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Ice Cube Said it Best: “Check yourself before you wreck yourself”

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

The Benefits of Weekly Reflection: In this blog, I share the challenges that led me to start a weekly reflection practice and a free download to help you celebrate your wins, track your progress, and strategically plan your path to success.

If you’re an 80s baby or a lover of hip hop, then you know the line, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” At the foundation of the song’s lyrics is a message of self awareness and self-correction, a reminder that moving through your day without intention can cause trouble.

Thirty years later, those words still resonate as I manage a full personal and professional life that leaves little room for self care unless I purposefully create it. I discovered the hard way that making time for self-reflection is not just worthwhile - it’s essential.

Turmoil and Transformation

2020 was tumultuous. I was juggling a demanding leadership position and a startup. COVID-19 introduced a deep level of uncertainty, and racially-motivated violence in the States took an unexpected emotional toll. Then schools became virtual, adding teaching assistant to an already heavy set of responsibilities. I was stretched thin, burning out, and losing myself in a comparison trap.

Then, for Christmas, my family caught COVID. My husband and daughter caught it first, then me, and then my son. I now see as no surprise, COVID hit me the hardest and the longest, forcing me to acknowledge I had reached an inflection point, and something had to change.

One important part of creating that change was starting a practice of weekly reflection. What was making me miserable and unhealthy? What brought me joy? Where was I feeling challenged? What did I want more of and less of?

To change how I felt, I needed to change my mindset and my actions. I needed to be honest with myself about my challenges and I needed to acknowledge my own success – celebrate it, even.

I needed to be diligent about checking in on me.

The Value of Weekly Reflection

Here’s what I’ve gained from a weekly reflection and how you could benefit, too.

I celebrate my successes - big and small.

Acknowledging success can help shift your focus from everything you didn’t or couldn’t do to what you achieved. This reinforces confidence, it can inform your future decisions because you’ll recognize what’s working, and it serves as a general weekly reminder that you’re the shit.

I note my forward momentum.

When you’re working toward something big, something that requires time and effort over weeks, months or longer, it can be helpful to track the steps you take so you can see week-over-week how far you’ve gone toward reaching your EPIC goal.

I articulate, then address where I feel challenged.

When you articulate where you feel strained or drained and then work through solutions, you practice perseverance and problem-solving. In some cases, societal norms – whether cultural, gender, or social expectations – may imply that you should “suck it up” silently. But there is no inherent value in discomfort when you have the power to alleviate it.

I am more thoughtful and strategic.

Seeing what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve moved forward, and where you’ve felt challenged, can help you decide where to focus your time and energy to improve what challenges you and build on your progress and successes.

In this final step of my practice, I outline my priorities for the next week and the first three next steps I plan to take to set myself up for success. If I can at that moment, I take those actions immediately or reserve time on my calendar to get them done.

Weekly Reflection Template - Free Download

If you’ve been inspired to start your own reflection practice, I want to help you get started with a free copy of my weekly reflection template. You can download it here or click the orange button below. This tool will help you celebrate your wins, track your progress, and strategically plan your path to success.

If you find value in it, I hope you’ll come back and share it.


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Sep 30, 2023

Day in and day out, people, when going about their daily tasks and activities get overwhelmed and stressed out and this often time leads to health complications and anxiety disorder.

This write-up will help ameliorate the anxiety-ridden lives of people who are heavily tasked with daily activities if they can tread this path you already made known.

Go back and download the template if you haven’t. C’mon, it’s FREE. What do you have to lose - Nothing. What do you have to gain- Everything!

Arron Neal
Jan 12
Replying to

You're absolutely right.

Unfortunately for many people, myself included, the connection between stress, anxiety and our physical health goes unrecognized until we're ill or burned out. I hope that more people take the time to assess what brings them joy and what things steal it. This recognition can help everyone make choices that bring them more joy and less stress.

Thanks for reading and for your support!

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