Life gets busy, because of it, we forget about what matters most.
Committing to a journey of intentional self growth starts with slowing down. It’s recognizing and filling your day with the things that align with your values.
Part of determining what you value is through reflection.
Reflection is something I started doing a year ago to think through my emotional baggage. It offered clarity into those deep and dark pockets of who I am. Some were right at the surface waiting to be discovered.
Reflection is a release mechanism.
We aren’t meant to suppress, we are meant to express and connect. When you choose to let go the weight lifts and you feel lighter. It opens the door to discovering yourself and presents space to grow.
Here are 6 questions you need to ask yourself everyday to support a journey of intentional self growth:
What did I do today?
Recount the day in chronological order and put pen to paper; write. This is the foundation to reflecting; it provides fodder for the remaining questions.
During the day you’re in the trenches, where it tends to be complex. When you reflect, you’re able to see it from an aerial view, the simplicity of your life seeps through.
Whether it’s what you want to see or not, the good, the bad; it’s the truth. When you see this, you have choices. It provides a space to learn and grow.
Time is our most valuable asset but yet we treat it like we have an abundance of it. We don’t, so choose wisely.
How do I feel right now?
This is where you surrender and let go; the vulnerability vault opens and you expose the emotions you felt throughout your day.
Asking yourself, and most importantly answering, this question provides clarity into how you are feeling.
It becomes essential for how you approach your day, it equips you to be more self aware on how you spend your days and how you respond to different situations throughout your day.
What did I enjoy?
Think about the things you did and the areas that brought out enjoyment. Think about your work, your job, your interests, what are the tasks or areas that you enjoy most.
Discover the things that make you tick. Find areas in your work, outside of your core tasks and responsibilities, that you enjoy; then do them more often.
Find ways to incorporate them throughout your day. Have them become part of your total body of work.
What did I learn?
Regardless of where you are in your journey, stay curious.
It’s so important to always be asking yourself, and others, questions. To be learning new things regardless of the space it resides in.
It could be something about yourself, your work, your hobbies, your culture; just learn. Consume new information. Gain new and different knowledge. Explore diverse areas.
The exchange of information, learning about who we are, is a core component of self growth.
What’s one idea I had today?
We all have ideas and we’re all smarter than what we think we are.
When you think of an idea, write it down. No matter what the idea is put it in a notebook, in Evernote, or wherever.
Reflecting on this question, or the process of writing down your idea, exercises your idea muscle. It strengthens the muscle to see opportunity where others can’t, or aren’t.
We are all filled with amazing ideas, continue to exercise that muscle.
What are three things I am grateful for?
I like to answer this question in the morning, regarding the previous day.
When expressing the things I am grateful for first thing in the morning, it sets the tone for the remainder of the day. It reminds me of what really matters and what’s important, it sticks with me.
Each day you should have a different answer. It doesn’t have to be big each time. Instead, dive deeper into those tiny moments that often get overlooked and are taken for granted.
The things like finding a pair of gloves in your car on a cold winter day when you need to clean your windshield. Or being grateful for that moment when you were able to witness your son and dog playing together; simply being eachother’s best friend.
It’s all of those big moments, and I think most importantly, those small moments, that we aught to be most grateful for.
It’s as simple as this. Reflect on your day to become more self aware. Be honest with yourself and be intentional about your self growth.
Reflecting on your day surfaces the things that you value most. Do more of those things.
Do you spend time reflecting on your day? What questions do you ask yourself?
Eric Ungs is the founder of the Unless You Care Project. Writing about an intentional journey of self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook. Get your free copy here.