How’s it going?
Have you asked yourself that lately?
I don’t mean asked it in the “Hey, how ya doin’” kind of way, but in the “I have a vision. How am I doing?” kind of way. It’s no trivial question. It’s reflection. Empowered reflection – the kind that can sharpen your thinking and improve your results.
Empowered reflection is an ongoing, even routine process of paying attention to your progress. Basically, it means taking a time out to think about your vision and ask yourself, “How’s it going?” You step out of the busy-ness of life to ask yourself a series of reflective questions about your life and leadership. If you do this regularly, say once a month or even a few times a year, you will keep your finger on the pulse of your development as a leader and your progress toward your goals.
To practice empowered reflection you make it a habit to assess your progress. Below follow some questions useful for this kind of reflection.
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- What would you like to change?
- What accomplishments have you achieved?
- What lessons have you learned?
- Are the goals still the right goals?
- What do you still need to know or learn?
- How might you be sabotaging your own success?
- What do you need to start doing, keep doing, and stop doing?
- What’s next?
Every time you go through this process, you are putting a stake in the ground for what you want. You are declaring, “My vision is important to me, and I’m willing to continue thinking about it and reaching for it until I achieve it.” Practicing this form of reflection on a regular basis is a technique for accountability and focus.
Empowered reflection isn’t hard. It doesn’t take long, and it doesn’t cost a dime. You can practice empowered reflection while driving, jogging, walking through the park, meditating, lying down, or even sitting in the bath. You can almost think of this practice as “visiting your vision” to see how you’re doing. That way it never gets forgotten.
Whenever you’re feeling detached from your long term vision, whenever you could use a boost to get back into action, or whenever you want to step back to get an overall perspective on your progress, take a few minutes to run through the ten questions on the Your Reflection worksheet in The Extension. Doing so will resurface the motivation you need to make your vision a reality.
The ideas in this article are drawn from The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership and the accompanying eBook called The Extension. The eBook is designed to give you simple, engaging personal leadership exercises and activities to help you be a better leader, and lead a better life. Get your copy today! Click here for a Preview and to Order.