Habits, Wisdom

Re-evaluating: Habits Scorecard and ‘A Question for You’

 I feel an enormous sense of relief this morning that I literally have ZERO plans on my  calendar for this entire weekend. As you read yesterday, I just had a less than stellar week and I really need some open time to hopefully get caught up on life. 
Actually, the only thing on my calendar is a crossed off entry that says “State!” on both days. Asher would have been competing in the WI State Swimming Championships this weekend. It did make me sad to notice that on my calendar. This would have been Asher’s last State as a 10&Under swimmer before he ages up in the winter so he was hoping to have a really good performance at it. I’m not sad that we don’t have to be gone all weekend again though. 
He’s come a LONG way since this little 7 year old swimmer 3 years ago. 
I was thinking a little bit about my week and why it felt so off. I know a big part, like I said, was due to us coming home from vacation and just having too much other stuff going on (driving carpool the first night home, Ethan’s b-day party, etc.) with no breathing room. 
I know part of it was also just bad execution on my part. I didn’t organize my time well, I didn’t make lists of priorities and stick to them, I wasted way too much time puttering around online (probably as an escape from the stuff I actually had to do), I chose to do large, time consuming things that weren’t the things I should have actually been focusing on…. 
I’ve heard a variation of this too about how we spend our HOURS is how we spend our DAYS which is how we spend our LIVES, hence why figuring out where our hours go is important. 

I receive James Clear’s weekly newsletter (author of the fantastic book Atomic Habits). In it, among other things, he always closes with “1 Question for You”, something to ponder or reflect on. 
This week it was this:

Imagine each day is only 12 hours long. What would you cut out?
I thought this was a really thought provoking question. I don’t have my answer, yet, since I haven’t really had time to think about it completely. It’s a tricky one! But I think it warrants some reflection.
James Clear also has an article on his website (link here) that was really great- it’s an excerpt from his book. It discusses making a “Habits Scorecard”, where you just list out all of your daily habits and then give them a score of positive (+), negative (-) or neutral (=) based on if the behavior helps you to become the type of person you wish to be or not.
From his article:
For example, the list above might look like this:
·         Wake up =
·         Turn off alarm =
·         Check my phone –
·         Go to the bathroom =
·         Weigh myself +
·         Take a shower +
·         Brush my teeth +
·         Floss my teeth +
·         Put on deodorant +
·         Hang up towel to dry =
·         Get dressed =
·         Make a cup of tea +
In the article he recommends not even trying to make CHANGES to anything right now, just noticing what things you do and acknowledging them as if you were watching someone else doing them:
“If you eat a chocolate bar every morning, acknowledge it, almost as if you were watching someone else. Oh, how interesting that they would do such a thing. If you binge-eat, simply notice that you are eating more calories than you should. If you waste time online, notice that you are spending your life in a way that you do not want to.
I might take some time and try this. I’m curious what I might learn about myself and how I spend my time by doing this.  It does immediately make me think of some things I do in a different light, if I had to “grade” myself on them (like grabbing my phone as soon as my alarm goes off, scrolling for 10+ minutes and then later wondering where the time went and why I ran out of time to do the stuff I actually wanted to do). 
Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful that my boys (generally) play well together and have a built in playmate in each other. This picture of how they always used to watch TV together popped up in my memory feed from 6 years ago. The cute thing is, they still do this today!!!

5 thoughts on “Re-evaluating: Habits Scorecard and ‘A Question for You’”

  1. Habit tracking is kind of like tracking your $ spending. Start with just looking at what you spend money on and thinking about whether it’s good or bad. Don’t make any changes right away, just be aware. Then slowly change after observing yourself for a while. Good work dude. Love that you pay attention to this stuff!


  2. great idea! let me know how you like it. I've never done hours tracking to see my days, especially now working from home it might be difficult to classify one hour to specific task. no plan for the weekend sounds great! 🙂


  3. I need to save the articles you shared and come back to them when I have time to read them! I am always thinking about how to optimize my time. I especially thought about that when I was commuting/working downtown as our days felt very chaotic and rushed. They are much better now that I'm WFH, though! Not having to race out the door at 6:50 is very very nice! I still start work at about the same time or earlier but my mornings are much more leisurely!


  4. Oh, I love those emails. I often save the questions, too. I haven't yet read Atomic Habits, but I'm thinking I need to make that my next "professional development" reading…


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