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Use Reflective Thinking to Maximize Your Progress

How many mistakes or failures have you experienced over the course of your life? Imagine how your life would be if you never made the same mistake more than once. Most of us repeat the same mistakes over and over. Mistakes have value: you can and should learn from them.

On the flip side, successes can be repeated and capitalized upon. Yet, it’s common to see someone that’s been successful change course and sabotage themselves. If you can repeat your successes and avoid repeating the same mistakes, everything becomes easier. Life is also a lot more rewarding.

The answer is reflective thinking.

Evaluate your successes and failures each day:

1. At the end of each day, determine the positives and negatives. Maybe you reached a goal that you set for yourself, or maybe not. Either way, consider the entire day and focus on the positive and yes, even the negative parts of your day. The idea is to eliminate the negative outcomes by eliminating the negative thoughts associated with them and increase the likelihood of the positive outcomes occurring again.

2. Determine the cause of each outcome. Why didn’t you reach that goal? Or what helped you reached the goal? Is it something you could control? For example, you wanted to get up early to work out, but you stayed up too late. That’s something you can control and work on for the next day.

3. Take advantage of your new knowledge. How can you avoid missing out on that early morning workout?

· If you want to continue having great workouts, get to bed at a reasonable time, take a snack to work, and make the time to eat it.

Visualize success.Imagine yourself behaving in a new way. Imagine the positive benefits you’ll receive.

4. Remind yourself of the consequences if you don’t follow through. What would happen if you kept putting off starting a new workout routine, starting a personal development course, opening a new business? You probably won’t lose weight, improve your personal life, or serve the people you are meant to serve.

· Feel the pain of failing to change.

5. Monitor your thoughts and feelings. If you’re resistant to change, changing will be much more difficult. Let go of your negative thoughts and feelings. It’s natural to resist change, but you can do it. You have to change and grow if you expect to have better outcomes in your life. Things that don't grow die.

6. Monitor your results. Are you setting and completing goals?

· New habits are hard to form, and bad habits are hard to break, but neither is impossible. It will take time to see changes, but if you stick to it the change will happen.

· Continue honing your process until your results are acceptable to you. You will have to adjust along the way to get the outcome you are looking for.

After a few weeks, you might find that you’ve been able to kick those old negative thoughts and beliefs. Consider all the different areas of your life: relationships, finances, work, health, and so on. Use reflective thinking to enhance your life. Get value from your victories and defeats.

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