The Importance of Reflection.

reflection

It is a perfect week to look back – to scan over the months and days of 2016 – a time for reflection.

To think about all the things that took place during the year.

To give our time and attention to the details of our life.

We worked hard to create every moment. To schedule every appointment. To accomplish every task.

Why not take some time to assess what it all meant and to reflect on the cumulative effect of all our hard work?

Take 30 minutes and sit down with your 2016 calendar and look back on the year.

Review each month carefully – noticing the doctor’s appointments, scheduled meetings, morning drop-offs, vacations, performances, family reunions, errands, date nights, work trips and house projects.

Think about the flow of money in and out of your life.
Think about your health throughout the year, the sick days and the well days.
Think about the love you gave and the love you received.
Think about the emotions you experienced throughout the year.

How did you feel most of the time?
Happy? Motivated? Excited? Confident? Focused? Content?
Or
Afraid? Worried? Detached? Sad? Guilty? Confused?

Make notes and observations about 2016 and then answer these questions:

  • What moments are you most proud of and why?
  • Where did you struggle and why?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • How did you grow and evolve?
  • Where did you hold yourself back?

Take responsibility and ownership of all of it. Every single moment was created by you.

It’s not just the events that fill the blocks of time on our calendars that matter – it is the effect of all of those events, combined with our physical and emotional well-being that determine the success of our lives.

It doesn’t matter how much we accomplished (on the calendar) in 2016, if we spent a lot of the year feeling exhausted, lonely, stressed out and broke.

This reflection exercise is so important because it encourages us to look at the whole picture of 2016 and to be honest with ourselves about our results. And here is what is really important to understand – our results are always created by our own thinking. Seriously! All of our 2016 results began with our thoughts. So all of our positive results started with positive thoughts and all of our negative results started with negative thoughts.

It is so important to really grasp this concept before moving into any goal setting for 2017 because you have the opportunity to generate different results for yourself by changing your thoughts. But before you do any 2017 planning, I really encourage you to look back in detail at 2016 and reflect on the overall outcome. Be honest with yourself about your year. Be truthful. Own it. All of it. From this place, you will be able to be much more authentic in looking ahead to what you want to accomplish next year.

Next week, I will give you some specific exercises on how to create your 2017 goals, using your most valuable and sophisticated planning tool – your mind! Here’s the link to the exercises: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2017/01/06/success/

Until then – Happy New Year!

on the fence.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

Do you spend a lot of your time “on the fence”?

The place where we like to hang out when we have a decision to make. We like this place because it’s neutral and protected. It’s a safety zone, of sorts. It buys us all the space and time we need as we prepare to make a decision.

We consider all our options.
We ask for insights, inputs and information.
We weigh all the pros and the cons.
We think. We imagine. We worry.
We go get more information.

We are prudent and responsible, thoughtful and considerate, in taking the time to make the decision. It is imperative to gather all the information and to consult with the people in our lives who might be impacted by our decision. We look at our money. We consider our time availability. We question our commitment and investment. We ask for support and buy-in where we need it.

These are all necessary and very important steps. These steps are what allow up to climb up to that place where we are sitting on the fence, checking out the view on the other side. With each piece of information, we climb higher. We get more of a perspective of what life would be like on the other side of the decision.

We see opportunity. We see possibility. We see transformation.

It’s exciting. We climb higher.
It’s scary. We hang out right where we are.
It’s exciting. We take another step.
It’s scary. We stop moving. We focus on fear we are feeling.
And then we wait.
And wait.
And wait.

And for many of us – this is as far as we get. We never get to the other side of the fence. We never make the decision. We stall out right before we have to make the commitment and decide. We freeze. We get stuck.

Stuck in the indecision. 1/2 in where we are now and 1/2 in where we would like to be. We argue with ourselves about the comfort and stability of where we are now versus the discomfort and unpredictability that change could bring. We are tempted by what is on the other side of our decision and the fence, yet we love the safety of where we are right now.

Staying “on the fence” for too long is exhausting – it depletes us, drains us and distracts us. We prolong having what we really want and then we begin to make up excuses for why we can’t have it. It becomes a vicious cycle and the sad part is that we look for reasons to justify it. We use excuses like we are afraid of making “the wrong decision” or we blame someone for not supporting us.

Yes, making big decisions is hard. Sometimes very hard. But I truly believe that nothing is harder that wanting something and not giving yourself the chance to have it because you are afraid of making a decision. Not ever knowing what it is like to get over the fence and experience what it is like on the other side – seeing the opportunity, the possibility, the transformation and never having it – that is a million times harder than the process of deciding.

A decision often creates short-term discomfort and some level of inconvenience.

Know that going in. Are you willing to experience the discomfort and inconvenience, in order to have want you ultimately want? If so, then find people in your life who will support you. Find the people that will cheer you on and hold you accountable to your decision. Surround yourself with friends, family, mentors, coaches, advisors that see your “other side of the fence” and will help you get there, no matter what. Once you get “off the fence” and over to the other side, you will find everything you need to make the decision “right” and to move your life in the direction that you have always wanted.