Reflection — A Great Planning Tool​

Earlier this week, our Vistage Chair encouraged me and the other CEO’s and Presidents in the room to present our 2018 Reflection and our 2019 Goals to the group. It’s one of those exercises that’s easy to take seriously while also being just as easy to blow off. There’s no reward for doing it well, and no punishment for doing it poorly. At least not beyond what the individual presenter chooses to self-manifest from the exercise.

Completing the exercise came quickly and easily for me. I was very clear on the past year reflection and on the forward looking next 180 days. I was energized by my opportunities and confident in my ability to make real what are now just words. 

We did this same thing last year around this time and I completely copped out. I did it, but in a half-assed way. At the time, I was unhappy and afraid. Unhappy with the job I was in and afraid about what leaving that job would mean for me. For my status. For my #self-worth. For my future. 

Turned out that choosing to leave was the right choice. And overdue. As I sit here now, it’s kind of embarrassing that I felt the way I did back then. I feel a bit cowardly. A little ashamed. I’m better, or should be better, than having my mind in that place. 

Reflection and Planning are essential tools I first learned in The Strategic Coach program starting in 2003. Without honest and clear reflection, it’s easy to get caught up focusing on all the things that went wrong. Where I failed, quit or didn’t make progress. Those negative things always seem to occupy my brain otherwise. 

Reflecting helps me find and pay attention to the success stories I’m built to overlook otherwise. The people I’ve met, the goals I’ve accomplished and the progress I’ve made. When I acknowledge and focus on the progress I’ve made, on the #accomplishments, it gives me the energy and the vision to keep moving forward with the belief that ‘I Can and Will’ instead of ‘I Can’t or Won’t.’ It gives me the #confidence to plan with clarity and conviction. 

Will everything I plan for happen just the way I imagine? Of course not. Will I make progress anyway and, more times than not, figure out a work-around, over, through – because I’ve done it before and I’ve trained myself to expect what I set my mind to? Absolutely. Am I’m willing to do the work? Hell Yes.  

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