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Reflection is key

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Looking Good, Feeling Great

Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Monday, 30th October 2023, 09:00

As we enter the last couple of months of 2023, this is a good juncture to reflect on how our fitness and wellness journeys are tracking.

We all want to look good, feel great, lose weight, build muscle, etc. and while I hope this column allows you to explore or even become cognisant of your ‘why’, sometimes the more challenging part is actually the ‘how’.

When it comes to optimising your fitness and wellbeing, an essential component often overlooked is reflection and assessment of progress against predetermined parameters. Effective personal development in any field requires one to be reflective, ask good questions and be brutally honest with the answers.

A commitment to continuous learning

Another key part is developing curiosity and a commitment to continuous learning. Even the world’s leading experts don’t know everything about their field of expertise. And as scientific knowledge increases and technology improves, there’s always more to discover or rediscover.

Reflection is a habit that requires discipline and routine. To quote one of my favourite mentors, “Discipline equals Freedom”. The number one enemy to you accomplishing your fitness and wellbeing goals is broken focus. Reflective practice is a tool that will help you identify successful habits to maintain and sustain in your wellness journey.

As an example, I find myself constantly researching, thinking, revisiting and engaging in informed dialogue with peers and experts, in the quest for ‘best practice’ or most effective exercise science protocols. I also never stop asking questions or contmplating those difficult questions that come my way, even if they don’t naturally align with my beliefs.

Keep searching and questioning

Many coaches take a position and stick with it despite evidence suggesting they may be wrong or there may be another way, while others get pilloried for changing their minds. If, like me, you enjoy being curious, then keep searching, questioning and reflecting on those programs and methods that interest you.

If you want some advice to hold onto as you undertake your personal fitness and wellbeing journey, I would say: focus on how you feel rather than fixating on numbers and protocols – and this requires reflection. You don’t need to overthink it!

Being a reflective learner will positively impact your results

As a great friend of mine always says: “There are two types of people in the world; those who are happy living by what they know, and those who live to know more” (and, I’d add, become better as a result!). Whether you are a coach, a trainer or an ordinary person taking control of your fitness and wellbeing, by being a reflective learner you will positively impact your results and overall outcomes.

As you head towards the end of another year, this is a good time to review your fitness and wellness needs and status. Start with the question, “Am I where I want to be/planned to be on my fitness or wellbeing journey?” There’s no time like the present to reflect on your progress and make positive changes.

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