Forget Resolutions—Choose Reflection

When working with clients, I consistently find that they are stellar at setting goals and making resolutions. Some of us even revel in our ability to multi-task and complete two goals at once. Before we know it, our calendars are completely filled with tasks and meetings.

Here’s the downside: there’s little time left to step back and observe anything. This traps many of us in a “doom loop.” We want to be invited to the strategy table, but we commit all our time to solving problems and putting out fires. As a result, we seldom get invited to design the future. One of my CMO clients laments that “I’m tired of my team being treated like a fast food drive-through window.”

Multi-tasking kills our ability to reflect. It erodes our short-term Reflection Not Resolutionsmemory and sabotages important relationships. Research from Dr. David Strayer at the University of Utah proves that only 2.5 percent of the population can successfully multi-task. In fact, Strayer’s studies revealed that talking on a cell phone while driving (a very pervasive form of multi-tasking) leaves people as cognitively impaired as if they’d had two or three drinks.

Sadly, this hit home for me over the holidays when one of my colleagues was killed by a tractor-trailer truck. She was driving at high speed and talking on her cell phone when it happened. Why should someone’s untimely death be the wake-up call to remind us that we are human beings, not human doings?

The greatest leaders I have met create their own reflection rituals to foster acceptance, insight, and compassion. While flying from New York to San Diego, I had the privilege of sitting next to Joseph Hoar, the U.S. General who served under Colin Powell in war-torn areas such as Somalia and the Middle East. He told me that “every day, no matter what, I take time to reflect.”

Thankfully, mindfulness, single-tasking, and reflection practices are making a comeback. In my latest Huffington Post article, I share several ways make this important shift from resolution to reflection:

  • Ideas for incorporating mindfulness and reflection into your day
  • Seven questions that can propel you to a new level of whatever you prize in life
  • How six words can shift your perspective

I invite you to read the article and put these ideas into practice. Reflections just might transform your year.

How do you incorporate reflection into your day? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Other posts you will enjoy:

Copyright 2016, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

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