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Date Yourself and Boost Your Output

You know when life moves at a fast pace, and all your goals and dreams slip away between your fingers? Running after the tasks of others and letting your own dreams falling by the wayside.

Future Habits Illustration Dreamer Planner and Doer sitting on a Table

Losing track of where you are standing to achieve a particular goal is often very unsatisfying. It can be overwhelming seeing the amount of work you must do.

At FutureHabits, one crucial part is the Weekly Check-In with yourself.

If you google for Weekly Check-In tips and tricks, there is all about how to do it in teams, how to do it as a leader for the team and so on.

But what happens when you work alone? When you don't have a leader, or neither you're one for a team. Let's say you've just started your own business or are just out of college, and you finally want to create a portfolio and put it online. Can you then be a leader for yourself? A leader for your project?

Just as important as it is for teams in companies, just as important as it is for you. You can look at the Dreamer, Planner and Doer in you as a kind of team; that team works more harmoniously when they are in balance when you lead them.

To promote this balance, we at FutureHabits use the Weekly Check-In Framework that has evolved over the last few years. It is the stage where all three roles can express themselves to get on the same page. The framework serves as a guideline for your weekly date with yourself. I want to dive only a little into this framework in this article. We will write more about that in another article.

We have noticed that many people find it difficult to shovel this time free. Especially because it is often not considered "work". After all, it's for something "other" than an external force, a teacher or a client who pays you more or less directly. Instead, it is only for you and your business, venture or project. We tend to give higher priority to work and tasks for others. Which eventually ends up in a hamster wheel where you don't get closer to your goal. And, let's face it, that's a real shame because everyone deserves to get closer to their dreams. :-)

Note: This is not to say you shouldn't do things for others. For heaven's sake, that can/should/may make you happy too. But keep your own way in mind.

However, that we are like that is not surprising at all.

Sometimes on our way, many learn that the value of a person depends on whether you make others happy. (This message is especially taught to women.) So we strive to receive this appreciation.

In school, when it comes to getting good grades, we rarely rely on our internal motivation. If we would, grades would be a bit redundant, in a way.

How was it with you as a child? Did you want good grades for yourself, or so that your parents, caregiver or teacher were proud of you?

Of course, it is challenging as a school system to rely only on individual motivation. I gave an example to show that even in this context, the "I do something for myself, even if I have no external indicators and control instances" is not encouraged. Also, we often work with these external control instances in employment or university context.

So, if we are conditioned to be spurred on by an external force, why not take advantage of it? The Weekly Check-In allows you to build a "fake" control instance for yourself. Needless to say, the framework also works excellently with an accountability partner and check-in buddy.

At the end of each Weekly Check-In, you set highlights for the coming week. That's why we recommend checking in on your first working day of the week. These highlights have to be measurable. In other words, you must say measurably whether you have achieved the goal next week.

E.g., "Write ten acquisition emails" or "Write four hours on your business plan".

In these examples, I phrased them with the imperative and in the third person. A FutureMember asked us why we do it this way. She said she knew another framework where you formulate the task as if you had already done it in the first person.

Otto and I have tried both for ourselves and found that the effect of the imperative promotes this external control. And as mentioned above, using an external force can be very helpful, even if it is "fake". For me, the sentences I formulated as if I had already completed the task were more enjoyable to write, but the achievement and completion of the task were less euphoric. After all, when I was writing, I had already psychologically deluded myself into thinking I had already completed the highlight. So the actual work took more willpower to follow through.

How you frame it is very individual, and there is no right or wrong. However, starting a test for yourself and trying out the other is worthwhile. In that way, you stay curious and get to know yourself better.


Tell us: How do you formulate your weekly highlights?



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