HOW TO PERFORM A SUNDAY NIGHT CHECK IN
There is enormous power in planning and using your time deliberately, especially in this modern world where we are constantly surrounded by digital distractions, all vying for our attention.
Many people find time inexplicably passes them by, and as time goes, so too do their goals and dreams. There doesn’t seem to be a single minute to stop and work out what’s going wrong. The answer lies in deliberate and consistent reviewing and planning.
I am a huge advocate for both planning and reviewing and do each at the end of every single week. On Sundays I sit down with my planner and calendar and review the week just gone and also plan the week ahead. It ensures I am deliberate with my time and am constantly reviewing and improving my ways of working in every aspect of life.
It may sound like work to sit down every Sunday, but in actual fact, the act of gifting yourself a slice of time every week will slow you down and simplify your life in a way which will have immeasurable benefit through the rest of your week and year.
WHERE DO I START?
Start by getting yourself a diary or planner that gives you space to review your week. Many planners will have a place for a weekly review if you’re happy to be guided. If you use a ring binder planner and want full control, you can just slip in a note page at the end of every week that will act as your review space.
I change my planner up every year or couple of years to see if there’s new elements I can incorporate into my weekly review.
You can of course go digital, but there is something special in the power of writing by hand. As I discussed in my blog on the power of journaling (which you can find here), it requires more brainpower to write by hand (you access language, memory and motor centers), meaning you pay more attention and so the words you write have more power and stay with you longer than if you used tech.
The week just gone
Start with the week just gone. How did it go? You can jot down some general feelings about the week or get straight to the nitty gritty.
Achievements (could be goals, could be work wins, life wins)
Big or small, write these down. You always want to celebrate your wins because these are so often what keeps you keeping on, ensuring you stay focused and driven.
If you run your own business or are building yourself a side hustle, you may want to include some stats from the week here. It may be sales, subscribers or any other statistics you’re tracking for your business. It could just be a quick snapshot for you to look back on if you have your full stats elsewhere.
WHAT WORKED THIS WEEK / WHAT DID YOU DO WELL?
If you’re trying something new, or have been perfecting a system and it worked well this week, write it down. Similarly, if you kicked butt achieving your exercise plans, or were extra confident in all your meetings, write it down too.
Every small piece of self-affirmation you can build into your week will strengthen your resolve and keep you standing or even pick you back up in the face of any setbacks or adversity.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK WELL LAST WEEK? ARE THERE GOALS THAT YOU DIDN’T ACHIEVE?
This is just as important because this is your chance to reflect and determine why you didn’t achieve those things last week. It’s also your chance to put in place some changes this week that actually make those things happen.
These types of micro-adjustments and improvements are so often the things that wind up making the most change and are why reflection on the good and bad in your life is so important.
Maybe you had exercise goals around going to the gym 4 times per week and only made it twice last week. Ask yourself why without allowing any excuses. Did you plan to go in the morning when you are a night owl? Did you not prioritize exercise or not make plans for it in your diary? Whatever the case may be, you can make a change now instead of beating yourself up for not meeting that goal a couple of months down the track.
You may be someone who journals daily and so this may not be as relevant to you, but for those who don’t, practicing gratitude for the week before is a lovely and grounding practice.
Acknowledging the big and small things you’re grateful for can have an anchoring power and will provide you with some perspective. This perspective wards off traps of negativity and instead powers you forward with a positive outlook.
This is your opportunity to jot down any ideas, thoughts or inspirations you’ve got in your head. If you’re like me, you’ll have gazillions of ideas throughout your week and this is a space where you can write them down.
Most of the time when you have an idea, you’re too busy to give it the time it deserves and the idea sits there without any action being taken. Often, you’re not meant to do anything with it right now, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea that won’t be relevant later. So you note it down here and when the time comes, you might actually do something with it.
Every few weeks you can review this section to see if anything jumps out at you or if now is the time for one of these ideas you’ve had.
The week ahead
Now it’s time to look forward to the week ahead of you.
Open your calendar for the week ahead and plan any changes based on what you’ve just done. Whether it’s scheduling your exercise, assessing the time of your meetings or blocking out time for meditation, now is the time to plan your micro adjustments.
You might have a word, quote or theme for the week that you write down every day to help inspire you daily. You may collaborate with your partner to ensure success or divide chores between you and diarize these to make sure they get done.
This is also an opportunity to look at the week ahead and mentally prepare yourself for any challenges, write down any reminders for yourself, anything you may need to buy/read/write/do etc.
You might want to jot down your goals for the week or revisit the goals you have for the month/6 months/year and pop into your calendar anything you need to do to progress your goals.
You’re almost done. The last piece of the puzzle is an open space to doodle, scribble, mind-map or brainstorm. Maybe you’re not quite over something that happened during the week and want to write a vent or a stream of consciousness about it. Great! Here is your space to do it so you can close that door and move forward.
Maybe one of your ideas was about re-organizing your cupboards and you want to doodle your new cupboard design. Here’s the space to do it.
Whatever it may be, this is your place to get our any last pieces or thoughts you have so that you can look forward fresh, organized and deliberate to your week ahead.
I would love to know your thoughts, especially if you already do this or are inspired by this post. Drop me a note at https://samanthaleith.com/contact/ or on the socials and let me know how your ventures into the world of weekly reflection and planning are going.