How effectively have I spent my day?
My blind spots, struggles, and bad habits.
Because daily activities reveal patterns, it’s critical to break the bad ones sooner rather than later.
Once you’ve read through the previous periods’ reviews, you can probably imagine what the daily review is. But it’s not unfathomable to ask yourself whether you truly need a daily review. If the weekly review seemed a bit like overkill, the daily one must seem even more so. It’s true; on the one hand, it might be overkill. After all, a week is only seven days, and you do your weekly review each week, which means you are capturing the activity in those seven days anyway.
But the daily review is something else. Let me explain: your day is a great opportunity to establish and work on your discipline and persistence. Most of your daily habits take place every day. So discipline in execution is one of the critical pieces of this process; as a matter of fact, it’s the one piece that can make or break your entire plan.
As I said in the daily planning phase, in the end, everything happens in a day. You wake up, you do things, and you go to sleep. The day is the most atomic period of all. It is its own microcosm of planning. You mess up one day, but that’s okay. Not a big deal. You mess up two days; okay, you should be wondering why. You mess up three days; now, you have a problem. You are no longer just messing up. Mess has taken the place of your plan.
That’s why it is vital to do a quick daily check-in with yourself and observe what is happening.
Besides, there’s a saying that repetition is the mother of all learning, and it cannot be more accurate. Your subconscious gets programmed day in and day out based on what you do, not based on what you plan or think of doing. So, on a daily basis, you must do a review of what you’ve done that day and reflect it against not only your daily plan but also your vision and values.
Have I Been True To My Values?
Depending on your decision, you have focused on your top ten or top five values. The list is short, and so is the day. Just by glancing at the values from top to bottom and running through your day in your head, within five minutes or less, you’ll be able to identify if you have acted in support of those values.
That is a critical point, because you must align the way you think and feel about your values with the way you live those values. If you hold the family as your highest value, but every day you give minimal amounts of your energy, love, empathy, and care to your family, you’re are not living up to that value.
A quick daily review, Benjamin Franklin style, will allow you to see patterns and, over time, to adjust your behavior.
You may notice two situations:
- Cases in which you simply ignore the value and don’t pro-actively do something to live by its spirit.
- Cases in which you act completely against those values.
The second case is much more severe. You need to ask yourself why. Why did you act this way? Was it fear? Was it another type of emotion that drove you to do it? Understanding the reason might reveal the truth about that value. And this is very important because if you lie to yourself about your values, this entire program won’t work for you.
This process doesn’t have to take long, and it’s usually quite revealing; so long as, once again, you remain honest with yourself and tell the truth.
How Did Today Go?
Besides the quick check against your values, on a daily basis you need to also look at three other things:
1 Top Wins for the day
Now, not every day is a race with a medal at the end of it. It shouldn’t be, anyway. But, every single day, you must be able to find something that you can call a win—even the smallest thing. In the beginning, you’ll notice that you will struggle to find things that you can call wins.
That’s because you feel, deep down, that the wins must be massive to be called wins. That’s not the case. Small wins add up over time to big wins. If you have trouble locating things you can call a victory for the day, look back at your vision and your goals. There are many things in there that you are struggling with.
Do you have trouble carving out the time to play a game with your kids? Are you unable to tell your wife that she’s beautiful? Did you forget to call your elderly parents?
These are examples of things that you could include in your plan and execute. As you do, you accumulate daily wins.
Yes, they are small, but they pack two fundamental characteristics: you took deliberate action to do them, and they were aligned with your vision and goals. That is all that matters. Day by day, much like you build a house brick by brick, your accomplishments will stack up.
2 Top learning outcomes for the day
This is your daily reflection. Was there anything, in particular, today that you can convert into a lesson? It could be a failure or a win. What did they mean to you and why?
Be wary here of having the same or similar outcome every day. If you keep writing, “I realize I should be/do more…,” fill in the blank, that’s a moment to pause and think. Why do you keep writing that? It means that there is something that you set out to do, but you are not doing it. How can you change that?
3 Review of Goals and Vision
Much like I suggested that your morning routine includes a portion where you do a quick read of your top goals and vision summary, I am a firm believer in giving your brain something to think about before going to bed.
As you are in the midst of your evening routine and getting yourself ready to sleep, have a laminated or printed paper by your bedside that lists your vision, your purpose, and your major goals. Read them one more time before you close your eyes. Repetition helps. It sounds silly, I know. Especially after you’ve done it a few days in a row, you might even get annoyed at doing so. Do it anyway. Don’t let yourself forget.
There will be moments of weakness and situations that will tempt you away from your path. In those moments, your limiting beliefs will rise from underneath your unconscious and will ring inside your head like a fire alarm. By reinforcing your vision and your goals day after day, you condition your brain to not allow you to forget what you have set out to do. That’s how you stand up to those weaknesses and temptations and continue forward.
Plan The Next Day
I believe that the best time to plan the following day is the night before. You already have your weekly and monthly plans, and you are aware of the events so far this week. If there are any plan changes or any new situations, this is the time to do a quick review and plan the next day.
There are always unexpected things that might turn your day upside down. Kids’ school is closed due to snow, or one of your children is sick, and you have to keep them home. Maybe your work sent you abroad for a day or two. Whatever it is, this is a perfect time to update your daily plan and review it one last time before you go to sleep.
It’s critical to have perfect clarity about your next day the night before. Of course, things can change even overnight. You may wake up in the morning with a call from your mother that she needs you to take her to the doctor for an emergency. That’s okay. Your whole day might be derailed, but not in a bad way. The possibility of changes should not be a deterrent to planning the day ahead of time.
So, right after you complete your daily review, do a quick plan for tomorrow. When the morning comes, and you step into your morning routine, you will take a look at that plan and clean it up to start the day crystal clear.
Daily Review Process
And here we are, at the last form of this program. Use the link below to download the Daily Review Template. I suggest stapling each daily review sheet to its associated daily plan. It will be great to review these later during your weekly review and notice if your days go according to plan or not. Lastly, don’t forget to read my closing words.
Feedback, Comments, Suggestions, Testimonials
Do you have any feedback, suggestions, comments or ideas about the Self-Growth Journey Program? Or perhaps, you’d like to leave a testimonial for others to see? If so, please visit the feedback and testimonials page and let me know your thoughts. Thank you!