In the midst of social distancing and adjusted work schedules, the new year goals you set for yourself just a few months ago might already feel like a distant memory. The ability to take an honest, hard look at our progress and trajectory is a skill we could all use more of—in these unprecedented times better self-awareness can encourage mental clarity, progress, and stability.
Cultivating self-awareness not only increases your ability to respond to challenges but also helps you become more selective on how and where you should spend your time.
Introspection might already be your forte or it might be an area you’re seeking to improve through deliberate practice, regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, we’re sharing our favorite strategies to help you harness the power of self-awareness so you can make consistent progress towards your goals, even in the midst of challenging times.
It isn't hard to see the value of introspection influences your progress towards your goals. Take a look at these tried and true quotes on the topic:
"Self-trust is the first secret of success."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
― C.G. Jung
“Pick an area of your life where you want to most want to be successful…The first step toward change is awareness. If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, you have to start by becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired destination. Become very conscious of every choice you make today so you can begin to make smarter choices moving forward.”
― The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Now that you know what it is, how can you get more of it?
Take a personality test.
You can take the first step to develop better self-awareness with a psychometric test designed to measure personality characteristics, cognitive abilities, and behavioral style. We’ve all heard of the 5 love languages, but do know your Myers and Briggs' personality type?
A personality test can help you assess character traits you otherwise may be unaware of and serve as the first step in developing greater self-awareness.
Keep a Journal
Begin or close out each day with a journaling session. This will bring clarity to your thoughts and provide you with an outlet to organize your emotions. Make it a practice to review your entries every now and again to help you understand any patterns of thinking that might be holding you back from reaching your goals.
Keep a habit tracker
What gets measured gets managed. Tracking your habits is one of the simplest ways to bring your daily actions into conscious awareness. Start by choosing 3-5 habits that are most influential to your goals. Habit tracking will keep you accountable and provide a visual representation of your progress.
If you don’t already have a habit tracker you can create a simple one using pen and paper.
A daily reflection
Institute a practice of regular reflection. Goal setting isn't only reserved for the end of the year. Consistently consider which goals need to be revised, updated or put on hold. Regularly evaluating your progress will also help you identify reoccurring challenges, barriers, and pitfalls. Set aside a few minutes each week to evaluate your progress, challenges and solutions.
If your looking for a tool to help provide structure and an evidence-backed framework to your daily reflection, check out our Reflect + Refine 1:1 Journal —a daily journal designed to help you live a more introspective and intentional life.
Set aside time for quiet
With all the change and challenges, finding time for inner space and stillness may prove challenging. However, the derail from our normal routines might provide a new opportunity to sneak in a moment of peace. Working from home? Consider swapping out the time you used to spend on your commute with a mindfulness meditation in the mornings.
When was the last time you requested a performance evaluation? Schedule a chat with someone close to you who can provide honest feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. This may seem difficult at first but don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family and loved ones. Once you receive constructive criticism you can better construct an objective understanding of yourself and how it may be affecting important relationships in your life.
Question for further reflection:
Where can you fit silence and self-reflection into your daily/weekly schedule?
Refine Your Strategy Challenge of the Month
Activity: Write down what you believe others perceive your greatest strengths and weaknesses are, now go and ask 3 people you know well to do the same for you.