I’ve always loved to reflect on how my day went, what I accomplished, what I didn’t accomplish, and other fun things that make each day unique. But, the way I did this was in my head. I would run through my day and mentally try to connect the dots from 5:00am (when I get up) to 9:00pm (when I go to sleep). It was mentally draining to say the least. I found myself purely overwhelmed, and the worst part was I didn’t have anything to reference for the next day because the thoughts, and experiences disappeared from my brain while I slept.
I started journaling about two years ago after learning that I loved to write. I would write about my day, the highs, the lows, the people I met, the things I did. It was a great way to perform a daily brain dump as I call it. I would do this before I went to bed, and it was a great way to finish the day with a clear mind.
But lately, I haven’t been journaling. Call it laziness, lack of time, travel time, or any other excuse that you can think of. I just re-opened my Evernote notebook: Journal, and realized I haven’t wrote a journal entry since my 21st birthday on September 1st. I was shocked. How could I go nearly three months and not open my notebook and write a short post (less then 200 words).
I decided that I needed to re-commit to this great daily activity. I read some helpful blog posts from Michael Hyatt, and I haven’t looked back since.
Here’s an example of the daily questions I ask myself each morning after I finish my morning workout.
- What did I do yesterday? I like to reflect and see if I can remember almost all the things I did the previous day.
- What did I learn? This question has helped me focus on learning something new everyday. It has challenged me to seek out learning experiences and opportunities.
- What am I thankful for right now? This question is amazingly helpful. I love asking myself each morning what I’m thankful for. Almost every morning it’s something different. Like yesterday 12/9/13, I was thankful that my little brother, David went out and completed the grocery shopping for the week while I was working. It’s the little things; and by asking yourself this question you can be in a constant state of thanks and gratitude.
- How am I feeling right now? This question really helps you understand your daily feelings. Are you tired, excited, happy, sad, sore, bitter, mellow. By understanding how you feel, you will be able to better frame your day, and what things you would like to accomplish. Once again, on 12/9/13, I was feeling super tired. I was just exhausted, so what did I do, I took a nap from 3:30-4:00pm. I woke up, felt great, and worked for six more hours.
- What are my plans for today? This question is great to help you look at your calendar and to-do list for the day. What do you have going on today? Are you over-booked? Do you have some free time? How are you best going to use today?
- Lastly, what is the one thing I must accomplish today? Now, from the previous question, you have to ask yourself this important question. If everything else goes up in frames, you experience interruptions all day, everything goes wrong. What is the one thing that you NEED to complete in order for yourself to call it a successful day?
I hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe now you will pick up a pen, pencil, journal, or start typing on a keyboard each day about how your day went. Use the above questions for guidance, but also try and create your own!
Marc M. Busko