In the world of basketball, every move is calculated and every play is deliberate. This is an ethos I lived and breathed – moving and pushing for the next thing. But it wasn’t without reflection that we pushed forward.
I remember being on the court and whether we won or lost, I couldn’t help but think about what we could do to play even better for the next game. The reflection component is an essential component of the training process. Before we jumped straight into another game, we took time to reflect and review our performance. We acknowledged what worked and what could be improved.
I’ve taken this practice into all areas of my life and I believe it’s essential if we want to reach our goals sustainably without burning ourselves out.
Slowing down and sitting in success
As we come near the end of the year and people start to slow down from their fast-paced lives, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the year we’ve had before jumping straight into a new one.
This may start with making a list of everything you’re proud of this year no matter how big or small. We often minimize our accomplishments, but it’s the micro-accomplishments that will lead to the bigger goals.
Once you’ve made your list, ask yourself how each of those accomplishments has benefited your life and has brought you to where you are today.
Whether you’re doing this physically or taking mental notes, all the cards are on the table. You can visualize all that you’ve done truly “sit” in your success. Taking the time to incorporate this practice allows us to learn and grow, and it’s in these moments we can gather the insights we need to recognize our strengths and weaknesses.
The benefits of slowing down
Taking the time to show gratitude for your accomplishments has many benefits and it doesn’t only have to be used for the end of the year. It’s a practice that can be incorporated monthly, weekly, or even daily.
- Cultivate confidence and fulfillment
It can be easy to discredit our accomplishments, which in turn can lead to a lack of confidence. But by taking time to celebrate your victories and remembering those who supported us along the way, we begin to create more fulfillment in our lives.
This is especially important for people who feel like they’re never doing enough. Think about it: Have you ever gone through a long day and felt like you didn’t accomplish much? I’d have to disagree because once you reflect on the things you have accomplished, it’s a bit of a push to realize you did more than you thought.
This leads me to the next benefit of slowing down…
- How slowing down fosters well-being
Going from one achievement to the next is one of the fastest ways to head into burnout. When we take time to slow down and embrace our success, we can feel complete and satisfied with what we’re doing to drive forward in our lives.
This in turn helps us conserve energy in all aspects; physically, mentally, and emotionally. When we don’t feel energetically depleted, our stress tends to go down and we can begin to revel in the rest we need to truly be successful.
But what about the balance between the “doing” and the “sitting?”
Your reflection time is just that… yours. And you may need to find a sweet spot that correlates with your lifestyle and routines.
If you’re finding yourself spending too much time reflecting and not taking enough action, then pull back, but let’s be honest… We’re all doing a lot and we could all benefit from taking a little more time for ourselves.
How to implement your reflections
On top of feeling gratitude and a sense of pride from all you’ve accomplished, you may also learn quite a bit from taking a moment to sit back. What are you supposed to do with the information you’ve gathered?
You can start by asking yourself a few questions:
- What did it take to reach this goal?
- How did I feel after completing the goal? Did I overextend myself?
- Did I make room for what’s most important?
- Do I want to spend more or less time on something like this?
- Where do I want to spend more of my time and energy?
Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, you can:
Don’t forget to embrace the journey
An important lesson I learned from my time in the NBA was embracing the journey. No win or trophy was promised, so it was vital to celebrate the micro-moments and micro-wins because they are all part of the journey.
Whether it was a cherished memory with a teammate or a solid play on the court – at the end of the day, the destination is just one sliver of what we accomplished.