As we enter August, the pace of life slows down somewhat.
Our colleagues and customers are heading off on their summer breaks, giving us time to stop and reflect and maybe even plan a couple of weeks in the sunshine for ourselves.
It is the perfect time to hit that pause button. We are over halfway through the year, September is a great time for relaunching and starting over as we hurtle headlong into Christmas and everything that brings with it.
Reflection should happen at more regular intervals than once per year, to be truly effective, we should build in time for this
The late David B Peterson, Director of Executive Coaching and Leadership at Google for many years, talked about building up the habit of reflection, starting with just one minute per day.
Then building on this one minute and adding in reflection on a more regular basis, for longer periods of time, where you can ask yourself deeper questions to expand your thinking further.
Below, you will find his list of questions, try them out and see what lightbulbs go off in your mind.
Daily (1 minute)
- What new thing did I do today?
- What worked well? What didn’t?
- What did I learn?
- What one thing will I do differently tomorrow?
Weekly (2 minutes)
- What progress did I make last week? Am I satisfied with that?
- What do I need to focus on next week?
Monthly (5 minutes)
- How am I doing on my development?
- What do I need to do to keep growing?
- How will I get meaningful feedback?
Quarterly (15 minutes)
- Given my key priorities for the quarter, what capabilities should I be developing?
- What am I making excuses for something I need to take personal responsibility for?
- What do I need to do to manage my personal growth and professional development more effectively?
Annually (one hour every year)
- Who do I want to be? What values do I want to live by?
- What inspires me and fuels my passions?
- Am I living my life the way I want to? Where do I stand relative to what really matters?
- Am I on the best path to become the person I truly want to be?
- Where do I want to be a year from now and how do I get there?
Triennially (three hours every three years)
- Given what I care about most deeply, what are the critical opportunities to capitalise on that which will require me to pivot? Am I serious, or just kidding myself?
- Where am I at greatest risk? What am I holding on to that I need to let go of?
- Where am I most afraid of taking decisive action?
- What’s the boldest move I know in my heart I need to take?
Decennially or quinquennially (one day every 5-10 years)
- How do I connect with my deepest mission and purpose?
- What do I need to invest over the next 3-5 years to accomplish what matters most?
- What am I doing to renew/invigorate/reinvent myself and my life?
Periodically (anytime you’re in a reflective mood)
- What have I done lately to become a better person?
- What have I done to bring joy to someone’s life today?
- When is my next opportunity to act with compassion and love?
- What else should I be asking myself and reflecting on?
If you do get into the habit of reflecting daily, weekly, monthly or beyond, please drop me a message to let me know what impact this has had on you.