At the end of every month at Coaching Club, we dedicate one session where we look back on everything that happened the previous month. What did we set out to do? What did we achieve? What did we learn? And more importantly, how do we prepare ourselves for the coming month?
To move forward we need to learn from the past. Not just focusing on the good or bad points, but looking at everything as a whole. Here are my steps to reflecting and preparing.
First and foremost, you need to be open with yourself to look at everything. This month, buy a journal and write down all the decisions you make, the ones you make in your personal and work life. You don’t need to write a huge amount, but detail what the situation was and what you decided to do. Did your decision work? Was it the right one to make, why or why not? Don’t use this to beat yourself up if something didn’t work out, list out the learnings you gleaned from the situation and move on.
Dedicate some time each day or week to focus on you and your needs. Meditation is great for this and as a keen practitioner, I certainly recommend it.
If you’re faced with a situation with someone that you’re really struggling with, try this exercise:
Take three chairs, cushions or towels and put them on the floor in a triangle. Now, think of the situation at hand and go to the first chair, here you’re going to share all your thoughts and feelings about that person. Be honest and go as far as you need to. When you’ve finished, go to the second chair.
On the second chair, pretend to be that person. How do they interpret the situation and how do they feel about it? What are they thinking or saying? Really delve deep on this one.
Finally, go to the third chair. This chair represents an independent person who has been listening to this conversation. What are their views on the situation? How would they view the situation and what advice would they give now that they’ve heard from you and the other person? You may discover some interesting revelations and gain a new perspective.
We are so much more than the contents of our mind, thoughts, emotions and desires. When we take the time to do observation exercises like this, we become more objective. It’s the ability to be objective that helps us be more compassionate, understanding and ultimately, lead happier lives.
Alongside your decision diary, save a section dedicated to writing down your thoughts. Each month, track them, how was your mood? Are there any patterns? What do you get swallowed up by and how often do you encourage yourself?
Now that you’ve done this, it’s time to celebrate yourself and what you’ve achieved.
Take a moment and do a body scan, where are you holding your tension? Move your body gently if that helps you to let go of the tension. Get in a seated position and take a few deep breaths and just be in the moment.
Take three deep breaths, breathe in through your nose and out through the mouth, let your belly rise and fall with each breath. Let go of any distractions and concerns, if they do start to come in, don’t fret, let them go and focus back on the present.
Now think about something you’ve achieved this month. Perhaps you spoke kindly to yourself, you finished a project or moved to a new home. Get into the moment. What are you doing and feeling? Visualise your accomplishment and bask in it. In your mind’s eye, make your achievement big, bright and colourful, really let it seep in. Allow yourself to feel proud of who you are and what you’ve done.
Then when you’re ready, come back and start to think about the questions below.
How did you feel congratulating yourself?
What emotions came up during the exercise?
How do you feel about yourself now?
What was the most challenging aspect of congratulating yourself?
Did the process help you to appreciate yourself and what you HAVE accomplished?
Do you see your achievement differently?
Write down your thoughts in your diary. What did you learn from your achievement and what did you do well? How did you achieve this? From this, create a plan of what you want to achieve personally and professionally for the month ahead. How can you do this and what have you learnt that can support you? Be as detailed as you like, this plan is designed to help motivate you and keep you focused over the next few weeks, include everything you need to give you that support. Then at the end of this month, do the exercise again and see what’s changed for you.
This is just one sneak peek of the different sessions we hold at Coaching Club. Each week we delve into something new covering everything from emotional intelligence to micro-management. It’s just one hour each week with a group of truly amazing and inspiring women who are dedicated to being their best selves.
We would love to see you at Coaching Club, why not give it a try? Head over to our website to find out more and when you sign up today, you’ll get one month free. What’s not to love?