I’m a sucker for new year’s resolutions and the whole mentality of a new year, month, week, or day. I love the 1st of each month and mornings just for this reason.
With the start of a new year, you have the completion of another which always calls for two things: planning and reflecting. If you’re wondering how to not just coast through another year, but grow and make it better than the last, you need to clean out the weeds to make room for better things in your life. This is done through planning and reflecting. (This is why I believe journaling is so important because it combines these two things.)
Once a week I like to take a day, usually a Sunday or Monday, and plan out the following week. Every plan you make should start with the biggest plan you have for your life so far. If it’s just to graduate college great, start from there. If it’s something 5-10 years out, start there. Then work like reverse Christmas tree workouts. Start with the biggest number of years out first, bring it into this current year, then month, then this week, then back out to see how your plan lines up with those goals.
Here are a few questions to get started:
- What are three main things I want to get done this week?
- What insane request or risk do I want to take this week?
- Is there anything I lack right now that won’t let me finish this week how I want to?
- What can I do this week to improve it from last week?
The key is to start your week with a purpose. If you have a plan for the week, you’re much less likely to get distracted and waste your most valuable resource. Monday’s are a lot easier to wake up to when you have a purpose.
This part of your Sunday or Monday isn’t to just focus on what you did poorly the past week, but to learn more about yourself. What great thing happened last week and what about you caused it to happen? The environment you were in, people you were around, amount of sleep you got, food you ate, etc. Write it down.
Here are some more questions to ask (I think I stole these from someone, but can’t remember who):
- Who did I not meet this week that I should have?
- What did I not do?
- What did I miss?
- What should I tighten up?
You can also turn the "reflection" questions into pasttense and ask those.
- What was I focused on in the morning?
- What was I focused on during the day?
- What did I enjoy?
- What did I do really well today?
- What did I improve or improve upon?
- What did I learn?
- How can I do things better tomorrow?
- What is one thing I didn’t do well?
- What did I focus on during the night?
- How much effort/energy did I expend today, compared to past days?
The key here is to become more self-aware and improve upon last week. If you do this every week, think about where you’ll be next January.