Yesterday I went through an hour and a half final round interview with a top company for me. As the interview was progressing, I spoke on how I always strive to add new skills and continue to grow. Probing further the interviewer asked me “How do you know if you’re succeeding in your goal to grow and learn?”. It was a great question that had me pondering my answer for a little bit before it hit me, reflection.

During 2016 I’ve picked up a daily reflection practice which has vastly improved my life. I’ll take time each day to make sure I’m at a better point right now than I was at this time last year, last month, or even last week. For example, a week ago I finished my last final of the semester and spent some time reflecting on the semester making sure I got the most out of it as I could. It would be easy just to be thankful the semester was over and head into break not really being conscious how the past few months had gone. It’s not just academically either, I’ll reflect on personal relationships, fitness, and even the organizations I’m apart of.

One thing to keep in mind is that there will be times when you look back and see that in fact you aren’t in a better place than you were last month (week, year, etc…). The key is to not get discouraged by this realization, you should actually be welcoming of it. With a reflection practice you allow yourself to notice whether or not you are progressing, and fix it if you aren’t. People that don’t reflect can live their lives without any real progress and never know. This is how you see friends and family head down the wrong path without them ever really knowing what they’re doing.

Whether you reflect by meditation or just simply just by thinking on your car drive to work/school you’ll get the same effect. I encourage everyone to do an end of the year reflection and see where you are at compared to the end of 2015.