Reflect and Recharge: How to Boost Your Results with a Quick Review

By Heather Campbell

Well, we’ve reached the end of May – five months of 2024 already gone. It can seem like it’s flown past with little to show for it but, over the last 151 days, I’ll bet you’ve made lots of progress. There’s also a good chance that you don’t value the progress you’ve made because, after all, there’s so much more to do. The constant pressure of what is still to be achieved can deeply undermine our appreciation of how far we’ve come. Yes, for ambitious leaders, there is always more to do. But it’s also important to stop and look back from time to time.

In fact, reviewing the progress you’ve made can be a massive boost to your resilience, confidence and motivation. And, in turn, your resilience, confidence and motivation are going to be hugely important to ensuring you knock it out of the park for the remaining 213 days in this calendar year.

So, for that reason, today I’d invite you to take 10 – 15 minutes to review what you’ve achieved so far in 2024 and allow yourself to feel good about it. I’ve set out five key steps to help you get a good basis for your review – feel free to add to these if there are some reflections that are of specific importance or relevance for you.

Start by focussing on Progress, not Perfection.

This is an important lesson I’ve learned from Dan Sullivan – my coach and mentor at Strategic Coach. Aiming for perfection is unrewarding because it doesn’t really exist. It’s an illusion. What looks like perfection today won’t look like it when you get there because you’ll so quickly start to focus on what comes next.

Progress, in contrast, is real and measurable . Because of this, it gives us something tangible to celebrate and enjoy.

So – jot down a list of progress, whether in personal life or working life – over the last 151 days. Every time your inner critic says ‘ah, but you haven’t done…’ or ‘ah, but you’ve failed in’, thank it for the message and remind it you’re focussing on progress.

For each item on your list, ask yourself: why this is important? What does it mean for YOU? How is it helping YOU feel positive? How is this helping YOU shape YOUR future?

Really focus on the Why for YOU, on the reason this matters to YOU. What’s it delivering for YOU? After all, you’re the person whose delivered, and you’re the person who needs to feel resilience, confidence and motivation. You’re the person who will power through the rest of 2024.

Focus on what and who you’re grateful for as you review the last 151 days

I was initially cynical about the idea of focussing on gratitude or keeping a gratitude diary, until I learned why it works so well. Understanding the science gave me the push I needed to give it a go and I’ve been grateful (😉) for the positive impact it has.

The science: focussing on gratitude changes the emotions we’re feeling compared to those we’re experiencing when we’re under pressure or worried. It regulates cortisol production which reduces feelings of anxiety and stress. It increases hormones associated with happiness, including dopamine and serotonin.

So, practising gratitude basically creates a hormone mix that is better for us physically, mentally and emotionally.

Again, don’t look for the big things. Sometimes, it’s the smallest of things that we’re grateful for……the love and support of family and friends, the pleasure from engaging in a favourite hobby, the feel-good factor after a tough workout, the unexpected hole in one…

Write it down

Take time to write down your answers – this will multiply the benefits you get from this 10 minutes. It will make your answers more real. It will ensure you focus and engage rather simply creating a quick, scatter-gun mental list in your head as you do something else.

Pause for a moment

Once you’ve completed steps 1 – 4, take time to recognise and appreciate all you’ve achieved.
Recognise that many of those achievements seemed impossible just a few short months ago. Appreciate the energy, self-belief and perhaps even courage it took to move towards those goals. Notice what a resourceful, resilient, capable person you are. And enjoy it!

Before you close this email and rush off to do something else, a gentle nudge in case you haven’t actually completed the reflection. Take this few minutes for yourself. You’ll easily make up the time – and more – as you get going again with that extra dose of resilience, confidence and motivation!

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