Ep #19: Stop Journaling and Start Reflecting

One thing we always hear in the self-help sphere is how useful journaling can be. However, if you’re anything like me, keeping a traditional journal every day on a consistent basis can be pretty tricky. I’ve started journaling so many times, but it always fizzles out in a couple of days. That is, until I started doing my reflection work.

Reflection work is an incredibly powerful tool to gain some insight into what’s going on in your brain and how you are doing in terms of eating to your realistic plan. Recording just three types of data every day is so much more sustainable than journaling everything in your life, and the revelations you’ll have when you look back over the data are huge.

Join me on the podcast this week and discover how reflection work can help you on your weight loss journey. I’ve created a worksheet to go along with this episode, so you can get started right away!

And here are this week’s transformational questions:

  1. How is reflection work different than traditional journaling? 
  2. What data do I want to capture in my daily reflection work?
  3. How can I use this data to begin to coach myself? 

If you love this work and you want to go deeper, take my free mini-course. Click here for more information.

What You’ll Discover:

  • How reflection work helps you make future decisions.
  • 3 types of data that I try to capture with my reflection work.
  • How to coach yourself using the data you have collected through reflection work.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:


You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number 19.

Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, Fortune 100 executive and Certified Life Coach, Shannan Christiansen.

Hello, love. I am just so excited to be here again today. I’m excited about today’s episode. We are going to talk about taking time to reflect and why it’s so important. And, for this episode, I created a free worksheet, so go to bflycoaching.com/reflect, and you can get it. And we’ll also put the link in the show notes for you. And, as always, I will leave you with a couple transformational questions to start taking action today.

So, ladies, it’s time for our listener shout-out. This is where I read a review of the podcast in each episode. This week’s shout-out is to Favorite Future. She wrote, “She’s an amazing coach and overall an amazing person. Fantastic podcast. Everything she says is so true.”

Thank you so much, Favorite Future. I love these reviews. I honestly read every single one of them and they make my day. So, thank you, ladies, for listening. I love that you take the time to listen and write a review.

So, the sun is back, ladies. Yes, I’m so excited. We have had some days in the 70s and I am loving it. I love feeling the sunshine on my skin when I’m walking.

So, I just finished my morning routine. And every morning I have a routine, and I love it. I actually love having routines now. I used to think routines were hard or restricting, but honestly, love, routines are freedom.

And one of my morning routines is reflection. Now, reflection work is different than journaling. Journaling is capturing the details of the day really for the history of it. And reflection is about capturing data so you can use it to begin to coach yourself and retrain your brain.

You know, loves, I used to want to be Oprah. I mean, if you’ve listened to her, she would talk about how she wrote in her journals since she was a little girl and she would have years of journals.

And so, I wanted to be like that, so I started so many times. I would start to write in a journal and I would, again, just write everything about my day. And it would last a day or two. And I just could never stick to it very long.

You know, I would journal for a few days and then I would move on. And it just didn’t have a purpose for me. And so, reflection work, it’s purposeful. It’s about capturing data to use so you can coach yourself, or use it to make future decisions.

Now, I teach my clients to do reflection work every single day and they capture lots of different data. But today, I want to share three pieces that I think are really important and a really great place to start in reflection work.

So, the first piece of data I capture with my reflection work is my thoughts, and more importantly, my negative, limiting, or sabotaging thoughts. And sometimes, as I go throughout my day, I will capture a thought in my phone so I don’t forget it.

Beginning to notice thoughts that are negative, like, “Shannan, you look fat in that,” or a limiting sabotaging thought like, “It’s okay, Shannan, you deserve the cupcake.” It’s the first step into changing your belief and thoughts so you can lose weight.

We have so many thoughts per day, and we’re disconnected from them. Stopping and recognizing and then capturing them helps us to reconnect to our bodies.

After I capture the thoughts, I just pick one or two and I do a little self-coaching. The biggest questions I ask myself are, why? And do I really believe that? And does this thought serve me? Starting to question our thoughts is the first step into changing our mindset.

The next set of data I capture is what I ate yesterday. More importantly, did I eat on-plan? These are just questions I ask, and then I write it down. If I ate off-plan, I simply ask, why? Love, no beating yourself up. None of that here.

Many of my Jumpstarters struggle at first to make a realistic plan. They actually struggle to make it realistic. They want to put diet foods on there. I mean, loves, we’ve been dieting so long that placing a cookie on your plan sets off all kinds of alarm bells.

So, when they start to do their reflection work and they’re eating off-plan, I coach them to ask themselves why. And it’s so often because they feel guilty about writing what they’re actually going to eat. Then they can understand why they’re not making a realistic plan. And then they can make a different decision.

This work is so important, love. This is how we start to change our mindset and we start to change from the inside out.

The third piece of data I collect are my successes from yesterday. I write down a few of them. We are always thinking about what we did not do, what we did not accomplish, what we could do better. That is our lizard. And we have to retrain our brain to think about what we’ve done right, what successes we have had. This part is so important. When we start to see what we’re doing right, we start believing in ourselves. We start having confidence that we can keep a commitment and that we can do this. And then, loves, we become unstoppable.

Loves, reflection work is so important. So, I want you to start with three pieces of data. What negative or limiting thoughts did you have yesterday? Number two, did I eat on my realistic plan? And then, ask yourself, if you didn’t, why? No beating yourself up, don’t forget that. And number three, what were my successes from yesterday?

And, loves, don’t forget to get the free worksheet. You can work through this process on the worksheet. So good, love.

So, the transformational questions today, how is reflection work different than traditional journaling? Number two, what data do I want to capture in my daily reflection work? And number three, how can I use this data to begin to coach myself? So good, love.

If you love this work and you want to go deeper, take my free course. It’s a free mini course. You can learn more about it at bflycoaching.com/free-course. Bye for now, loves.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

Enjoy the Show?

9 thoughts on “Ep #19: Stop Journaling and Start Reflecting”

  1. Your podcasts are so inspiring. I’ve learned so much from doing the reflection work. I never realized how many negative thoughts I had about myself. Learning to change my mindset has changed my life so much. I now have the belief I will be successful in anything I wish to do. Thank you Shannan for giving me the tools to do this!❤❤❤#BFLYMentor

  2. You are teaching me so much. I did not realize there was a difference between journaling and reflection work. Thank you so much for doing the podcasts. It is so nice to find someone that truly has been here. Has the thoughts I have and the same feelings. A person that I can tell loves others enough to give her self and time to help others. I am so thankful for you.

  3. These podcasts are so life changing!

    Your podcasts are so inspirational and I love learning everything you are teaching. You have shown me a better way not only to lose weight, but in just so many areas of life! I have learned so much from you and am so grateful to you. ❤

  4. I love to listen to this episode over and over again. It reminds me to not best myself up if I eat off plan and to recognize my daily successes. These podcasts are so helpful. Thank you!

    1. I truly enjoy listening to these podcasts! To have someone that understands and has all the love to share is amazing. Thank you for being that person! 🦋💙

  5. Amazing!! I wanna say thank u so much for what u do, you’ve taught me that’s ok to mess up and not get down on myself and to pick myself up and start again, that it’s ok to fall as long as I dont give up, I dont have to be on a diet roller coaster to lose weight, I sometimes hear your voice in head when I’m about to eat off plan or eat more then I should lol I can hear u saying is that on your plan lol, I’m still learning to like/ love myself as I know that’s a process itself, I love the support and inspiration u give, thank u for letting me find your group, stay safe.

  6. I love this episode! I tend to have a hard time coming up with successes even though I know no matter how small it might be, it is still a success. Reflection work is a work in progress but I am now able to really sit with it and things come to my. Thank Shannan for being the inspiration I needed for my mind, body and soul.
    Diane M

  7. You are such an inspiration for me. This podcast has made things so much easier for me even though reflection work is the hardest for me. Listening to this reminds me not to beat myself up and to see the success that I’ve had. Thank you.

  8. Episode 19 was really a great reminder to take time for reflection. In these uncertain days, I find myself trying to hear all the updates and learn all the new info on COVID-19 to the point where I am not taking time to stop and reflect on my day at all. I think this is a great reminder to stop and think about all these thoughts that are distracting me and to decide if they are really serving me in any positive way. Taking time to stop and write down successes is really a valuable tool and honestly a key to happiness. Thank you Shannan for this much needed reminder!

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