The Daily Check-In
The Daily Check-In is one of the most powerful tools for personal accountability. It takes us off auto-pilot for a moment so that we can be intentional about our actions.
That's the key word: intention.
"What am I going to do today to move my closer to my desired outcome?"
That's what we're trying to figure out and we do so by answering these questions:
- "How was yesterday?"
- "What am I going to do today?"
- "What could get in the way of this happening?"
- "Did I practice my skill, habit, or behavior?"
This shouldn't take any more than 5-10 minutes. Let's look at the purpose of each question in detail.
"How was yesterday?"
This question gives us an opportunity to make micro-adjustments. Maybe something happened that we didn't anticipate and we weren't able to practice our skill, habit, or behavior. What did you learn and how can you better prepare for that next time. This won't always be the case. Many times you might answer this with "good," and that's completely fine.
"What am I going to do today?"
This question is where we set our intentions for the day. You might find yourself answering "I'm going to practice my habit of 'x' today" which is completely fine. I challenge you to take this one step further be detailing out HOW you're going to do this. For example, if you're practicing eating slowly you might say that "I'm going to eat slowly by setting down my fork between each bit during breakfast and lunch and during dinner I'm going to take a small sip of water after each bite." Or, maybe you're starting off by eating slowly at just one meal and are going to focus on the others in the coming days. Note that here.
"What could get in the way of this happening?"
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure and in this situation we're being proactive by anticipating anything about our day that may be out of the norm. Maybe you have a meeting on the other side of town that takes you out of your usual routine. You may want to revise your "what am I going to do today" answer above based on how you answer this question. In the beginning, you may find yourself saying "nothing will get in my way" quite often. Like the above defaults, this is also completely fine. But I suspect that over time you'll start learning more about the unexpected things that got in your way and you'll be able to use this as an opportunity to better prepare.
"Did I practice my skill, habit, or behavior?"
This is simply a yes or no and is ideally checked off as it happens or at the end of the day. The entire reasoning behind the Daily Check-In is to help make this a "Yes" as often as possible.