Regardless of how I feel about the past week, one thing is sure; it is over. It is time for a new week. I spend time on Sunday evening reviewing the past week and getting prepared and focused on the upcoming week. Here is what I have discovered: some weeks are phenomenal and some weeks are not very good, most are a mixed bag, some good with room for improvement. I find that reviewing my life one week at a time has helped me in several ways:
To improve, I must inspect my work. I ask myself, ‘what worked well?’ and ‘what could I have done better?’ A week is enough time for patterns to develop. If I keep doing the same things in the same way and never examine to see that my actions are moving in the correct direction is to ultimately end in landing in a less than the desired place.
By reviewing my week, I can see patterns that are developing. Careful observation is difficult when the focus is on my daily activities. When I am close to my actions, it is difficult to see what I can observe by taking a step back and looking at my week in its entirety.
Reviewing helps me to discover my blind spots. All of us have blind spots. You may think you are aware of all areas of your life, but we all are blind to certain things: how we use our time, our habits, how we interact with others, how much time we waste, to name just a few possible things we fail to see in ourselves. Reviewing forces me to look at what I did in a given week and what areas I may be avoiding because of discomfort.
Reviewing means, I must be honest with myself. If you do not take the time to examine where you are and what you are doing, you may go on for a lifetime playing a game with yourself. You talk a good talk, but your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly activity shows something entirely different. The first step is, to be honest with yourself. Do my actions match my priorities? You will never know without a regular check-in with yourself.
Some of the benefits of a weekly review are:
Focus There are so many things to do, and so many voices vying for my attention that it is nearly a full-time job to maintain focus. Focus springs from priorities and a rigorous examination of what we do consistently.
Learning Every Sunday evening, I learn at least one thing about myself. Often, I learn more than one. I see if I did what I told myself I was going to do. I determine if my priorities were born out through my daily actions. I learn I have room for improvement. I also learn that some things are working well.
Change By taking the time to see where I am and where I am heading, I can make small adjustments and change is not just a significant event, but can be incorporated into my life by consistent, incremental actions that happen daily. Daily it is impossible to see if my efforts are making a difference, but week after week, positive change becomes more noticeable.
Accountability There are a lot of discussions today regarding accountability. I am in two different accountability groups. One is a group of colleagues who do what I do and understand the nature of my work. If you do not have an accountability partner, I would highly recommend you find one. At the least, we can make the effort to hold ourselves accountable. There are several ways in which this can be done. One place to start is conducting a weekly review of your life. The place to start is with your calendar and actions. This can apply not just to your work life, but with your family, spiritual life, finances, and other relationships.
Why not give weekly reviewing a try? Before you can review your week, you must do the hard work of setting goals and priorities and breaking them down into actions. You should review your week. Yes, you will find things that need to be improved. You will also discover there are areas where you are doing quite well.
Join me on Sunday evening as we review this present week.