What is reflective thinking?
The definition of reflective thinking is the careful consideration of a belief, experience, or presumed form of knowledge. By carefully analyzing your reactions, judgments, and thoughts (aka thinking reflectively) you can get a more clear picture of how your reactions guide your life and how to change them.
Try this exercise for reflective thinking
Okay, so today’s tip is another fabulous exercise you can do every single year. It’s based on Reflective Thinking. Today, I am sharing an exercise I learned from the bestselling author, John Maxwell. He calls this Looking Back to Plan Forward.
I want you to just go through this reflective thinking exercise in your head, and then later you can sit down and put some time into this because it is so powerful. You will want a pen and paper to do it right.
You will begin by looking back over the last 12 months and evaluate your experiences as a mother, father, partner, leader, daughter, son, sister, brother, friend, or business owner to create a clear picture of what went well? What didn’t? Who were the key people this year who impacted you most and in what areas of your life? So take some time to jot down these thoughts as you look at yourself in these different roles.
Get out your calendar and make a list of accomplishments, significant events, decisions you made, places you traveled. Notice how you have spent your time. Spend some time reflecting. Write down every experience that stands out to you last year. Be sure to write down both the positive and the negative. Remember — our mistakes are normally our best teachers. There is always a gift!!! And every experience is Perfect…the good and the bad.
Ask yourself these reflective thinking questions:
- What did I do that I shouldn’t have done? (For example, what did you spend most of your time on, was it a priority? Were you focusing on your unique abilities and strengths – or distracting yourself with mindless things like email? Always ask yourself, “What did you learn from this?”
- What didn’t I do that I should have done? (What didn’t happen? What did you neglect that should have been a priority? This can be with family, friends, self-care, your work, your finances.)
- What is the most important thing that helped me learn and grow? (Is it something I want to do again? If so, remember last week’s tip? How can I break this action down into manageable steps so I can do it again?)
- What are the things that are draining my energy, confidence, and income that I need to let go of? (What in your life are you tolerating? What habits do you want to release — like letting email rule your life, or not following a model week, or not having a healthy self-care practice? Perhaps it’s not being present, or not doing what you say you are going to do? Or simply focusing your time on things that don’t bring you joy? Spending money you don’t have? What about not getting paid what you are worth? This can be really draining!
- Where can I be more focused? (Think of what you did in 2014 that brought you the most income and joy? How did it feel? Was it easy? How can you do it again?)
- How can I go to the next level? (Now summarize all of this and using last week’s tip on 5 Tips to Effortless Manifesting – write out your goals for 2015. Remember these are on the SWT Facebook page)
This is a powerful reflective thinking exercise and I suggest that you print this out and put it somewhere where you can see it regularly. I have a binder that holds all my tools that I use to plan my goals, income and celebrations. It’s where I do my journaling too. If you schedule a time to do this exercise, it will help you Manifest a Fabulous 2015, so it can be Your Best Year Ever! I hope you do it and I’d love to hear your thoughts on our SWT Fan page.
Katana Abbott, CFP® is a Life and Legacy Wealth Coach™, international retreat leader, radio show host, speaker, and author. At 48, with over $100 million in assets under management, she sold her financial planning business to her partner of 15 years. She left to follow her calling, reinvent herself, and to create her perfect life and business (and so can you). With 30 years of financial and business experience, she can help you create wealth, make a difference, and live a life you love!