Posted on General January 1, 2019 by Mary George
At the end of the last trimester, one of my children came home with an English assignment- to reflect on their recent paper. It was a relatively detailed exercise with questions that encouraged deeper thinking in an effort to elicit further connections to the content. As a parent, I appreciate this practice not only as an academic exercise but how it is laying the foundation to develop strategies and a deeper thinking process within their lives. I am not sure that my 7th and 8th grade boys are as happy as I am that these skills are being cultivated, but in the world that we are now living in and the one that their generation is inheriting, these skills are so very necessary in order to set and achieve their goals. It teaches them to weed through the chaos in their heads and dig deeply into a subject whether academic or personal. Furthermore, as they work to achieve their goals, teaching them to capture thinking, whether on a daily or weekly basis, reflect on their experiences and witness their growth are essential to build self-awareness, self–regulation, and build confidence as they move forward in their lives. As adults we too can learn the practice of reflection as we set our goals whether personal or professional. It can also help us get back to who we truly are and remember our core values.
So as we begin a new year, reflect on your past goals and ask the questions necessary to understand past growth, challenges and/or failures and use this as a basis to set your new goals. Again, build in time on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis to give careful consideration and analysis of your beliefs and actions to order to learn. This can be done through meditation or by keeping a journal to record your journey. Just as reflecting on the English paper did for my son, this practice will help sort through various observations and experiences and see different possibilities leading to greater personal growth. If you are seeing that you are not progressing, recognize that you cannot change the past and do not dwell on it – sit with it, reflect on it, and learn from what is happening. As you continue with this practice, look at the strategies and processes that are working for you and try to implement them. When you achieve your goal, no matter how large or small be sure to celebrate your accomplishment!
In our fast past world, reflection is something that we tend to push until “later” if we consider it at all. Finding and making the time to think about our past and present goals and reminding ourselves of what is important to us individually as well as collectively will help guide us to success and happiness. Happy New Year!
Read our past Blogs on Setting Goals with your Children and for Yourselves:
—Mary & Claire
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