So this time I did something that I don't usually do when I take vacations from work: I asked for an extra day (Today) off, even though I came back to town yesterday and could have easily gone back to work today.
The reason for this is that I wanted to use this time to reflect on the habits I have adopted: Now that I have been practicing most for about three months, do I feel like I'm making progress? Am I still going in the right direction?
In order to do this, I follow a process which consists of asking myself a series of questions until I finally come away with actionable items (renewed habits) which I commit to take.
For this exercise, it is important to have a clear vision of where you want to go (how you see yourself in X years, etc...), if you do not have this, it can take a long time to complete the exercise since you will spend most of the exercise trying to figure it out as you go.
Assuming that you already have a clear vision of what the "ideal state" of life looks like for you, then the first step would be to write it down and be as specific as you can. In my case, I like to ask myself "what does the 'awesome' version of myself look like?"
In answering the question, I want to make sure that I cover in detail the ideal state for each domain in life:
The next step is to ask myself: "Of the habits and practices I'm already doing, what is supporting me to get to the ideal state?"
This is pretty straightforward and shouldn't take much time; you just basically list all the things that are currently working and producing the desired results.
Once complete, you then ask yourself: "What am I currently doing that is NOT supporting me in achieving my goals?"
This could be stuff like: "Watching TV", "Drinking too much", "Eating too much sugar", etc... You want to identify at least ten items to list for each of these two lists.
Lastly, once you have identified what's working and what's not working, then ask yourself "What new commitments am I making and which ones am I re-negotiating which will support me in achieving my vision?"
For this question, you basically want to list out all the new habits you are creating and committing to doing moving forward.
This method is something I learned a few years ago in a seminar I did, and then I was reminded of it when I read James Clear's book "Atomic Habits".
Anyways, this is what I spent most of my day doing today and I am very thankful that I did because it had been building up for a while: I was starting to see that the same habits I had been followed and had produced results in the past, were showing diminishing or non-existent returns; that's when I knew it was time to re-evaluate.
I try to do this once every three months in order to re-calibrate and make sure I'm still going in the right direction.
Even though it took me almost the whole day to do, having a clear vision of the end goal and the specific habits that I get to practice daily gives me a little peace of mind and allows me to focus more intensely in the days to to come knowing that I'm doing the things that are more likely to produce results and keep me moving forward.