Monthly Review –
Seneca would, every day, review his behavior and actions. We should do the same. Seneca wrote, “I will keep constant watch over myself and, most usefully, will put each day up for review. For this is what makes us evil, that none of us looks back upon our lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet, our plans for the future descend from the past.”
So every day, Seneca sat down and forced himself to answer these three questions:
Seneca did this because he knew that without reflection on the past, progress was not possible.
The Dutch scientist Marije Elferink-Gemer studied how people get past performance plateaus and found that “Reflection is a key factor in expert learning and refers to the extent to which individuals are able to appraise what they have learned and to integrate these experiences into future actions, thereby maximizing performance improvements.”
So today, I am going to ask you to reflect on your first week of developing new habits and performing tasks. Think of this like an athlete watching a game film. But in your case, you only have your memories of the week and the notes in your journal.
The process starts, as Seneca pointed out, by probing and interrogating yourself. Ask yourself these questions:
It’s not enough to complete a habit and put an X on your Excel spreadsheet. You must hold yourself accountable. If you have trouble with the above questions (and you will), make it a weekly exercise with your accountability partner to go over those questions.
Focus on the habits you’ve begun this week. If you’ve fallen short, forgive yourself and move forward towards your goals by following them starting now, even if that means beginning again.
Take your time, don’t rush through these exercises. You are just at the beginning of the journey… and the journey will take the rest of your life.
NEW HABIT: Ask yourself, and have your accountability partner ask you the 12 questions above every single week
NEW TASK: For the next 12 weeks, go through one month of your personal and business finances. Ask for BHFM’s help in putting together a spreadsheet that organizes where your cash flow is going. This is a big task, but don’t worry, we’ll help you!