“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting upon our experiences”John Dewey
What a month July has been! We’ve seen plenty of sunshine and despite the soaring temperatures, I am continuing to focus upon my development both in my personal and professional life.
Sometimes it is easy to give advice rather than taking your own, and often I don’t reflect as much as I feel I should. So after reflecting on all of my goings on over the past month, it has really helped me to hit the refresh button as I begin to prepare for my CIPD exam in September so August is already looking pretty hectic but I now realise that saying no can sometimes be a good thing!
Reflection is not about beating yourself up or being overly critical, it is about identifying how we can improve things. If we remain static, we are not learning anything and those vital experiences can get lost amongst the busyness of our daily lives, so after a rocky few months, I am finally feeling much more focused and keen to improve in all areas of my life.
Healthy happy me!
I do feel that July has been a bit of a rollercoaster but it has turned into a positive, I find that I have really embraced the concept of gratitude and every morning when I wake up, I silently express gratitude for the people and things in life that I am thankful for. It may not necessarily affect how the rest of my day pans out, but it certainly puts me in a better mindset from the start of the day. Being in the morning and right before the work especially helps because I’m no longer filling it with checking my phone or social media etc. instead opting for mindfulness that I otherwise struggle to find time for.
Whilst I have been doing some yoga exercises at home, it is not as often as I would like, nor is it in a set routine. Additionally, I am missing my yoga teacher Robina at Body Equilibrium. She is such a positive influence on me and I always feel amazing after I have done an hour of yoga, so I am committing to attending four sessions of yoga in August, that is one session per week so it is easily achievable.
Speak less, listen more
I am one of the most terrible people for oversharing! I have always been a heart on my sleeve kind of person, but I have to appreciate that not everyone is that way! So one of my objectives is to take in more around me, listen to others more and if I do overshare, I’ll simply think before I speak and ask myself “why am I talking?”
Podcasts are also a part of this, recently I have been listening to them more, I especially love Phil Wilcox’s Emotion at Work podcasts and I am a big fan of Garry Turner’s Value through vulnerability too, both cover a multitude of subjects and I have definitely benefitted from listening to them. They have definitely become a regular part of my day to day life. I can pop on a podcast in the background and get on with getting ready for the day, whilst I am cooking dinner or cleaning the house. I learn so much from them and they are a constant source of inspiration for me without being glued to a screen!
Making time for things that matter
Last weekend, I had the best time with those closest to me, it was nice to relax and I hardly touched my phone the whole time, I have to admit a digital detox is certainly something I intend to practice regularly from now on. I’d highly recommend it to anyone, it’s nice to be free from the smartphone every once in a while and a fabulous chap I met on Twitter; Mark Ellis (no relation! @cultureeffect) has written all about the benefits of a digital detox if you wanted to find out more about how a Digitox can make you happier.
I have got back into healthy eating again, I always feel much better when I eat well and drinking lots of water helps too. I am going to carry on but still enjoy a naughty treat every now and again, on my list next month is an Eton Mess!
Do you regularly reflect, do you find it helps? What have you been up to this month and what do you hope to improve on next month?