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Reflecting and Planning for Change

Change is the only constant in our lives. We always have to be ready to adapt to an ever-changing environment; in this article, we highlight strategies for reflecting and planning to achieve our goals - academic, career or even personal life goals. We have less than five weeks to end this year, now is the time to reflect on the year and the plans for next year. This is the time to take stock, dust off and get ready to achieve your set goals for the coming year.

Reflection is a meaning-making process of studying your experiences and interactions and is a great way to keep track of your progress. Doing reflection every day allows one to generate great ideas and examine the ones that have already been implemented.

Below are four of the strategies that we can use to reflect, plan and achieve our goals.

Use feedback as a gift

Sometimes the feedback we receive is not positive, and it hurts, but take it as a learning opportunity, analyze the feedback to see what the person trying to tell you.

It is challenging to grow if you don't take in feedback and make improvements. Often there is some grain of truth in the feedback we receive.

Choose a time during the day when you have 15 to 20 minutes to be alone and quiet

Alone time is crucial, and it allows one to reflect. Reflection should not be something done once in a blue moon and forgotten about because it can be beneficial in helping to process our thoughts and feelings. Take a piece of paper and jot down your thoughts; this allows you to understand your feelings and find a way to handle your emotions. Focus on doing reflection every day at the same time to make it a habit, no exceptions. Alone time also provides the opportunity to focus on self. When surrounded by others you might set your own ideas, interests and goals on a back burner in order to appease.

Find someone you trust to be open with you

To better understand ourselves, we sometimes need an outside perspective, someone who can protect us from our blind spots and who is not part of our life at all, to ensure their perspective is not tainted or biased. Find someone who can call you out, someone to keep you accountable.

Set SMARTER goals

The SMARTER acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluated and Re-adjusted. Reflection without proper goal setting is not ideal hence the need to be highly specific about the goals you are setting, describe the goal in detail. Your set goals should tick all the goals of a SMARTER plan, and as you work towards achieving your goals, you evaluate and re-adjust your plan as necessary.

Be honest with yourself

And finally, the one daunting thing is to be honest. The process of being honest with oneself can be harrowing but very rewarding in the long run. When we are honest with yourself and willing to change, nothing can stop our growth and improvement. If we aren't honest, then we can't learn and grow as individuals. We have to be willing to recognize reality for what it is before we can change it.

As we close the year and pray for a good one ahead, take the time to use some of these strategies to catapult yourself in the coming year. These strategies are by far not exhaustive, but they can be your starting point. There is never a right time to start something; start is all that matters and curve your own path. Have a lovely new festive month!

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