There are many attributes to personal growth.  Awareness, setting goals, challenges, experiences, etc. are some of the attributes to our personal growth. As we come to the close of another year, consider reflection as another aspect of growth. Reflection is valuable in that we are able to evaluate and measure what we set out to accomplish as well as celebrate met goals. John C. Maxwell says this about reflection, “Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.” As we come to the close of another year, a time of pause and reflection can be a valuable asset towards personal growth.

How do I turn this time of pause and reflection into valuable growth?  Well, as many of us do, I have broken this reflection time into some areas of focus.  If you are like me, you may be thinking, “Where do I start?”  Furthermore, if I spend much time putting together a reflection exercise, it can become too intensive for a blog article.  Therefore, my attempt here is to create some prompts for the reader to use his own creativity and match up a time of reflection relevant to his needs.  Keep in mind that the purpose of the reflection is to continue growth.

A great jumping off point for me is to look back over my calendar.  My calendar gives me some idea of where I spent my time.  To enhance the reflection, I could also look at my bank records to see where I have spent money.  Whatever the starting point, choose some method to jar the memory.

Once a starting point has been determined, it is important to come up with some questions to ask.  Some examples could be:

  • What did I do with my time?
  • Was I effective?
  • What was my highest high?
  • What was my lowest low?
  • What did I do to grow this last year?
  • How did I avoid growth?
  • Where did I waste time/money?
  • Did I accomplish set goals?

I hope that these questions will serve as prompts.  The key is creating some questions in order to begin assessing the year.

The next step in the process will be to take the above questions and apply them to different aspects of your life.  Here are three possible major areas of life to apply the reflections questions:

  • Relationship with God – In what ways did I improve my relationship with God? Did I make this a priority?  I believe that if I start here, everything else will trickle down.
  • Relationship with others – How did I do with my family? Was I intentional with relationships outside my family?
  • My occupation – How did I do in my job? If making a career change, what impact did it have?

Just like the questions, these are suggestions and prompts.  What three major areas would you reflect upon as you look at your year?

Once a method of reflection has been established, begin to apply any learning to these areas:

  1. Turn your reflections and experiences into insight. What can your experience teach you?  What improvements can you make?  What do you need to let go of going into next year?
  2. Everyone needs a time of reflection slow down. In this time, it helps you check to see if you are on the right track.  It helps with “course corrections”.
  3. Reflection with intention helps clear the mind. It helps in deciding what is important.  It clears out some room for innovation.

No matter the method.  Whether or not any of these questions or prompts are useful.  I hope that in some form or fashion, you will take time to reflect on your year.  As one of my mentors encouraged me to do after I have lead on a weekend; take time to celebrate what you have done well and then look at what you could have done better.  Afterwards, look at where you have grown and where you need to grow next.  Maybe even involve a close friend in your reflection.  Maybe spend a family time of reflection.  The key:  REFLECT.  The results may surprise you.

By Byron Myers

Byron completed his initial Crucible weekend in 2009. His deepest desire is to help people believe in their God-given goodness and live lives of integrity, authenticity and feel loved and accepted.Byron is the author of the ebook, Weekly Devotional Thoughts:  Weekly Applications of God’s WordByron is the High School Principal at Midland Christian School in Midland, Texas and a successful Business and Personal Life Coach. You can follow Byron at Weekly Devotional Thoughts.

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