The Importance of Taking Time to Reflect

Written by Lana Weal on the 31st of August, 2018

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We know that founding a startup can be a whirlwind process.

The recently graduated 2018 SheStarts cohort have transformed their world-changing ideas to now running their startups with an MVP (minimum viable product). And just like every other year, it seems like 2018 has flown by.

It’s amazing to think that in less than a year, these founders have achieved huge progress and success.

Looking back to go forward

While we’re looking forward to summer, and considering what the remaining months of 2018 will hold, it’s important to take a moment to take a step back, and take stock of exactly how far we’ve come.

“You have to step back from the day-to-day to be able to see the big picture.” Vicky Lay, Managing Director at Artesian Venture Partners & SheStarts Advisor who shared this with us during the USA Delegation.

If we don’t take time to evaluate how far we’ve come, life and work can easily get overwhelming while we chase that next milestone. We can quickly end up preoccupied in day-to-day activities, rather than working smart towards goals that matter to us.

Taking time to reflect on what you’re learning and what actions you’re taking, helps to get clear on your next steps.

After sprints of intense work, big milestones or perhaps a failure, it’s beneficial to think about what’s got you to that moment. And to ask yourself questions to figure out what really matters to you.

Reflect and learn from the past

What’s the best option here?

Reflecting on your journey

Below are some prompts and suggestions you can use which will help to reflect on a journey. We’ve used the below ideas with the SheStarts team to help assimilate the many lessons and experiences within the accelerator program.

The big picture

Think about looking back in 5 or 10 years:

  • What will you remember most?
  • What’s made the biggest impact on you?
  • What are your stand-out lessons?
  • What or who do you really appreciate?

Appreciating where you are

  • What’s made you proud? In the midst of everything going on, think about what have you done well.
  • Who do you want to acknowledge and why? Our community helps us to achieve. And there’s often some sort of personal sacrifice when we aim to live a full and balanced life. Think about what and who has helped you to get where you are now.
  • What do you need help with? What’s ‘your ask’ for right now? Supportive people often want to help and they can only do that when you can articulate what you need assistance with.

Where to go from here? And why?

After thinking about your lessons, what you’ve done well and what you’re stuck on, you can more quickly refocus on where to go next.

We know that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. And when you have a clear and specific plan to achieve your goals, your chances of success increase dramatically.

Knowing your why

When you know what success means to you and how that feels in your everyday life, you can create the attitude and habits to support that success. What’s also important about goal setting, is knowing why you want to achieve a goal.

Do you want to feel or be a certain way? Do you want to do something regularly or be able to perform a particular task? Do you adopt habits of someone you admire or create something new?

When you’re deciding what to do next, it’s also a good idea to think about what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. The below is a simple framework to help figure out how to spend your time.

Framework for time management

A framework to figure out how you should be spending time.

Figuring out your next steps

Wondering how to set goals? There’s many strategies you can use which we list below, but first we find it useful to reflect on your attitudes, habits and processes, and see what you want to Stop, Start and Continue.

  • What do you want to Stop?
  • What do you want to Start?
  • What do you want to Continue?

Find a strategy of goal setting that works for you, that makes you feel empowered to achieve your big goals and breaks it down so that it’s not overwhelming.

Here are just some goal setting strategies:

When you’re working in startups or are just busy with everyday life, it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come, who and what has helped you get there and what you’d like to tackle next.

Use the above strategies that inspire you to keep on the right track and achieve your dreams. Make sure you acknowledge the journey, learn your lessons and prepare yourself for a bright future.