Do you check in with yourself on a regular basis?  About six months ago, I started a weekly check-in with myself to see how I was doing in different aspects of my life. 

I kept it up for about a month and then stopped.  Why?  I got lazy?  I didn’t want to?  No, I don’t necessarily think those were the reasons.  At the time I stopped doing it, I felt like I was completely on top of everything.  Life was moving along “on all cylinders”, so to speak.  I didn’t think I needed to do it anymore.  I’ve since discovered that I was wrong.

Why was I wrong?

I was wrong, because when life is going really good and projects are moving right along, it’s a great time to make notes about all that is going right and why.  It’s a great time to celebrate your wins!  Pat yourself on the back a little.  Congratulate yourself on work well done.  

Why wouldn’t you celebrate?  Are you afraid of feeling too good about yourself? Believe me, and you know it, life won’t let you – at least not for long. Everything is temporary – even times of smooth sailing.

Why was I wrong?

I was wrong, because when I am in limbo between projects, it can be very difficult to transition to new ones. It’s almost like I get out of practice.

The weekly check-ins would have kept me aware of both my prior work and what to do next.  The transition would have been smoother.  I likely would have taken less time off between projects.  That’s a theory to be tested.

What am I doing about it?

This January, I re-started my weekly check-ins.  So how do I do that, you ask?  I follow these simple yet effective steps.

Step 1 – Schedule a Meeting – With Myself!

Yes, I actually schedule a meeting with myself for Sunday afternoon.  Does that sound strange? Maybe, but look at it this way. You are very unlikely to cancel a meeting with a friend or a business partner. Scheduling a meeting with yourself shows yourself that this is just as important to you as a meeting with a friend or business partner. 

Step 2 – Evaluate the Week

I go through my bullet journal and note all that has been accomplished during the week and anything left undone.  If something has been left undone, I consider whether it still needs to get done.  If not, I just cross it off.  If so, I note it on my new weekly spread.

Step 3 – Review the Week Ahead

I set up a new weekly spread in my bullet journal, noting the tasks I need to accomplish during the week, a list of the projects I will work on during the week, and a list of all the upcoming appointments on the week.  With this method, there are no surprises unless it’s truly a surprise.

Step 4 – Evaluate Goals and Projects

I typically keep a separate journal for this next step. I weigh in on my goals and projects. Strategically, my projects align with my goals.

I review each project individually noting my progress or lack thereof.  I evaluate why something went well or why it didn’t.  Now let’s be clear. Thsi is not a time to beat myself up if something didn’t go well. It’s a time to be honest and clear on what did or didn’t happen.  Period. 

Step 5 – Develop Next Steps

Behind each individual project assessment, I comment on the steps I will take to make progress the next week.  If something stalled out last week, how will I do better in the upcoming week?  What can I do differently to make it happen?  It can be such a little thing, but that little thing can go a long way.  After all, we are looking for progress, not perfection.

There may be five steps here, but the whole process really does not take as long as you might think.  The steps go pretty quickly.  After all, you know yourself. You are aware of where you fell short on progress.  You also know where you have done well.  That is, if you have been paying any attention to yourself.  I’m sure you have. 

Question of the Day: If you use a method similar to this, how is it helpful to you? If not, how do you think this might be helpful to you?

Now This Is Moore Like It!

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