Creating a Habit of Self-Reflection

Here are the habits I’ve created to cultivate a lifestyle of self-reflection. What do you do? Is self-reflection important to you?

Self Reflection Habits
Photo via Flickr: Nomadic Lass 246:365 – Journaling

The post I wrote on 5 Ways to Gain Self-Knowledge continues to be my most viewed post at All Growing Up.   Self Knowledge is one of my core values and an activity that I spend time in weekly, monthly, and yearly.

However, in the original post I really focused on two types of Self-Knowledge activity,

  • Broad and ongoing suggestions.
  • One time (or infrequent) specific actions that you can do such as taking the Meyers Briggs or other tool like the DiSC or Strengths Finder.

Developing good habits is usually contingent on attaching the new habit to an already established one. Habits make up a lot of our day and adding in another step to your routine doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are the habits I’ve created to cultivate a lifestyle of self-reflection. 

Please add your own in the comments section.


My Journal – is a significant part of my self-reflection process. Each Sunday I sit down and take inventory of the past week – what were the highs and lows, what are the priorities for each week.   I try to hit on the things that I’ve been mulling over, or things that I’ve realize about myself based on conversations, events, and readings.  I also make my to-do lists – with about 10 projects each under the categories of Friends and Church, Home and Family, Self Development, and Career and School.

Update my GoodReads List – I consider Goodreads a form of micro-blogging, similar to Facebook and Twitter. Updating Goodreads with new books I want to read is an excellent chronology of what I’ve been hearing about or reading. I also like to date books finished.

Using technology to track moods and influences, to take a pulse, certainly simplifies data collection, and can be visually stunning – and possibly even obsessive. If you haven’t heard of Nicholas Felton, who created Daytum, you should look him up. If I had a smartphone, I’d use this


Graph Paper – As much as I’d like to say I use my smartphone, I’m still stuck in 2003… and sometimes 1980. I often get into these real data gathering moods on basic health indicators, like hours slept, or days exercised, how many servings of produce I eat each day, and if I flossed my teeth. But then I put it on graph paper I keep in a Dunkin Donuts calendar next to my bed and calculate rough percentages at the end of the month.  Super low tech – maybe I’ll ask for a fitbit for Christmas.

Answering Set Questions over a period of time is a useful way to see change. Each month I try to answer the following self-reflection questions (in said journal).  If my answers align with my beliefs, I’m on the right track.

  • What do I want to do more of?
  • What do I want to do the same?
  • What do I want to do less of?


10Q Questions – At the beginning of October I finished my yearly 10Q reflection. The site, run by a Jewish organization, sends you a set of 10 questions that allows you to reflect back on your year.

GoogleDocs – I also reflect around New Years Day (January), and my often my Birthday (April). For these, I generally open up GoogleDocs, where I have a couple dozen documents with titles like “5 Year plan” and “Career Goals 2012-2017.” This is a work in progress for me, since I don’t follow a predetermined set of questions or system. Who knows, maybe that should be a goal for my 40 before 40 list. Ha.

What about you – do you have self-reflection habits? Are they daily, monthly, yearly? Do you think a system is best – or should it be more organic?

What about apps or websites – how do you organize your data?

Author: Beth M

I love new ideas & information, connecting people, and discovering New England adventures.

3 thoughts on “Creating a Habit of Self-Reflection”

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