Day 13 – Starting Well Challenge: How to Stay Focused with a Weekly Review

Journal web
Photo Credit: via Compfight cc (changes added)

If you’ve been tracking with this 14 day Starting Well Challenge, then you should have an extremely helpful document on hand.

One of the keys to leveraging this type of process for best results is having a rhythm of regular review:

  • Daily Review: Review your top one to four goals
  • Quarterly Review: Take a little more time and allow yourself to reevaluate your whole plan. Has anything changed in the last three months?
  • Weekly: Keep your priorities, battle lines, goals, and habits within view – this review is what we’ll focus on today. 

The weekly review is key to keeping yourself on track regarding the things you’ve already decided are most important. It’s amazing we need to regularly remind ourselves, but life happens and our priorities fade in light of all the normal demands of being an American human.  

Step 1: Put your Starting Well Challenge work where you can easily access it

If you’ve been journaling through the exercises or even using the worksheets, then you might need to organize. Let me micromanage you for a moment and make a recommendation.

Create one document that is easily accessible anywhere. If you carry your journal around, fine. But consider creating something in Evernote or Google Docs or some other cloud-based solution that you can access anywhere, anytime.

Here’s a suggested order for your document:

  1. Page 1: Write out your top 4 goals and the associated habits – and the ‘Why’ that is driving you.
  2. Include any helpful reminders pertinent to these goals and habits: people to help you, when you plan on doing the habits, etc.
  3. After that, put your battle lines with the associated goals, in your personal order of importance.
  4. Include a vision of your ideal future under each battle line (I suggested doing this for two of them earlier in the Challenge. Make an effort to write this vision out for all of your battle lines).
  5. End the document with your brainstormed goals.

The main thing is to put those top 4 on page one, followed by your battle lines, each with the vision of your ideal future and the goals to get you there.

Step 2: Schedule a weekly review

Find a time where you can have a bit of quiet for 15 minutes or so. Put that time in your calendar. Sunday evening is a good time. Monday morning before you start the work week is good. Just pick a time when you can have some quiet, focused time.

While I recommend glancing over your top four goals daily, I suggest you aim to read your whole document once a week.

Schedule a weekly meeting with yourself to connect with what you hoped to focus on for the year.

Step 3: Create a simple review process

I’ve read a lot of productivity gurus and success bloggers that suggest pretty elaborate weekly review rituals. In my humble opinion, keep it simple.

  1. Read through the plan you’ve created.
  2. Spend some time considering if your top goals should remain your top goals.
  3. Make some notes in your journal if helpful
  4. Finally (and most importantly): Schedule your habits for the week.

Since today’s content is relatively straightforward, I’ll leave you free of worksheets. But I will offer two action items.

Action items:

  • Create your master document based on the work you’ve done
  • Schedule your weekly review (and make note of what you’ll do during the review: read your plan, reaffirm your top goals, take some notes, and schedule your habits for the week).

Even if you don’t take the time to create your master document, schedule the review

Congratulations! You are almost finished with this grueling 14 day process! Tomorrow we sit in the steam room and relax.

Please leave comments or questions below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Preview Day 14: Tomorrow, we will tie up some loose ends, talk about mindset, and offer some thoughts on striving for consistency while allowing ourselves grace that is demanded by our inevitable hiccups.


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