Okay, I think I made that up: “reflecting forward.” It’s a bit of an oxymoron, but let me explain.
Reflection implies that we intentionally and mindfully think about our actions – either while in the moment (reflection in action) or afterwards (reflection on action). As we begin a fresh, wide open new year, now is a natural time to take a few minutes to actively reflect forward (reflection before action), contemplating what we want our actions to be in the coming months based on what we’ve done in the past.
Reflecting Forward…and Back
Reflecting forward is almost impossible to do without looking back first. When I look back on 2015, I see goals I accomplished (co-authored a book…check) and goals I’d hoped to accomplish (graduate…well, I’m in the dissertation phase so that’s progress). When I reflect forward, I see opportunities that are grounded in the actions I’ve already taken. I’m looking forward to my travels to Illinois in March for the Empowering Professionals Conference and to Kentucky in October for DEC. I hope to (finally) finish my dissertation. I’m excited to nurture what our professional development (PD) team has started in 2015. Our team has several exciting projects underway, including a coaching implementation project that supports local leaders in using our Coaching Facilitation Guide through 6 months of technology-mediated, group support. We will continue with our monthly Talks on Tuesdays webinars and web discussions with interesting topics coming up. We are making great progress on extensive revisions to our state’s EI certification modules. We have upcoming PD work related to our state’s state systemic improvement plan (SSIP) that will help our service coordinators and service providers grow and deepen their practices. It’s an exciting time. Taking these few moments to reflect forward reminds me of why I do what I do, how much I enjoy the work, why it energizes, and what I have to look forward to.
Now it’s your turn…take 2 minutes and reflect forward to consider what you are excited about for the year ahead. What do you hope for? What energizes you? What do you want to do this year…do better, do more of, do differently? What are you looking forward to?
Share your reflections in the comments and let’s look forward to 2016 together!