Recently I was listening to the Achieve Your Goals podcast, guest hosted by Chip Franks, titled, “The Most Important Personal Development Practice.” Unlike traditional guest interviewed episodes, this one is more of a “training and tutorial,” featuring Chip discussing takeaways to help develop a morning journaling practice, and inspired an exercise I call, Last Week from My Perspective. A month ago, I completed this new self-coaching exercise for the first time, setting my alarm for 10 minutes to answer ten questions about what I’d accomplished that week and what I wanted to focus on the next. I was surprised to see that even though I came up with the questions, I still struggled initially. As I come to week five, starting my week with this reflection, I’m noticing areas that would make a difference to my future are now front and center.
The first five questions are related to my Goals List, and what I can do that is not urgent but will make a significant difference following through with it. Initially looking at my calendar and what was written down, I felt that I didn’t have a specific goal the prior week. Asking myself, “What was the main goal I wanted to focus on the previous week?” left me with no answer, and after the very first question.
Questions 6-8 are about getting up and moving around. With my leg injury healing slowly, I felt an accountability document would be helpful with questions I liked that previous coaches asked regarding if I’d done what I’d said I would by our next conversation. If I need to acknowledge any reluctance, I write a few sentences about what it is and what I could do about it, then choose a day of the week to make it a priority, adding it also to my day planner.
The last two questions are an opportunity to review and reinforce content I’ve read over the week that would be helpful going forward and be space to give myself advice from any breakthroughs or realizations I’ve had journaling. Having help with remembering essential points highlighted from each book I’ve read aids in my ultimate goal of learning at least one thing from each book I’ve read this year. My advice has also helped address what I’m noticing, like how my focus was drawing to the negatives in my territory and how I could turn that into an opportunity to do better. The first time I went to answer these questions I was stumped. As it’s become something I’m now looking out for each week, my responses are leading me to take actions that show how much I am following through with the real advice I’m giving myself. If I wouldn’t ask another to do something I wouldn’t do, showing that I do what I suggest to myself, is necessary and with each week that passes, it’s becoming more so that I do.
With each review going forward, I add responses to my weekly planner of what steps I want to take, and they become the upcoming week’s priority of focus. I think this as an excellent weekly review to set the next week for success and have clarity on what I feel is most important to focus on. The podcast also has many actionable tips on journaling and developing that practice, and I believe it will inspire action towards the change you want to see in yourself. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson and last week’s useful content, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier–not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.”
Let me know if you find any of these helpful:
10 Questions to Ask Yourself
- What was the main goal or priority that I was going to focus on the previous week?
- How much time did I give to doing something about it?
- Is there a follow up step that needs to happen because of the action? (Write in day planner)
- Is there an adjustment or modification necessary to the priority to break it into a smaller task, still making some progress?
- What do I want to focus on this upcoming week? (Write in day planner)
- Action step that must be taken this week. (Write in day planner)
- Paying bills?
- What underlying fear, hesitation, or lack of motivation do I feel about taking action?
- Are there any exercises I can do to encourage moving through this obstacle?
- What is something I read this week that was helpful to learn, new knowledge, or information that will be helpful moving forward?
- Breakthroughs from journaling?
Here’s a PDF of the one I use:
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you.