The Power of Reflection

We are 7 days in to the #21daychallenge and it’s time to reflect on the last week.

I, for one, have found it quite liberating, actually getting back to basics and thinking about what I am putting in my body and focusing more on my training. I have spent the past few months doing as I pleased really, and training when I felt like it, so this challenge has really brought everything back into focus.

When all was said and done, after being reluctant to start writing in the little book, thinking it would take too much time and be a royal pain in the behind, it didn’t actually take that long after all, and certainly hasn’t caused me any hardship.

It gets difficult to keep writing in that book towards the weekend, as this is the time when I want to have more treats, and it reins me in.  But if I want to achieve my goals, I do need to rein myself in, don’t I? It doesn’t mean we can’t live, it just means we have to live a bit differently.

In the middle of last week, I started planning what I was taking to a barbecue on Saturday, so that I would know roughly how many calories I was going to eat to keep me on my plan. I decided on the food I was going to eat, and that I was going to pre-mix my Gin and Ginger ale, and take it with me ready made so that I wouldn’t be tempted to drink gallons of lager too. Last week I was doing the weekender plan, with it being bank holiday weekend and having plans to see friends, but I didn’t want the weekend to ruin my hard work in the week, so planning ahead meant that I could stay in control.

Benefits of reflection

Ever heard of the phrase “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again but expecting different results.”  Reflection stops that cycle of behaviour. It allows you to assess what you are doing, and whether it is working for you. It allows you to identify your areas of improvement. It allows you to celebrate your achievements.

If things aren’t going the way you expect them to in a project at work, you don’t just carry on knowing that you are going to fail; you take a step back, you assess where you are, what is working and what isn’t, then you amend your plan to make sure you hit your targets. You look at whether you are going to need some help in achieving your targets, and you ask for that help.

Now apply that logic to your weight loss goals.  If you are currently exercising your way to weight loss, and you aren’t losing weight, stop! Step back and reflect! Is it working for you? Is it time to do something different?

Reflection is like looking in a mirror. It allows you to see what changes you need to make. Much like a dancer practising a routine in front of a mirror to check that they have their arms and legs in the correct place, that their positions are on point.  Reflection allows you to assess whether you need to adjust your position slightly, to achieve goals.

How to Self-Reflect

It is important to understand that self-reflection is about reflecting on your own performance, and not in a comparison with anyone else. By comparing ourselves to other people, we may end up feeling worse about ourselves. We are all at different stages of this journey, so we should not compare ourselves to others. Use other people to learn from, find out what works for them and apply it to your own journey, but never compare your success to other peoples.

  1. STOP! Take a step back from the situation and look at it objectively.
  2. LOOK! Identify what techniques you are using and what results you are getting – is it what you want?
  3. LISTEN! Listen to the little voice in your head that is trying to tell you what you need to do. You more than likely know in your heart of hearts what you should do.  If you don’t know what to do, ask for help from people who are experiencing success and listen to the advice.
  4. ACT! From what you have learnt, identify what steps you need to take to improve your chances of success and follow through with them.

If I can give one piece of advice in this self-reflection process, it would be to stop being scared of making some real changes. It is never as bad or as hard as you think it is going to be.  And, once you do it, and you start to see the success that you have wanted for such a long time, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

This week!

Have a think about how you performed last week – how many commitment coins did you spend on your performance towards achieving your goal.  What was your level of commitment to the task? Was it high enough to claim that you were ‘dedicated’ or were you still at the ‘decision’ stage of commitment. Last weeks article, might help you in deciding where you are and what you need to do to take it to the next level.

Once you have reflected on your performance, think about if you need to improve it. What tweaks can be made, to ensure success? If you are on point with your performance and achieving what you want to achieve, then great, carry on. If you know you can do better, do yourself a favour and make some changes!


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