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At the cusp of new beginnings many of us take time to reflect on our lives by looking back over the past and ahead into the future. We ponder the successes, failures and standout events that are slowly scripting our life’s story. This process of self reflection helps maintain a conscious awareness of where we’ve been and where we intend to go. It is pertinent to the organization and preservation of our dreams, goals and desires.
If you would like to maximize the benefits of self reflection, I have 20 questions for you. These questions should be reviewed every Sunday morning or sometime during the weekend when you have some quiet time to think. Remember, reflection is the key to progression.
- What did I learn last week? – If you have trouble answering this question, it’s time for a change. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should learn something new every week.
- What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? – Reflecting on your accomplishments is a healthy way to raise self confidence and contentment. It’s also an effective way to track your progress.
- Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why? – It may open up your mind to new passions and goals, or simple pastimes worth revisiting.
- What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? – Everything else is secondary, and should be treated as such. Nevertheless, this question will also shine light on other noteworthy tasks.
- What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? – Set reminders in your calendar, get your laundry done, fill the car with gas… organize yourself.
- What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? – The idea here is to learn from your struggles and better equip yourself for future encounters.
- What was last week’s biggest time sink? – Steer clear of this in the future. Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to.
- Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? – Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright.
- What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? – Pencil in a time to get these things done. For any 2-minute or less tasks, consider scheduling them first thing Monday morning.
- What opportunities are still on the table? – If it’s still available and you want it, make a concrete plan to go after it this week.
- Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? – Regular communication can solve problems before they fester. Always keep an open line of communication to those around you.
- Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’? – Take time each week to thank the people who have helped you. Your kind gesture will not go unnoticed.
- How can I help someone else this coming week? – The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. If you help them, they will remember you when you need help.
- What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? – You’ll never make any progress in life if you don’t setup realistic goals for yourself.
- Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? – If the answer is no, something needs to change.
- What’s the next step for each goal? – Knowing the next step is the key to accomplishing the whole.
- What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week? – The answer can act as a great source of motivation. If nothing exists, schedule something to look forward to.
- What are my fears? – Consciously address your fears each week and slowly work on resolving them. It’s all about taking baby steps.
- What am I most grateful for? – It’s a smart way to keep things in perspective, and something you should never lose sight of.
- If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? – Another helpful reminder… Life is short. Spend more time with the people you care about.
Take 30 minutes every Sunday and give yourself the gift of self reflection. It has worked wonders for me, and I am confident it will do the same for you.
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So, here are my answers for this week.
- What did I learn last week? – that I'm fairly out of shape and need to make changes in this area. I had a hard time climbing out of the dunk tank and need more strength in my legs.
- What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? – Bought some living room furniture after not having a couch for just over a year.
- Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why? – The dunk tank at the Summer Fest in New Denmark. I've never done anything like that before, I was slightly terrified and claustrophobic, it was COLD, but I did it and survived. It was for a great cause and I was glad to do my part.
- What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? – My MIL is coming to visit soon, so I am in an organizing and cleaning frenzy. Trying to get Kaylee's space figured out, dust and vacuum and hang stuff up, and need to deep clean Ian's bathroom.
- What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? – Hmm. What I always do. Make a list and eat cookies. :)
- What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? – lack of motivation, loneliness, physical exhaustion.
- What was last week’s biggest time sink? – Hehe. Do we need to even ask? FACEBOOK. I'm trying to cut back but I just discovered Netflix Streaming. On my Mac and on the Wii. Uh oh.
- Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? – Yes. Not going to mention it here, but yes.
- What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? – Dentist, Auto Glass Shop
- What opportunities are still on the table? – Shopping at Value Village at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. I'm thinking right now it's not going to happen, though.
- Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? – I'm pretty good right now, but I'd like to spend some time with my grandparents this week.
- Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’? – I will try to thank all those people who I need to thank this week. I'm fairly good at remembering this though, it's basic etiquette and it's just a nice thing to do and part of my makeup.
- How can I help someone else this coming week? – I want to help Ian by making good progress on the organizing and cleaning so he can stop stressing about it. He's got enough work stress to deal with.
- What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? – Get fit, lose 20-30 pounds, sell house, re-enroll in university.
- Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? – Hmm. Georgie, put the cookies away.
- What’s the next step for each goal? – Taking action would be a good step.
- What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week? – Making some progress on Kaylee's room and my office space.
- What are my fears? – Argh. Dentist. But I have taken the step of making my first appointment. I am NOT looking forward to 9/22, but it'll be good to get it started and work through it.
- What am I most grateful for? – My life, my family, my friends. And good Canadian beer and good chocolate.
- If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? – My hubby, daughter and other family and extended family that I care about, all in one place on a beach somewhere.