Standing ovation from the entire team here at Explore Careers to you – you made it to the end of term one! 👏👏👏
In our current climate, every win – even just making it through the first term of the year – deserves full acknowledgement and appreciation. We KNOW it’s not easy out there, but now’s an excellent opportunity to grab yourself a little bit of rest and relaxation, ready to get back at it for term two.
And hey, because we are all about your personal and professional growth, now is also a pretty good chance to reflect on what went well, what didn’t and how you’re going to smash it out of the park next time.
The Value of Reflection
You’ve probably been told to ‘reflect’ a lot, whether at home or in class, but do you know how to ‘do’ it? Or even why you should?
We’ll let you in on a secret – we thought it all sounded a bit boring, too – until we read some pretty cool research that helped us understand why it’s such a valuable exercise!
Reflection is about careful thought, and useful reflection involves consciously considering your beliefs, ideas, thoughts and actions to help you learn how to do things better in the future. Ultimately, reflection is about setting yourself up for success!
Reflection can help our brains pause after a chaotic period, so we can spend some time untangling everything we’ve experienced, ready to process and learn from it. Without reflection, we risk simply repeating the same old actions and mistakes.
Interestingly, research has found that employees who spend fifteen minutes at the end of the day reflecting on their performance and what they learned from the day’s experiences performed 23% better after ten days than those who did not reflect.
In short: reflection works!
How Do You ‘Reflect’?
Reflection can be as simple as thinking about your past experiences this term and where you want to make changes. It’s really about being proactive around how you’re learning from everything you’ve been through so far.
Reflection can be different for everyone – there’s no real ‘right’ way to do it – so long as you actively get something out of doing it!
We’ve come up with a simple model to help you reflect and focus on getting the most out of any reflection you might do this half term.
Two Things to DO
First things first – reflect on two things you would like to DO:
- What were some of the things you promised yourself you do or do more of at the start of the year but haven’t gotten around to yet?
- What are two things you’ve been thinking about wanting to do but haven’t been brave enough to try?
Consider how you’ll make this happen. If you haven’t done them yet – what barriers are in your way, and how will you address them?
Two Things to CHANGE
Change can be challenging, but with the right level of commitment and dedication, it’s not impossible!
Think of two things you want to change in the coming term. They could be:
These are just suggestions of course! Think about what matters to you now, and then see where you want to make some changes!
Two Things to FOCUS ON
Setting a focus for the term ahead can be the point from which you act as you move forward! A focus can help with decision making and assist you in determining what’s important to you at the moment.
You can decide what you want to focus on by asking some important questions:
- What have you been avoiding?
- How are you achieving your goals?
- How are you not helping or even hindering your progress?
- How might you contribute to the things you’re not enjoying right now?
You could write down your focus and keep them somewhere visual, or create mood boards to help you visualise what you want to achieve through this focus for the months ahead!
A Few Reflection Pointers
We hope this has helped renew your interest in the value of reflection and that it’s motivated you to think of six things you can DO, CHANGE and FOCUS ON for next term!
To help you on your way, here are a few other pointers:
- Select a reflection process that matches your preferences: As we mentioned, there’s no right or one way to reflect. You might like to write things out in a journal, draw or doodle through your thoughts, talk it out with a parent or friend – whatever works for you!
- Schedule time: It doesn’t need to be an entire day, but scheduling in a regular little time slot to think on a few things can be beneficial – and helps to ensure you make it a priority!
- Just do it!: Go back to your list of questions and explore them. Look at the opposite of what you initially believe. You don’t have to like or agree with all of your thoughts — just think and examine your thinking.
- Ask for help: If you get stuck, ask a friend, parent or someone else you trust to help you. They might be able to offer some insights about you; you wouldn’t come on your own!
Over to You
And now we hand the reflection torch over to you! If you discover your six things this half term and feel like sharing them, remember to tag us on the socials – we’d love to see and hear about how this reflection task is helping you!