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‘The Pursuit’ Blog

Four Questions for Personal Reflection and Review

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalm 139:23-24

In our fast-paced world, it can be hard to slow down and take stock of what’s happening around us. We may not feel like we have time, or we may not see the value. If we never pause and reflect on what’s happening in our lives, we’ll miss tremendous opportunities for celebration, gratitude, and growth. Even worse, we may keep doing things that aren’t helping us move forward and reach our goals.

Every once in a while, we must set aside time to consider what’s taking place in our lives. Here are four questions to think through whenever you spend time reviewing. 

What went well?

Start your review by acknowledging any accomplishments you’ve recently experienced. Celebrating wins is important because it gives you an opportunity to acknowledge your success and reinforce the steps you took to get there. Since habit loops form when certain activities lead to rewards, this reflective practice will reinforce positive actions and lead to compounding gains and progress over time. 

What didn’t go well?

This is where the review process may get uncomfortable. It’s important to point out that the goal of this question isn’t to make yourself feel shame or guilt. We all have areas where we can get better, and this question will help you identify weak or blind spots so that you can intentionally address these deficiencies. Awareness is power, and if you can shine a light on your weaknesses and shortcomings, you’ve already taken a big first step toward growth and improvement. 

What did I learn?

This is another key question about our life experiences that can be easy to ignore when we’re perpetually busy. Life experience is often the best teacher, but only if we’re willing to slow down long enough to consider what we can learn from what happens to us. You’ll gain tremendous new awareness as you think about what you can learn from both successes and failures. 

How will I improve?

The final question will require more from you than any of the first three because it will force you to think about what you’ll do differently in the future based on what the answers to the first three questions revealed. If you discover a system or process that works really well, will you continue to follow it? If you identify something that’s holding you back, what will you do to overcome or eliminate this challenge? If you learned something valuable from recent life experience, how will you put it into practice? This question is where the rubber meets the road, and it can make all the difference in your continued progress and development. 

As you think about how to extract the most possible value from your regular reviews, make sure you create the ideal environment for follow-through and consistency. I like to set aside Wednesdays each week to reflect, update my goal tracker, and determine if I need to set new goals. It allows me time for reflection on my personal growth and development. No matter how busy my schedule gets, I set Wednesdays aside each week to pause and invest in myself. 

You don’t have to follow the same structure as me, but I encourage you to choose the same day and time to engage in reflection and think about telling a friend about what you plan to do so that you’ll have extra accountability. Once you try reflection, I think you’ll quickly see what a tremendous difference it can make. 

“Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:40