Sunday, November 29, 2009

Daily Questions

While we're in the habit of making a list of things we're thankful for for Thanksgiving, it might be a good time to lead yourself first by starting the habit of Daily Questions, a list of questions that you ask yourself every day, covering domains that are important to your well-being, success and happiness, as a way to plan, manage or evaluate the day.

I've found aspects of this idea in 3 authors' books or seminars:

  1. Marshall Goldsmith in How To Take Success to the Next Level, an American Management Association podcast, talks about the idea of taking responsibility for each day by listing out evaluative questions to ask yourself at the end of each day.  If you don't like the answers, it's your responsibility to change the answers tomorrow.  Some examples of his questions include: On a 1 to 10 scale how happy was I during this last meeting? How meaningful was this time? If I don't experience this meaning and happiness, whose fault is it? Every day, answer the questions by yourself or with an accountability partner.
  2. Tommy Newberry, author of The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life, talks about the idea of 1% Rituals: EMSR is an Early Morning Success Ritual, WDSR is Work Day Success Ritual and NTSR is Night Time Success Ritual. Some examples include 20 minutes of exercise in the morning, prayer time, push ups at lunch etc.
  3. In The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Success, Scott Elbin addresses the need to intentionally establish routines that help you perform at your best.  He divides these into the mental, physical, spiritual and relational domains. One example he gives is establishing a daily routine for short term and and long term planning and thinking.

I now have a list of currently 42 Daily Questions in Work, Relationships, Spiritual, Physical, Home, Husband and Creative domains that I've asked myself every day for the last 5 days. It's helping me both change habits and feel better about the things I already do by becoming more aware of them. It certainly is giving me more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

Let me know if you give it a try.


Anonymous said...

Rituals help clear my mind, Morning Prayer, morning walk; I use to write out a list of things to do; now I keep it short. What three things do I really need to complete today. Do you have your list of 42 Daily Questions posted somewhere? I would love to try them myself.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Gerardine, thanks for sharing your rituals. I haven't posted my 42 DQs anywhere but will give that idea some thought. Maybe a subset would be useful.