It’s time for Week 4 of our Sacred Bow Challenge!
If you’d still like to do the challenge, know that you don’t have to do everything by the end of this month. If youâ€™re behind, donâ€™t stress â€” just take the next step today, and carve out time each day from now on for this process.
Hereâ€™s what weâ€™re going to do this week, just 15 minutes a day:
- Spend 2 days thinking about your Curated Intentions List and how it might fit into your day and your week (time blocking).
- Spend 1 day thinking about how to space these changes throughout the year, so you don’t try to do everything at once.
- Spend 1 day setting up the accountability structure you’ll need to make this happen.
- Spend 1 day setting up the reminders so you don’t forget, and adding reviews & adjustments into your plan.
This is about creating the structure so that the intentions we created last week will be more likely to actualize during the year.
Take the life you want to live, the person you want to be, and create a structured plan so that you make it happen.
Make this final process a treat for yourself â€” you are giving yourself the loving structure you need to realize your most beautiful intentions. Again, set aside 20 minutes in your calendar every day for this month. Block it off. You only need to use 10-15 minutes, but set aside 20 minutes on your calendar. This will be your block of time for this challenge.
Two Days: Block Out Your Intentions
For the next two days, look over your Curated Intentions List and block out how you’ll execute them during the day and during your week.
Basically, if you want to practice yoga, when would you do that? When would you meditate, write, focus on your meaningful work, garden, or spend time with your grandmother?
You might block it out during your day:
- 6-7 am: Meditate and yoga
- 7-8 am: Write
- 8-9 am: Shower & breakfast
- 9 am-12 pm: Meaningful work
- 12-1pm: Lunch & short workout
- 1-2 pm: Messages & admin work
And so on. This is meant to be a general outline, not a rigid schedule. It’s just a draft, that will be adjusted during the year as you see how long things actually take and experiment with how things best fit into your day.
You might block things off for the week, for things that don’t need to be done daily. For example:
- Mon: Yoga and writing
- Tues: Study and running
- Wed: Yoga, writing, date with my daughter
You get the idea. If you use a weekly block, you might put “physical activity” in your daily block so that you can fit yoga, running or whatever exercise you’re planning to do that day. And a “meaningful work” block could include writing and study, depending on what day of the week it is. That way your daily schedule could be flexible to accommodate the weekly schedule.
Some people might want two or even three daily schedules, depending on what’s going on that day â€” for example, a schedule for days when you go to class, or when you’re on call at the hospital, and another schedule for other days. Or a schedule for weekdays and another for weekends. Or one schedule for when you have your kids, and another for when they’re at your ex’s house.
You might share examples on Slack so that we can all learn from each other â€” schedules and time blocking are going to be different for each person’s life, but we might get ideas from how others are doing it.
One Day: Space the Changes Throughout the Year
Next, spend a day thinking about how to space these changes throughout the year, so you don’t try to do everything at once.
It’s usually not a great idea to do all your changes at once. So you might decide to make one change a month:
- January: Meditation habit
- February: Exercise habit
- March: Healthy eating habit
- May: Nail down my morning routine (and wake a little earlier)
And so on. This isn’t strictly required, but it’s a good idea for most people who want to do a number of things that would be hard to do all at once.
One Day: Set Up Accountability
So now that you have your intentions blocked out for the day, the week and the year … spend a day setting up the accountability structure you’ll need to make all this happen.
- Join a small team on Slack and commit to these changes along with a weekly and monthly review
- Find a 1-on-1 partner and, similarly, commit to these changes along with a weekly and monthly review
- Create a group with your family or friends
- Join a meditation group in your area
- Join a running club, book club, entrepreneur meetup
- Form a blogging mastermind group with your peers
- Post publicly about your marathon training
I highly recommend using our Sea Change community on Slack.
Whatever you choose, know that accountability is one of the key elements of successful structure for holding your intentions.
One Day: Set Up Reminders & Reviews
Finally, spend a day setting up the reminders so you don’t forget, and adding reviews & adjustments into your plan.
Take a minute to decide on, and even implement, the elements that are appropriate for you. Most of these are highly recommended!
- Digital reminders: Daily or weekly reminders on your phone, calendar reminders, a quote or reminder on your phone lock screen or desktop wallpaper.
- Physical reminders: A note written on your bathroom mirror or near your coffeemaker, a little Buddha on your desk to remind you to be mindful, a sticker on your laptop, etc. These can be very effective.
- People reminders: Ask someone to call you every morning to remind you to run. Ask a coworker to remind you to be mindful at work.
- Daily reviews: At the end of each day, set a reminder to do a short mental review of how you held your intentions during the day. This is an incredibly useful technique that will help you get better and better at holding your intentions, and is highly recommended.
- Weekly reviews: Do a weekly check-in with your group, where you tell them how you’ve done during the week (letting go of shame of not holding your intentions) … and then tell them how you will adjust your structure so that you’ll get better and better each week. Again, highly recommended.
- Monthly or bi-monthly reviews & adjustments: Set a calendar reminder for the end of every month, or perhaps every other month … review how your yearly plan is going and allow yourself to adjust the plan based on what’s going well, what needs to be changed, and how life has gotten in the way. Again, recommended, because it will allow you to be flexible and adjust the plan due to unforeseen circumstances.
The reminders are key because it’s very easy to forget your intentions. But the reviews and adjustments are even more important because without them, everything is likely to fall apart at some point (we’ve all experienced this). If you’re (fairly) diligent about the reviews, you’ll be more likely to get back on track when things start to fall off.
Once you’ve made your plan/structure, share your doc with your group or our Sacred Bow channel on Slack!