My friend Mary and I pick a theme for our months. And our weeks. And our days. We sit together and reflect on our past week in a deliberate and intentional way.
We follow a simple and exact process. We begin by reviewing our yearly intention / goals. Then our monthly goals. Then our weeks goals. Then we write a brief few sentences about our accomplishments over the last week. And our regrets. Then we hold each other accountable to what we said we were going to do and how we actually did. This is humbling over and over and over again as we, along with most of humanity, say we want stuff that we then don’t put in the work to achieve.
Once we clear the previous week we reflect on our personal theme for the next week, and the measurable activities that we want to have associated to achieve our intention. We say them aloud to each other, often helping one another pair them down or discern what we really want and can do. Then we put them in our calendar, we time block specifically for what we said we wanted to do. We pick when, we decide the steps and we make appointments with ourselves to get it done.
Our lists are wide ranging from business and work to fitness to food plans to dedicated time for writing and spiritual practice.
We’ve done this for a long time. I wouldn’t trade this approach for a winning lottery ticket because, unlike a finite sum of money, this practice of ours makes everything possible, makes it all reachable and renews itself over and over and over again as long we we show up, commit and put in the time.
Where we are doesn’t matter. How we feel about it doesn’t matter. What’s going on simply doesn’t matter. We don’t acknowledge how this feels… we just do it. Maybe on the phone if one of us is traveling, mostly together because it’s harder to lie in person and we both are capable, to ourselves and each other. We often complain as we do it. Often we do it while absolutely hating and not wanting to do it… but I don’t think we’ve ever finished and not been totally grateful we did it. Something magical happens when we get real.
We’ve come to know, it’s in the repetition of it that it works. Repetition, in almost all aspects of our lives, is the miracle drug we’ve all been looking for.
“People seldom understand the power of repetition. What is repeated over and over can become enduring; what is done in a moment is seldom lasting. If farmers do not tend to their fields every day, they cannot expect a harvest. The same is true of spiritual practice. It is not the grand declaration or the colorful initiation that means anything. It is only the daily living of a spiritual life that has meaning. Our progress may range from dull to spectacular, but we must accept both. Each and every day should be linked together, strung into a long line of prayer beads.”– Deng Ming-Dao