Check in with yourself: why monthly reflection is important

I want you to let in on a secret, the new year isn’t the only time you get a “fresh” start. While each new year brings about conversations regarding reflection and the world all seems to be on the same page for once, this is not the only time to evaluate yourself and your goals. You don’t have to wait for an entire year to go by to recognize patterns and change behaviors. Check out these few ways that will help you self reflect at the end of each month to keep you more aligned with your goals. 

  1. Recognize why reflection is important

The more often you take time to reflect, you are able to develop a better sense of self and goals you’d like to reach. Reflection aids in performance and it also reveals thought patterns, behavior patterns, cognitive distortions, and positive ways you can improve your life. Reflection allows you to see more about yourself and move forward with clarity. 

  1. Remove distractions 

Even if it is for a short period, give yourself a moment each day free of social media, phone calls, tv, and any other distractions that cloud your thought process. Not only does this allow for clearer thinking, it helps foster a self-care routine specifically for your brain. 

  1. Ask yourself key questions or free write 

Prompts assist alot of people with reflection because it provides them with a starting point. Google prompts related to your situation and choose one to start with. (Here are a few examples: what do I need today? What could I do differently if that situation occurs again? What did I do well today? ) I often call this alternative method “brain dumping” with my clients. I ask them to set aside some time, distraction free, and just write whatever comes to mind. The more you brain dump, you can begin to notice patterns and potential changes you need to make. 

  1. Set a date and make a plan 

Look at your calendar and decide which day of each month that you will set aside time to reflect. Setting the date ahead of time will allow you to hold yourself accountable. Making this regular committment will help you to develop better self awareness about your choices, experiences, and future. 

Once youve set aside a time and reflected, make a plan for action based off of your responses and your free writing. The purpose of this is to begin making small plans toward the progress you’d like to make and habits you’d like to implement. You’ll be surprised at how much just slowing down will reveal to you about yourself. 

You’ve got this,

Alexis Long-Daniels, M.A., ALC, NCC

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