s casual banter about what made us laugh, what challenges threw you for a loop, and those rare, unexpectedly beautiful moments that you didn’t see coming. Now, following this mindset, work through these end-of-year prompts below. No need for polished responses; just genuine thoughts and maybe a few “aha” moments as you move through each:

  1. What are the significant accomplishments, both personal and professional, that stand out for you this year?
  2. What were the most significant challenges you faced, and how did you navigate through them? What lessons did you learn from the obstacles or setbacks encountered during the year?
  3. How did your relationships evolve with family, friends, colleagues, or mentors over the past year? Were there any new connections or relationships that had a meaningful impact on your life?
  4. What are you most grateful for in the past year? Can you identify specific moments, experiences, or people that brought joy and gratitude into your life?
  5. What practices or habits contributed to your overall well-being throughout the year? How can you lean into these more? What practices or habits do you have that don’t contribute to you positively?
  6. Reflect on the ways you contributed to your community, workplace, or a cause that matters to you. How do you feel about the impact you’ve had on others and the world around you?
  7. What new skills, knowledge, or insights did you gain over the course of the year? Were there specific learning experiences that stood out and contributed to your personal or professional growth?

Let me know if a certain prompt really resonated with you! Visit my LinkedIn or reach out.

I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season with loved ones and a happy new year as we move into 2024.