Think Week

This week's trek is inspired by the work of Colonel Eric G. Kail who served as Director of Military Leadership at West Point.

How often do you take time to reflect on your big picture goals and ambitions?

Kail argues that reflection is critical for any leader as it is "what links our performance to our potential." He goes on to say that when we don't reflect, "we engage in a narcissistic rationalization that makes us feel better about the events in our lives" instead of encouraging us to learn from them. 

Leaders like Bill Gates regularly carve out time for reflection and deep thinking. In fact,
Gates has been known to take a think week twice a year to ponder big trends and long-term goals. 

Introducing Your Think Week Exercise

What It Is
A 20-minute exercise that gives you a chance to look back on the past year to determine what themes you want to carry on into 2019 and what you want to let go of next year.

Why We Love It 
There are tons of formal ways for us to reflect on our performance at work through things like feedback sessions and performance reviews. However, we don't always take the time to do the same for ourselves. This exercise turns the end of the year into prime time to reflect, evaluate, and revise our goals for the year ahead based on what we learned from the past 12 months.

How It Works
1. Carve out 20 minutes with your favorite notebook and pencil and jot down your responses to following:

  • Looking back on the past year, what three things are you most proud of?
  • What are some of the biggest lessons you learned or hurdles you tackled over the past 12 months?

2. Based on your answers in #1 what is one big theme, goal, or emotion (e.g., love, grief, family, transformation, health) that has continued to show up for you this past year?

3. Of the items you noted in #1 and #2, which would you like to see more or less of in 2019? 

4. Given what you want to see more of in 2019, what is one overarching goal you'd like to focus on in the year ahead? What can you do right now to set yourself up for success in achieving that?

Want to dig deeper? 
Happy Holidays, LT!
This is our last post of the year.
See you in 2019!
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Shankar Desai