Live The Life You’ve Imagined: Create A Daily Check-In
I met Josh, founder of Train Heroic, in Israel ++ had him on the CHAARG Podcast [listen to it here!] — his goal setting process inspired me so much. I begged him [it wasn’t that hard, as he is such a giver] to share his steps that take only 36 minutes to both visualize desires ++ create an action plan for checking in with yourself every day for a year!
Enter Josh… : )
#1] One Minute Visualization — Start With The End In Mind
Think about what you want your life to be like by December 31st of this year, or 365 days from now. Close your eyes + visualize your life for 1 minute.
Seriously. Just try it. I’ll wait…
Take 1 minute out of your life, that’s all you’ve got to lose here — 60 seconds.
Close your eyes + take notice of the little details.
- How are you feeling?
- What do you look like physically?
- What are you doing professionally?
- How is your relationship with your mom, dad, brother, or significant other?
- How much money is in your savings account?
- How does it feel to have achieved a goal or milestone that you’ve set for yourself?
- Did you see yourself in your beautiful dark blue dress, wearing your favorite heels, smiling ear to ear, looking amazing, laughing + enjoying the company of your best friends while talking about how you just had the year of your life!?
#2] Schedule 30 Minutes With Yourself
Pull out your calendar on your phone + schedule 30 minutes with yourself this week — a time with yourself to sit, think, + write about what that “end” is, + let’s just use 365 days as the “end”, although it’s actually just a small step down the road to where you’re headed.
Once you’ve taken the time to think about where you want to go, let’s map a plan out for how to get there. : )
#3] Create A Plan Using Technology
I’m going to give you a strategy to implement technology that you already have available [this won’t cost you a penny!]. This technology will push +pull you along your path, ensuring that you end up exactly where you want to go.
I’ll demonstrate how you can setup your own personal system for success using nothing more than…
1. An Iphone
2. A Google Survey
3. A Daily Text Message
I’ll give you a spot each step along the way as I demonstrate how to setup your personal system for success. So long as the end is somewhere you want to go, here’s how you can get there, one day at a time.
>> Step One: Define Your Why ((10 Minutes))
Before we spend time setting goals, first spend 10 minutes thinking about your why.
- Why do you get up every single morning?
- Why do you work so hard?
- Why do you care so much about _____?
- Why do you want to do the things you want to do?
- Why is traveling so important to you?
- Why does making $150k this year really matter?
- Why do you want to achieve the specific goals that you’ve set for yourself this year +why are they important to you?
Ask these questions of yourself, + once you understand yourself better + why you do the things you do, write those answers down.
For me, my why has changed over time + I imagine it will continue to evolve as I try to do the same, but routinely reminding myself of my why is an empowering way to start each day focused on not only what is important, but why it matters in the first place.
Here’s my why:
“I find joy + fulfillment through helping others. The purpose of my life is to help others by inspiring them to be their best by leading, serving, giving responsibly, + by living a lifestyle that brings joy + happiness to others.”
>> Step 2: Set Your Goals ((10 Minutes))
Spend 10 minutes to set goals for yourself this year. When settings goals, I encourage you to:
- Be specific
Set specific goals. You might have a goal to raise your GPA this year. A better, more specific goal would be to achieve a 3.75 GPA + complete 30 credit hours.
The more specific you can be, the more likely you’ll be to manage achieving your goal along the way. Here’s an awesome FORBES article that explains this well.
- Keep your balance
When you imagine your life in 365 days from today, consider goals in the following categories:
- Physical Health
I’ve found it important to set 1–2 goals in each of the above categories to make sure that I’m consciously making progress in every area of my life. Some months, or years, I’m more focused on one area than others, but I’ve found that neglecting one of those 6 categories in order to double-down on another has never served me well.
There may be a different category that’s a priority for you that I’m missing, or a category above that doesn’t resonate with you — just keep in mind that balance is key. If your goal this year is to save $20k, but you decide you’re not going to buy groceries this year since you generally spend too much on groceries, your physical health likely won’t hold up this year… + saving $20k is great, but without your physical health, is it worth it?
You might want to get the promotion you deserve, but be sure you’re mindful of your physical health + relationship goals, so they’re not neglected along the way. Remember to keep your balance. : )
- Fall forward
Write your goals down. It works! ++ I’m not suggested that by setting goals + writing them down, you’ll magically achieve them. In fact, you’ll likely fall short at times, but that’s not all bad.
We’re going to take this thing one day at a time, but there is no shame in doing your best + falling short. Falling short doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
I like to think that I’m falling forward, + although it’s not fun to fall down, consider your failures necessary learning experiences en route to achieving your goals + simply part of the process in realizing the vision that you have for yourself over the next year.
Before we jump into the how, I want you to dig into why you’ve set the specific goals that you have. Working to achieve your goals won’t be easy + it will be important to understand why they’re important to you + to revisit your why along the way. With each goal that you set for yourself, make sure you know why that specific goal is important to you. “He who has a why can bear almost any how. ” — Viktor Frankl
Alright it’s time to write them down! Remember to be specific, keep your balance, + be prepared to fall forward. Here are my goals for 2018 as an example:
— Attend 1 personal growth conference [learning//education] — Spend 7 days in a row away from work [personal health] — Save $25k in cash [financial] — Take a speed-reading course [learning//education] — Develop my dream role at TrainHeroic [professional] — Get engaged to Silvana [relationships] — Track my daily habits on my phone 300 days this year
>> Step 3: Outline Your Priorities + Create A Daily Check-In ((10 Minutes))
Outline which specific daily behaviors will be the most important contributors to achieving what you’ve outlined in Step 2.
Sometimes it’s realizing the one behavior that you do that prevents you from accomplishing a goal. For example, I spend way too much money when I eat out so that’s one thing I consciously avoid each day… as much as possible 🙂
These will define your daily habits ((Daily Check-In)). These are the small things that you’ll do every single day, + over time, they will put you on a path to achieving what you’ve set out to achieve this year in Step 2.
In the example below, I’ve listed my daily habits [remember, I’m not always successful, but this is what I’m aiming to do every day]. When I have a rough day, I fall forward, get up, dust my ass off, + try again.
I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, + you don’t need to be perfect to be happy or to feel success, joy, and fulfillment, you just need progress. ++ progress is as simple as following the daily habits that you outline in Step 3!
Here’s mine, + I put these in question form:
- Did you read 30 minutes before bed last night?
- Did you wake up to your alarm immediately?
- Did you exercise this morning?
- Did you pray this morning?
- Did you meditate this morning?
- Did you journal this morning?
- Did you eat out yesterday?
- Did you have any toxins yesterday?
- Did you do 100 reps of something [at work] yesterday?
- Did you drink 4+ glasses of water yesterday?
- Did you do something nice for someone yesterday?
For me personally, + to give you some insight into why these are the habits that I chose, all of the goals that I’ve set for myself in 2018 simply require that I have a bunch of good energy so I’ve setup a plan to get there. Oh, + a plan not to spend all of my money on food, so I check-in with myself to encourage myself not to eat out. : )
I know that if I read 30 minutes before bed I won’t be on my phone [or watching a show on my TV or computer], + I won’t be staring at the blue screen so I tend to wake up with more energy.
By waking up immediately when my alarm goes off, getting out of bed to go on a quick run, praying, meditating, +journaling [total for all 4 is 30 mins] I set myself up to feel good all day. I tell Silvana that my morning makes me bulletproof for the day. After that morning routine, I approach the day with good energy + although I can’t control what happens [for the most part!], I feel ready for whatever the universe has in store for me.
Not putting toxins in my body, doing 100 reps at work, staying hydrated, + doing something nice for folks keeps that energy high all day.
That’s my recipe, +I’ve tweaked this over time [+ will continue to do that] to make sure that it’s serving me + helping me feel a genuine sense of fulfillment each day, week, month, + year.
If something comes up, + I notice a bad habit or a good habit slipping, I’ll simply adjust my Daily Check-In to better serve me. Be honest with yourself each day in tracking your goals + answering these questions. I encourage you to review + adjust these things every 90 days or so.
#4] Setup A System That Pushes + Pulls You Toward Achieving Your Goals — One Day At A Time ((5 Minutes))
Okay, so now that we:
- Better understand ourselves + why we do what we do
- Have specific goals for the year
- Outlined the daily habits that will lead us to achieving our goals for the year
Let’s setup a system that pushes + pulls you toward achieving your goals, one day at a time.
This is where you’ll need your phone [I actually prefer a computer for this part, but a phone will work].
In 5 minutes time, we’re going to setup a Google Survey with your why, goals, + habits. That survey will send you a text each morning that you’ll fill out.
You can analyze your behaviors [Google surveys dump your data in a spreadsheet], tweak the survey to better serve you, + quickly fill out your Daily Check-In each day [I have mine set to text my phone at 7 AM each morning]
- Setup Your Daily Check-In
Here is a Google Forms template that I put together for you to start with. Just “make a copy” of it [see below — this is very important!], edit the copy, + use the URL link to move to the next step.
Step 2: Push a daily text to your phone with your Daily Check-in
Once your survey is setup, create a Zapier account or email email@example.com your Google Survey link + I’ll simply set you up quickly using my Zapier account. Zapier is quick + easy to setup, but if you’ve never used it before, follow along below to the video link so you can see me walk through this.
Click “Make A Zap”:
1] Choose a Trigger App — Schedule
2] Click on every day
3] Pick what time you want a text sent to you, + if you want one on the weekends or not
4] Choose SMS
5] In message required, paste the copied//edited google template url
You Zap should look like:
Using Zapier, you’ll send a text message to yourself at whatever time you’d like each day, with your Google Survey URL ((again — make sure you use the *copy* that you created!)). You’ll see the text, click the link, fill out your survey, + be on your way. : )
Here is a video of me going through this just in case you’re a visual learner.
You’ve just setup a simple Daily Check-In that will pat you on the back + congratulate you for your good habits, but at times it will also encourage you to adjust course, get back on track, + march forward in the right direction.
Remember, this is NOT about success or failure — it’s about progress. Keep that in mind as you wake up each day… simply do your best. You’ll have good days + bad days, ++ when you fall, remember that you’re falling forward… all you need to do it get back up!
This simple technology has changed how I approach my days + I hope it has even a fraction of the positive impact on you as it’s had on me.
I’m here to help [it’s my WHY!], so hit me up with questions + reach out if I can help in any way.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sutchar44
- Facebook: Josh Sutchar
Ah! I’m so inspired. Are you? I’m excited to test this out for a year + see how it affects my life. I’ve never had a process of looking at my goals every single day, so I can only imagine how impactful it will be. I’d love for you to share with me your goals ((or even your Daily Check-In!)) — I’ll send mine in the next newsletter ; ).
Rooting for you always,