Super Habit #47: Take Time to Practice Reflective Thinking

Dwelling on our mistakes is not usually a good option. Practicing reflective thinking is altogether different. We can look back at our past, our work, our mistakes, and life in general, and reflect upon what we’ve learned. That’s a super habit.

Remember, super habits are habits that kill two birds with one stone, metaphorically speaking. When we reflect upon ourselves, we learn more about ourselves. When we learn, we can begin with a new and improved outlook. Reflective thinking is usually used to solve problems. Let’s look at the process.

How to Practice Reflective Thinking

  1. Identify what went wrong: If you set a goal to lose 20 pounds and you did not achieve results, the first step in reflective thinking is to identify the problem. Did you refuse to give up chocolate? Did you slack on exercise? Was the lack of weight loss due to a medication?
  2. Analyze the problem: Once you’ve analyzed the problem, let’s say you slacked on exercise, you can generate possible solutions. Remember, this process is not meant to be hard on yourself, but rather to be kind to yourself and offer yourself another chance to succeed.
  3. Generate possible solutions: Maybe you don’t like to exercise alone. Or maybe you are not motivated to exercise at home. Some solutions might include finding a partner or joining a gym.
  4. Evaluate for the best solution: You consider your friends, but you know they all have busy lives. So you decide finding a partner is not the best solution. But perhaps you love to swim and your local fitness center has a swimming pool. You decide that getting a membership will be the best solution.
  5. Test and implement: You get a one-week free trial membership and start swimming every morning. After the trial, you join the gym and make swimming a regular routine.

Reflective Thinking Can Change Your Life

If you take a little time each day to reflect, you will become more skilled in problem solving. Being reflective is a way of checking yourself and generating new ideas for moving forward. That’s an important life skill.