Climbing a mountain it’s easy to get fixed on the summit and how far you have to go and forget how far you have climbed. Climbers are wise though and know that to reach the summit safely and in the best shape possible you need to rest along the way. After all you have to come back down after you’ve reached the top!
Pausing from the climb gives you the opportunity to be still, rest and recharge and take on the rest of the climb more easily. Its about more than catching your breath though. Admiring the view you appreciate where you are and how far you’ve climbed. There’s a sense of achievement, the feel good hormone dopamine is released into your body and, as long as you’re not terrified of heights, you smile and relax and your stress levels fall.
Looking towards the peak may seem daunting though it’s helped by knowing what you have achieved and where your efforts have brought you. Your self esteem gets a boost and “I can” rather than “I can’t” takes over. Trust in yourself grows.
The pause also gives you the opportunity to reflect and consider your next move and the route you’ll take from this point upwards. Sometimes your route may change from the one you intended when your feet were planted firmly on the ground and you didn’t know what you know now. That’s all part of the process of taking time out and seeing the bigger picture.
You set off on the next stage of the climb refreshed with renewed awareness and confidence and ready to tackle the challenges that may be there on the way to the summit.
Though in reality not many of us climb mountains that often, if at all, the principles of resting and reflecting for mountaineers are an easy way to change the outcomes and the experiences we have when we are heading towards a specific goal or simply living our lives.
Although it can feel as if pausing and reflecting takes up too much precious time when we are already time poor, the benefits far outweigh the time taken.
The 10 Benefits of Resting on the Mountain
- Personal Growth
- Improved Learning
- More Energy
- Greater Clarity
- Increased Creativity
- Lower Stress Levels
- Increased Efficiency
- Improved Outcomes
- Realised Potential
- Increased Motivation
Time spent reflecting is time spent learning about you. You discover what works for you and what doesn’t, how you spend your energy and time, your achievements and accomplishments, what matters to you, where you want to focus in future and where you don’t and motivates you to achieve more. By looking back you know why and where you want to be heading!
The good news is you don’t have to climb a mountain to reflect and there are many ways you can incorporate reflection into your life. Meditation, journalling and talking to others are some of the ways I use. I also use a Daily Achievement List (DAL) which is a simple, efficient and easy way I created of building reflection into my life. I’ve given you some ideas below to help you create your own DAL. This system works for me though yours may be tidier!
A Daily Achievement List (DAL)
- Use a notebook or set up a system on your computer – keep it simple! Paper works best.
- Create sections for each area of your life you want to focus on – specific goal, health, work, personal, exercise, writing, relationships…
- Write down every time you achieve anything related to that area of your life – don’t leave this until the end of the day because you will forget something! It is what you decide is an achievement – its your list and you’ll know is it really an achievement or not. There’s no point in deceiving yourself.
- At the end of the day, take 5 minutes to reflect on what you have achieved. If you tick each one as you read back over them it boosts how you feel. Saying them aloud boosts this feeling even more!
- Decide what you want to achieve the next day and write it down. These often become your goals.
- Look forward to tomorrow.
- You can look back over your DAL every week or month and get a rounded picture of what’s been going on, recognise and acknowledge your achievements, notice where you’ve spent your energy and decide goals for what you want to achieve in the future.
- Take this to the level that works for you using a much details or as little as you want to.
- Be kind on days when you aren’t firing on all cylinders. There’s usually a reason and the DAL can help you work out what’s going on. The weekly or monthly overview is a better gauge of your overall performance.
Reflecting gives you the potential to plan a future more aligned with who you are and what you want to achieve. It is crucial for your mental and physical wellbeing, is never time wasted and its amazing where to takes you!
Enjoy the view.
Till the next time…
Enjoy the day you create.