One of my mentors once told me that you can only change what you can measure. I’ve since heard that same thing from many others so who really said it first? I don’t know. What I do know is that one of the most life changing personal development programs I’ve ever done (meaning it’s still in my top 5) is Living Your Best Year Ever by Darren Hardy. The influence from the Great Jim Rohn is evident. Every year, I still buy the journal and go through the steps. Admittedly, I’ve stopped listening to the audio accompaniment.
The idea here is that you go through a process to define what your top 3 banner goals are for the year. Then throughout the year, you break them down into quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. The best way I’ve found to attain a desired outcome is to change the underlying behavior. As an example: Goal – I want to be debt free. Underlying behavior shift – Stop Spending on credit. Then you track it. Every day you check off a box of not spending on credit (and assuming you are paying your bills every month) you will be getting closer to reaching your goal.
Here is my Daily Register. Honestly, I tend to use the Living Your Best Year Ever Journal but I wanted to post an example of the the Daily/Weekly Check In Sheet. (If all went right, you’ll be looking at a google spreadsheet. You’ll likely need to scroll to see it all)
Now, if something inside you has clicked and this is something you want to do, AWESOME. Make a spreadsheet and get to it. If you’re not tech savvy enough to make a spreadsheet spend the $30 and get the journal from one of the links above. They aren’t affiliate links, I don’t get anything if you buy them. They’re just links of convenience. If you’re interested in why these are the 10 things out of an infinite number of possibilities that I choose to track, read on.
1. Wake Up Routine – Everyone seems to be talking about morning routines right now. Tim, Tony, James… I’ll say this. The mornings that I take the time to start my day off with my routine are generally the best days overall. My morning routine is pretty simple and takes less than an hour. Please feel free to take any/all of it and try it for yourself.
- What are three things that I am grateful for?
- What are three things that I am committed to achieving today?
- 10-20 minute walk with my dog, Jake.
- Read for 30 minutes
- Draft a list of 10 ideas about anything.
2. Study Something – I place value on personal growth. I never want to stop learning so every day I do my best to study something of interest to me. It’s amazing how often I end up answering a question for someone based on something I just read earlier in the week. Not to mention it keeps your brain young… or so I’ve heard.
3. Write Something – This can be anything. Part of a book, a blog post, a letter, a white paper. In today’s age this is the easiest way that I can find to have a creative outlet. My writing has historically been pretty terrible, as if you haven’t noticed that by now, so I’ll take all the practice I can get.
4. Evil Projects – This came out of another James Altucher book. I have “Evil Projects” which are just ideas I’m executing outside of my job. Some I hope to turn into cash machines, others are just for fun. After years of stagnation, I’ve finally decided to track them daily. What do you know, now I’m making progress.
5. Track Core Functions – This one is interesting. It comes out of two different interactions I’ve had with Darren Hardy. The first is his book The Compound Effect. The second was High Performance Summit. I have found the vital few functions that are the most critical parts of my job that only I can do. I measure the amount of time that I spend doing only those functions. If I track it that day, it gets an X.
6. Investment Research – I love investing and it is something that I am committed to becoming world class at. Every day I do my best to research investment options. Sometimes it’s a new strategy or tactic, sometimes it means just reading more about the industries I’m investing in.
7. CrossFit – I’m a CrossFit junkie. I love it. I track it because I have health related goals. What’s nice is that sometimes when I’m just not feeling it that day, it’s the fact that it’s tracked that makes me walk into the box.
8. Connect with Family – This may sound terrible, but I track the days I connect with members of my family. Some time ago, I realized that it had been a couple weeks since I talked to my Dad. Because I value the members of my family, I consciously make an effort to reach out to them (not always the same ones) at least 3 times a week.
9. Connect with B – Tony Robbins says “If you always do what you did in the beginning of your relationship, there won’t be an end” or something close to that. I also take to heart Darren’s Thanksgiving Journal. I’ve waited a long time for the right woman to come into my life. I’ll make damn sure that I connect with her on a daily basis.
10. Wind Down Routine – This is the perfect compliment to my wake up routine. It bookends my day. Again 5 things:
- What Am I Grateful For This Evening?
- What Do I Acknowledge About Myself?
- What Am I Letting Go Of Tonight?
- Plan tomorrow
- Read or Journal For 30 Minutes
For both the Wake Up and Wind Down routines, I hired a graphic designer on Fiverr to make a nice flyer that I can laminate and post on my bathroom mirror. Then I can get them started while brushing my teeth when I wake up and as I get ready for bed. It works for me.
I track these 10 things because they map specifically to the 3 Banner Goals that I am working to accomplish this year. Next year, I’ll have different goals. Next year, I’ll likely have different metrics to track. Like much in life it’s not a one and done effort. As you grow, your goals will grow, and what’s needed will change.
What do you measure throughout your day? What do you measure throughout your life? If you’re not heading in a direction you’re happy with maybe think about starting with something as simple as this. If you want to supercharge it, again, pick up a copy of Living Your Best Year Ever.