If your 2016 has been anything like ours, it has been epic.
I often speak with clients about the importance of reflective practice; the active process of curiously examining one's experiences and learning from them to improve the way we operate. Many of the successful leaders I coach keep a regular journal to step back, capture key experiences, critically evaluate their behaviours and actions, and consider what they might do differently in the future.
Of course in our busy lives it can be all too easy to be so immersed in the day-to-day operations, place a greater value on performance, and neglect to make time for reflection. However, if we consider 70% of our professional learning and development is from our on-the-job experience, then it would appear to be one of the more powerful professional development opportunities to reflect on this rich data.
Personally, this year more than ever, I have felt the need to prioritise my own reflection. To make it a reality, I have carved out the required time and space, a one night and two-day 'retreat'. A luxury I admit, afforded to me by my husband who has agreed to be the sole carer of our children for the duration. But an important one nonetheless, particularly given much of my work life is squeezed in and around our family life.
My goals are relatively simple:
1. Reflect on my top achievements, challenges, and learnings;
2. Celebrate all that has been in 2016 (something we often forget to do!); and
3. Consider (lightly) what I might wish to achieve in 2017.
The first two are the priority. The last one.. a stretch goal!
So as the working year draws to a close for many of us this week, I'd encourage you to give yourself the gift of time and space to reflect on your year and celebrate your successes (however big or small).
What will you do to create the necessary time and space to reflect on 2016 and celebrate?
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