Life moves fast. You can end up way off-course if you don’t stop frequently along the way to make sure that you are headed where you want to be.
It has been estimated that over 90% of all New Year’s Resolutions and other change efforts fail. One key reason why this happens is that few people make time each week to reflect on their progress (or lack of progress), to course-correct, and to establish mini-goals for the upcoming week.
Years ago, I developed a weekend habit that I refer to as The Weekend Power Hour. The key component of this habit is to block out one hour each weekend (I usually choose some time on Sunday morning) to get organized for the upcoming week and to reflect on six questions. Ask yourself these questions each weekend, and you are guaranteed to bring more energy, focus, and purpose to each day, week, month, and year:
Question #1: What were your biggest wins over the last week, and how can you build on your momentum?
Maybe you exercised four times. Maybe you landed a new client at work. Maybe you had an amazing experience with a family member. Take a moment to celebrate your achievements (personally and professionally), to analyze how you made them happen, and to determine how you can build on your momentum.
Question #2: Where did you come up short over the last week, and how can you do better in the future?
Maybe you exercised less than you planned. Maybe you dropped the ball on a project at work. Maybe you were impatient with a family member. View these mistakes as learning lessons, not as failures. After you identify any areas where you came up short, identify if/how you can make them right. Then, determine what you can do next week and beyond, so that they are less likely to happen again.
Question #3: What are the top 3 goals that you want to achieve over the next week?
Imagine if you identified and achieved your top three goals each week. You would identify and strive for more than 150 meaningful, weekly goals each year. Think of what that would do for your confidence and for your overall results at work and at home.
Question #4: When, how, and for how long will you exercise over the next week?
Exercise is one of the greatest investments of time for your body and brain. You are significantly more likely to follow-through on your workouts when you schedule them into your calendar in advance.
Question #5: What are you excited about over the next week?
Aim for at least one activity (personally or professionally) that you are looking forward to every day. These activities need not be expensive or time-consuming, and you do not need to script every minute of your life. Just make sure that you are excited about something every day in the week ahead. As Hall of Fame coach John Wooden used to say, “Make each day your masterpiece.”
Question #6: What will you do over the next week to contribute to society?
Maybe you have expertise or a skill that you can teach or share with others. Maybe you can make time to call or visit with a friend or family member who is going through a rough time. Maybe you can volunteer at a community service event to help people who are less fortunate. Even investing as little as one hour a week into service can make a big difference for someone else, while also making you feel much better about yourself.
Imagine if you asked yourself these six questions each weekend and took action on them. Think of the cumulative impact over the next year:
- You would celebrate your wins more than 50 times.
- You would identify areas for improvement more than 50 times.
- You would strive to achieve over 150 meaningful goals.
- You would make time for exercise for over 50 consecutive weeks.
- You would plan, anticipate, and enjoy over 300 exciting activities.
- You would add value to society for over 50 consecutive weeks.
There are sixty-four hours between 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. on Monday. If you designate at least one of those hours each weekend to reflect on these six questions, I promise you that it will be worth it.
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About the author: Pete Leibman is the creator of StrongerHabits.com and the author of Work Stronger; Habits for More Energy, Less Stress, and Higher Performance at Work. His work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and CNNMoney.com.