Friday, 7 April 2017

My favourite coaching tools: The Evening Review

The Evening Review is a great technique for increasing self awareness.

It is deceptively simple – but it is very powerful. The evening review puts the spotlight on all the kinds of vague impressions about how one's life is going so that one can encounter and understand more fully what is actually happening. 


I suggest keeping a diary/journal next to your bed.

The review method:

  1. At the end of the day, preferably about 10 minutes before going to sleep, find a quiet place free from outer distractions.
  2. Close your eyes, give attention to relaxing your body, quieting your feelings, and as much as possible stilling the activity of your thoughts - aka calm your "mind monkey". Your mind should be quiet and receptive, but remain alert.
  3. Now, review your day in your mind, playing it back like a movie, but backwards, beginning with where you are right now, then the time of late evening, then early evening, then the dinner hour, and the late afternoon and so on until morning when you woke up - and even any disturbances of your previous night's "sleep".
  4. Throughout the experience it is important to maintain as much as possible the attitude of an objective, detached, non-critical observer, calmly and clearly registering the events of the day, neither becoming elated at a success, nor depressed and unhappy about a failure. The aim is not to relive the experience, but to notice without emotion in your consciousness what were the patterns and their meaning for this day.
  5. Finally, write down your general impressions of what happened and anything particular that you have learned.

There are many variations of the Evening Review. In the above form, it is very effective for gaining a greater sense of the whole of one's life.

After you have captured a few days (or many days, weeks, months or years) read through your notes and observe how they affect you. Usually people are surprised by what patterns they discover for themselves, once they just start to collect "the evidence".

And that's really what's required - once you have brought the unconscious into the conscious, suddenly you have greater awareness and from there, you have more choice about how you wish to proceed or act or behave differently - if you so choose. And hence you have more freedom!

Thank you for reading and your support!

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