Contrary to popular belief, January is generally a tough month to get going on the execution of your goals. Of course, it depends on your energy level and outlook; if you planned well, and maintained awareness during the holiday hustle, you were more prepared to kick-off the year strong. January 2016 – like all Januarys – had 31 days or 744 hours in it. Objectively speaking, how effectively did you invest those hours – what seeds were planted – and what were the fruits of your efforts?
This is your first of 60 monthly check-ins on the road to your 2020 Life Vision, and first of 12 for the Year 2016. 8.3% of the year is now in the books. It is time to reconcile, while also setting the stage for Month 2, which is a shorter month (696 hours in February 2016, thanks to the extra day of this Leap Year)!
In the daily grind that most of us are living in, it is hard to keep our Macro vision and plans in mind. But we must make that effort, and keep our goals top of mind every day. Use a whiteboard, use little yellow stickies, use automated text message reminders, use your Board of Adivsors and use your meditation and exercise sessions to connect to your-Self, your Life Purpose and how your Essence hopefully permeates through your 2020 Goals.
The Monthly Check-in is a different opportunity from Weekly – as it is more macro oriented. Plus, if you haven’t done any of the Weekly Check-ins, this is an opportunity to summarize your experience over the past several weeks; if you have done Weeklies, that’s great – you can then review and roll-up any within this month to make this review process easier. The January Check-in is our first real opportunity to assess how the year is going, and whether our plans are off on the right path. It is not too late to work on 2016 goals either, in case you were not able to fully distill your vision into a detailed annual plan, which is very common. As we are still in the first 10% of the year, you can course correct for any unintended habits or trends that have taken shape (i.e. let’s say, your diet and sleep habits have become erratic and caused a loss of energy due to holiday travel and displacement from your own home and normal routine). Remember, to succeed in life, you must be resilient, agile and adaptable, so as not to get stuck or discouraged when things don’t start out or work according to your plans.
So let’s dig into January, as a first step – and then tomorrow, we will deal with your course corrections and plans for February 2016! Ideally, the last day of the month would be reserved for reconciling, as well as planning the following. Again though, flexibility is called for. Don’t skip this process just because it’s Feb 5th and you didn’t start yet. The common excuse of “it’s too late, I missed it, so I’ll just snooze this until next month” is an anti-productivity habit that should be re-evaluated.
MONTHLY CHECK-IN #1 [JANUARY 2016]
- Open the Monthly Check-In Module (in Timebug) or if you don’t have access to the Timebug App, then use the 20/20 Life Vision Worksheet called “Monthly Check-In Template”. If you don’t have the Template, click here to get it.
- Before filling in the template (in PDF) or form (in App), Review Day 30 (Path to 20/20: 8,784 Hours) and at least one of the 7 Vision Creations (Days 23-29). The purpose is to reconnect you with your Macro vision, but from a practical, Time & Energy allocation point of view. How you would ideally spend your weeks, and what you had planned for all of 2016 are important statements, that should be revisited throughout the year.
- Since we’re reviewing a month just completed, take note of the following:
- Your Overall Thoughts & Feelings about the Month, in a few sentences; you can reflect back on your weekly check-ins if you have done any throughout the month.
- Assess whether you progressed or regressed in each of the main Life Categories, as well as log (regardless of how accurate you were in tracking time during the month) how you spent your 696 – 744 hours during across these categories. Which areas did you prioritize most this month, which may have changed from what you had pre-planned?
- Were your Personal Finances steady this month, or did you receive a boost; or did you take a financial hit (ie. stocks lost major value, bills went unpaid, bank account hit a low point, etc)? You may want to quickly take a glance at Day 24’s Lesson [Money Vision] and your executed Assignment as you address this.
- What other Internal Qualities and tendencies showed up in you this month? For example, were you generally more Active or Passive before life (use percentages)? Solitary or Interactive? Confident or Shy? An Early Bird or Night Owl? Motivated or Lazy? Courageous or Scared? Focused or Distracted?
- Name up to 5 Main Characters in your Life Story this month, and note on a 5- (lowest/negative) to 5+ (highest/positive) scale what impact they had on you.
- Name up to 5 Primary Locations or Settings where your Story unfolded during the month, and again, how harmonious were you with those surroundings (5- to 5+ scale, with 0 being neutral).
- Either print & sign or e-sign the Monthly Check-In Sheet, that states “I experienced January 2016, and now file it away. It’s time to March Forth!”
- Rinse and Repeat for the following month. Monthly Check-Ins require a bit more thought than Weeklies, and are like a full body check-up. While Weeklies can be skipped here and there (not ideal, but understandable), I highly recommend that you do not skip any Monthlies – that would leave too large a gap in what is intended here as a continuum, building towards your 2020 Life Vision.
Good luck! Tomorrow, we’ll work on a plan for February 2016.