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The importance of reflecting

The importance of reflecting

It's too easy to sit and think about the things we haven't achieved so far this year.
We're half way through 2016, what HAVE you achieved? - it's not necessary just about achievements either, it could be taking a moment to sit and reflect on your favourite moments, nights out or laughs you've had. What's made the past 6 months great for you? Or, how have YOU made the past 6 months great for yourself?

I'm writing this because I'm a victim of thinking I'm under achieving. Now that we're living in a world where it's so easy to see people's achievements (i.e, on social media) it's all too easy to think to yourself ''well, I definitely haven't done that for myself'' & get yourself in to a complete rut. I've done it many times, and don't get me wrong... It still happens often. I'm writing this post so I can try and get myself through this phase in my life, with hope that it will help others too. 

I don't know about you, but my to-do list is often spiralling out of control, to the point where I have a to-do list for each to-do lists... like, categorised to do lists. As well as a mother to do list. It's TOO much, but I can't help but over work my brain every time until I completely crash and cry. It's definitely a work in progress, I haven't mastered a way of how I'm coping just yet, but I'm trying to do so. There's not many times until recently where I've actually taken time out & reflected on my achievements so far this year- why should we wait until the 31st of December to try & remember everything from the past 12 months? Stop for a second, & do it now.

We should really be reflecting at the end of our weeks, even the end of our days. Though, as I mentioned earlier, it can be too easy to forget, and we should be looking at ways to help us remember how to reflect. I have a couple of ways of doing this which I would love to share with you all!

Relfecting over the past 6 months.

6 months is a long time if we think about it, though it does always seem to fly by pretty fast!
The best way to think about the past 6 months, is to let the positive memories & achievements come to you.
If they aren't coming so easily, it's because you're thinking too hard! Ask yourself these questions to get the ball rolling.
Have you had a promotion at work? Did you celebrate a big birthday? At what point this year have you laughed so hard? 
Write down at least 6 positive memory/achievements & relive them for a moment in your head.

Relfecting over the past 4 weeks.

Most of us keep a diary of our day to day, not so much a 'diary' as we all think- but like a time planner/calendar! You get me. I personally love still carrying around a day-to-day '2016' diary with me, it helps me keep on track of my week compared to my iPhone calendar. At the end of each month take a moment to flick (or scroll) through the past 4 weeks. Which of these dates brought you joy? Even though we think months fly by, we forget how much we've done in the past 28-31 days, so it's important to acknowledge your doings and not just brush May off as 'another wasted month' - though, if you've genuinely had a bit of rubbish month, don't worry, we all do! For a more positive outcome next month, set some personal goals to achieve for the coming 4 weeks to help you get into the swing of positively reflecting on a monthly basis. If you're finding it hard to acknowledge your monthly smiles, I would recommend reading my daily & weekly reflection 

Reflecting over the past 7 days.

Right, you get the gist of what I'm aiming for, yeah? 6 months... 1 month... now 7 days? ''we get it, I'll write something down.'' No. Listen to this. This passage is going to be less of me telling you how to reflect, but instead I'll be inspiring you to reflect. This will make you want to reflect at the end of each week.

Zooooooom. ''It's Sunday already? Damn, that week went pretty quick- Meh, It's Monday tomorrow.'' I see & hear this way too often. My dad is a victim of this- he'll be talking about when he has to be in at work on the morning of his day off. YOU HAVE A WHOLE DAY AHEAD OF YOU- why would you focus your energy on a day that hasn't even arrived yet? The more positive vibes you put out, the more you will attract in your day to day. BE EXCITED for the week ahead, but don't just be excited for 5pm on Friday, there's a whole 4 days before that day arrives that we can really make use of. What are you hoping going to achieve this week? What will you be writing down on your weekly reflective list this time next week? - It's far too easy to fall into a routine & have our hearts focused on goals that may take a few months or even years to achieve, (which is great) but what about the now? Don't forget about the now. You may think I'm repeating myself, & I will until we all get it jammed into our future-focused heads. Let's focus on the now. Tomorrow is Monday, a fresh day, a fresh week, a fresh start. Let's kick Monday's ass. Do something out of your norm, make somebody smile, run that errand you've been putting off for the past 17 days, return the favour to Sally & make her the best tea she's ever drank, WHATEVER you need want to do, do it. The more we engage our brain with things we 'want' to do instead of 'needing' to do, the more we will achieve, the more we can reflect on at the end of the week and leave us feeling motivated for the following. Let's use our minds, instead of allowing our minds to use us.

Reflecting at the end of your day.

Although we shouldn't really be finishing our days off on our iPhones in bed, most of us do. Though, if you're more of a pen & pad / written diary person, that's even better, get your chosen materials ready for this short exercise.  If you're keen on learning how to reflect at the end of each day but love your iPhone too much to put it down, here's how you can do so.

1. Open up your notes on your iPhone, or a draft email, whatever works best for you. 
2. Title the note something along the lines of ''Time to reflect'' (or whatever you want)
3. Date your note if you want this note to be the mother of achievements notes (this is what I do)
4. Write two subtitles: ''What I'm grateful for'' and ''What I've achieved today''
5. You're going to bullet point a minimum of 3 things for each title... got more than that? Go you, that's even better!

It takes a few minutes if that! So try to end your night with this method, and put away your iPhone straight after, since you want these thoughts to remain in your brain- it makes a serious difference when you wake up the following morning after going to sleep with positive thoughts in your head.

There's no time like the present. Stop stressing about what you haven't achieved, & take a moment to soak in the good bits, the bits we often forget since we are so focused on the future... though if we are forever chasing the future, do we ever get to enjoy the now? You are enough, soak it up and smile.

Here are a few of my favourite moments of 2016 so far.

IHOP Pancakes

Bangkok Isanook hotel
Danang, Vietnam

Slab City

Chiang Mai Elephant World

Angkor Wat Sunrise 2016

Local bus in Kanchanaburi

Car camping in USA

With my love Mika Francis

Koh Lanta Sunsets 2016

Beautiful skies on the UK motorway M25

Gorgeous flowers in Tunisia

Paragliding in Tunisia

Car camping at Lost Village

tunisia road trip

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