Leadership expert, John Maxwell said “The biggest gap is the gap between knowing and doing”. I think you’ll agree that most of us would live and lead much more effectively if we practiced more of what we already know.
One of the most effective things we can do to bridge this gap is to reflect everyday. At the end of the day or sometime before you start the next one; reflect on how your day went. Do the same each week, month and year.
Reflect on your performance in terms of working toward your goals, practicing your values, and living out your roles. Celebrate and affirm the good you did and learn from and make adjustments to whatever you did not do well.
Mastering this daily activity will improve your results significantly. Here are 5 things that will help you to make the best of it:
Clarify your mission, values and goals. – Reflecting is a tool that will help you to perform at a higher level but first you must make some important decisions. If you haven’t already done so, invest time to wrestle with the following questions until you have come up with a clear picture of what’s important to you, where you’re going and how you’re going to get there:
- What are your values?
- Who are the key people in your life?
- How can you nurture and develop these relationships?
- What are your dreams and goals?
- How are you going to accomplish them?
- What are your priorities?
Write it down, improve on it as you go along and use this as your guide. With these decisions made, it is now just a matter of managing them on a daily basis and that is where daily reflecting becomes meaningful.
Use your calendar. – Plan your days, weeks, months and years on the calendar, start by placing your priorities and responsibilities first and always keep it handy as you reflect. This helps to capture most of what transpires and allows you to easily plan for and schedule any adjustments.
Figure out the time of day that works best for you. – Make it a point to do your reflecting at the same time and place everyday. Early in the morning works best for me but you may prefer doing this at the end of your work day or the last thing at night. Go with what works best for you.
Make it a daily commitment. – Start today and follow through. Paul Martinelli shared, “Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was”. There will be a myriad of things that try to get in the way. Do not allow them to. It may feel awkward at first, but work through that until you will see the value and come to cherish this time.
Ask the right questions. – There really aren’t any right or wrong questions, its more about asking the right questions for you. Here are some suggestions to help you prime the pump:
- What am I doing well?
- Does my schedule reflect my values and priorities?
- What do I need to change?
- What must I stop doing?
- How did I handle those interactions?
- What have I learned?
- How have I grown?
If you are not already practicing this, please try it for just one week and then come back to this post and share your thoughts and/or results in the comments section. Just hit reply below and say ‘I’m in’.
For those already doing this, when is your best time for reflecting? What questions do you consider as you reflect? Please share your thoughts by replying in the comments below.