The Reflection Ritual I'm Using Now to Achieve My Dreams.

I know what it’s like to want something desperately but still never seem to make it happen. But there’s one simple practice that has upped my productivity, increased my motivation, and helped me keep on top of my goals more than any other. This is the reflection ritual I’m using NOW to make sure I’m on track to achieving my dreams.

Even when I was working a full-job while also writing this blog, working with clients one-to-one, creating digital products, recording podcast interviews, and helping my course students achieve THEIR dreams, this ritual helped make sure I was focusing on all of these things without burning out. Not to mention, I'm also married, have a busy social life, and prioritize making time for myself. This might sound like an impossibly busy schedule but I've learned a couple of very simple tools that allow me to keep moving forward without getting burnt out. And you can apply them to any goal you might be working towards.

In fact, I credit this system with helping me quit my day job nearly 6 months before I’d originally planned.

I’ve been tweaking and updating my reflection process and today I want to share it with you.

In the past I'd dive head first into a new project or goal and go full steam ahead for a couple of weeks and then it would peter out. But that doesn’t happen to me anymore. I've gotten planning and reflecting down to an art. By implementing short, simple reflection rituals every week I'm able to keep myself focused, celebrate my accomplishments, note where I can improve, realign as necessary, and plan my next action steps.

This is a deceivingly simple ritual that has an enormous impact. I've outlined how to get the most out of this process below. And because planning is more fun with pretty stationary, I've created a free printable that walks you through the exact reflection questions I use to check in with myself.

Create a sacred time.
Choosing to do your reflection at the same time every week will build it into your routine and make it something you prioritize. Carve out 30 minutes and recognize it as an important act of self-care and a crucial building block for your dreams.

I like to do my reflections on Sundays, usually in the early evening with the week still fresh in my mind. It's also the perfect time to set myself up for the week ahead. But the key is to find a time that will consistently work for your schedule.

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEETS

Just sitting down and telling yourself to "plan and reflect" each week might make your mind go completely blank. I've put together these worksheets that walk you through the exact reflection questions and planning steps I use to work towards creating each of my dreams. Click below to download them.

Add a sense of ritual.
Creating a sense of ritual around your routine will make it special and also something you look forward to.

I like to brew a mug of hot cocoa, light a candle, and sit down with my favourite pink pen to think about the days that have just past and plan the week ahead. This has become one of my favourite times of the week and adding in these small rituals has made it feel sacred. Xandra takes herself on a planning and reflection cafe date every week, which is something she really looks forward to.

Rewrite all of your goals.
I have yearly or long-term goals that I break into chunks, which are my 90-day goals. And I also have “new moon cycle intentions” that I want to focus on for the month. I’ll write more about my goal setting process in another post but in essence, I think about the big picture: who I want to be, anything I want to change, and things I want to achieve. These are the goals that push me beyond my comfort zone. Then I break them down into their constituent milestones: what do I need to make happen in order to get there? I use these to plot out my 90-day goals. My new moon intentions are much more intuitive. I jot down a few things after meditation and they’re usually small, everyday things to focus on. Most recently these included: commit to healing, pray, and pour my blood and guts onto the page.

I rewrite all three categories of goals down each and every week. This might sound monotonous but it’s actually incredibly powerful way to keep my goals at the forefront of my mind and to check in with myself to make sure they’re all things I’m still really committed to.

Reflect on your achievements.
Actually write down everything that you accomplished this week, whether they're items from your to-do lists, starting a new book, trying a new creative medium, cooking healthy meals everyday, or anything else that seems worthy of note. Think about what you learned, anything you changed about your routines, or events that were particularly interesting. Write it all down and take a moment to feel proud of everything you accomplished.

Think about what you could have done better or whether you need to realign your vision.
Reflecting also allows us to see where we could have done better to make progress with our goals. How could you have spent your time more effectively? What would you like to let go of? Could you have reacted differently to a situation? Make a note of these instances and decide what you would like to do differently next week.

Write down your lesson from the week.
This is a tip I picked up from Nicole Harlow and it really is crazy that there’s a lesson to be learned each and every week. Sometimes they’re deep, soulful realizations about who I am as a person and others they’re new skills I’ve learned in my business. And sometimes it’s just a reminder of the blatantly obvious, like to always double check that I’ve hit record while doing a podcast interview. Whatever your lesson for the week was, write it down. It will help cement it in your memory and it’s really valuable to look back on everything you’ve learned over the course of a few months.

Create a plan for the following week.
You can use your reflections to guide your plans for the following week. When we create a plan we're more likely to follow through, and when we build this into our reflection ritual.

Most of us work best when we have one main focus for the week and dedicate our actions towards it. Identify what one thing you could do this week that would move your goal forward the most. Then break that down into bite-sized tasks and schedule them in your calendar. You'll also want to move any outstanding to-dos from last week into your schedule if you still think that they're important.

 

I use a combination of a Passion Planner (for planning the week ahead and tracking my progress) and a blank notebook (for writing down my goals, achievements, lessons, and other reflections). If you don’t have a diary you prefer, you can download a free, full PDF version of the Passion Planner.

Creating a weekly ritual reflection has drastically changed my life for the better. I now achieve my goals more quickly and with more ease. This process helps keep me focused and motivated. Whether you want to start an art journal or a magazine, eat a little bit better or run a marathon, taking time to plan and reflect each week is one simple, powerful step that will help you get there.

But just sitting down and telling yourself to "plan and reflect" each week might make your mind go completely blank. I've put together these worksheets that walk you through the exact reflection questions and planning steps I use to work towards creating each of my dreams.

And of course, I’d love to know: what big dreams are you working towards right now? What would help you get there?

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEETS

Just sitting down and telling yourself to "plan and reflect" each week might make your mind go completely blank. I've put together these worksheets that walk you through the exact reflection questions and planning steps I use to work towards creating each of my dreams. Click below to download them.