Using the Past to Find Your Path

I’ve talked about how important reflection is in my life. Daily reflection is an important aspect of my routine. I believe analyzing your day and what went well, or not so well, is a way to put it behind you and prepare for the next. This is a habit that I learned from years of camp.

However, there are certain times I believe it is important to go beyond daily reflection and think a little deeper. This is something I’ve figured out on my own after camp.

While at camp, I usually journal my daily reflections as well as my goals for what I want life to look like when I return home. Maybe some small moral changes, or a new habit to pick up, or a change in attitude or how I relate to a certain person. Nothing too big. Now, with any goal it is important to look back and see if you attained it. (See my goal setting post from a few months ago.)

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This is where distanced reflection is key. Was it just a “camp high?” Or did you actually make the effort to apply changes? Did they stick? What change have you seen from them? These questions are important to analyzing goals.

Currently, I am working through some of this from my month of camp in May/June. It’s been a few months and I’m back at school with a new routine.

Time to be transparent: I haven’t been super successful.

Taking a few months to look back at goals gives you the distance to analyze where things went wrong. Why didn’t this happen? What stood in my way? Did I even try?

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And here’s the best part. With this information you now have the ability to try again. Or, if you have been successful, you can make changes or add to the goal.

Reflecting can also show you where things you thought were awful actually set you on a path that was better in the long run. That’s impossible to see without some distance between the hard stuff and where you are now.

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I like to keep track of my goals in my bullet journal. (See my bullet journal post.) It allows a place for yearly goals, monthly goals, and daily/weekly goals. Whether they’re long-term or short-term, I am able to see what they were and how I’ve done. Keeping track is important.

My advice to you is to keep track of your goals. When I was told to do this in middle school I thought it was crazy. Now I live by it and have learned more about myself than I ever thought I would.

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I know what camp taught me, and I know where those lessons need to take me. And now I have a plan.

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