Achieving goals came to me in my late twenties when I found myself amidst a personal crisis. I had a baby that meant the world to me. I knew that no matter what, I would have to do whatever it takes to ensure a good life for my son.
For the longest time, I was the happy-go-lucky kinda gal who dreamed of one day having a loving marriage and three kids. Of course, my idea of a happy marriage included a handsome, tall and dark husband. I have to say I got only to the husband part, and one kid later, there was nothing that looked close to that dream. I had another impossible dream as well – of one day moving from India to Canada. Something about Canada really spoke to me. So …
Setting Tough Goals
I realized quickly that in order to stay above water, I would have to set tough goals for myself. As a child, I had always been told that I had no ambition and that I would end up nowhere if I drifted through life. What were goals, by the way? My biggest goal was to just get through school and I’d then decide what the next goal would be.
That was possibly why I became really determined to prove people wrong. I was a rebel and I was not going to allow others’ opinions of me pull me down.
I took a good look at my situation and realized that drastic times required drastic measures. Therefore, achieving goals would mean I had to do something dramatic! I turned to finding a way to fulfill my dream of moving to Canada.
But in order to do that I had to spend a lot of time reflecting on what I needed to do, what I wanted to do, how I would go about making it happen, so on and so forth. But most importantly, I needed to reflect on what my strengths were and what I wasn’t so good at so I could devise a plan of action based them.
Things weren’t crystal clear when I started my immigration process. But after spending some time reflecting and researching my different options, my plans started taking shape. And before long, I was on my way to Canada with my 3-year old. A huge step for someone who’d lived a very sheltered life and had no ambition.
That was only the beginning. I haven’t stopped setting impossible goals for myself. I mostly achieve them, especially, if I have spent time and thought on planning and strategy.
So, What is Reflective Thinking?
Reflective thinking is nothing but spending time in deep thought. Allowing oneself to be absorbed in reflecting on what one is experiencing can often lead to finding solutions to problems.
Successful people devote a lot of time to this practice. Please don’t confuse this with meditation, because the two are very different. Meditation is a technique used to being mindful of your environment and focusing on your thoughts and breathing to declutter your mind. Reflective thinking on the other hand is intentionally focusing on your experiences and going back in time, if you will, to see what was and try to find a way to what can be.
Reflective thinking is also envisioning what success looks like to you, since everyone’s definition of success is different. This allows you to reach deep within your subconscious and pull out the thoughts and feelings that resonate with your life’s goals.
Achieving Goals Faster
Achieving goals doesn’t just take focus, it also takes faith and unshakable belief that it can be done. You have to believe in your dreams no matter what anyone else tells you.
You can cultivate this belief in your goals and dreams by spending time on reflection. This allows you to paint a picture that you want to see in your mind’s eye. And this picture starts to seem real as you continue to practice envisioning your goals.
However, just reflective thinking is only the tip of the iceberg. A big part of achieving goals is correcting your course when you feel you’re getting derailed. This correction is a culmination of deep reflective thinking.
Brilliant insights come from deep thought. Use reflective thinking to connect with yourself. Think about your experiences in a way that you can draw meaning from them, find solutions to problems, and learn something about yourself in the process. It also involves in visualizing your goal so your brain can create opportunities to achieve them.
Do two hours of reflective thinking per week. First thing in the morning, or last thing before bed, thinking about your day, your life, you achievements, your failures, and more and you’ll be surprised by the outcome.