Tracy Winchell

How to fuel your 2023 intentions with daily action

published3 months ago
2 min read

Happy New Year Reader

During listening sessions the past few weeks, one request is something I never considered.

One reader wants to know how to create daily reflection questions that matter to him. Solving for this is still a work in progress, but I can articulate a basic framework.

A Structure for Creating Personalized Daily Self-Reflection Prompts

STEP 1: Identify a specific area on which you want to improve

Recipes might include:

  • Spending an hour each {day, weekend} with {person/group} {doing}
    OPTIONAL: at {day part}.
  • Being consistent with {activity} as defined as {x} of {timeframe}
    i.e. 7 days each week

STEP 2: Program tiny prompts for daily intention-setting toward this intention.

Program no more than two questions as part of a morning atomic journal entry.

Tiny Prompt 1: Set your intention.

Example 1: Today I will shut down office work on time so I can spend an hour with my child when they get home from school.

Example 2: Name 4 at-home bodyweight exercises you will perform before you begin the workday.

Tiny Prompt 2: Lock it in.

The second tiny prompt will lock in your intention, by reminding yourself and forcing you to recommit to your initial decision to improve in a particular area of your life.

You may be tempted to use all three categories. You're only creating complexity -- and friction -- with your atomic intention-setting practice.

  1. A motivator: How will my life improve by <building a stronger body>?
  2. Self-Accountability: If you are not exercising this morning, please explain why you're skipping.
  3. Consequences of doing the opposite: Without a strong and durable body I may be unable to care for my aging mother when she needs me most. Also, arthritis.

STEP 3: In 30 days, review your entries. Revise your self-reflection prompts or continue responding to existing prompts.

Learn more about how you can apply this framework as the new year begins.

I'll be sharing more as part of a workshop I'm hosting with my brilliant friend R.J. Nestor.

We begin at 10:00 am CDT today!

Say no to woo-woo

My friend R.J. noted a few days ago that -- in terms of finishing projects, building a business, writing a book --existential reflection is woo woo until your productivity system includes frameworks for implementing your intentions.

Say yes to getting stuff done

👇🏻 R.J. shares the nuts and bolts of his productivity philosophy.

(1) Here’s the most important productivity tip you’ll ever learn: Do one thing at a time.

Of course, the problem is that so much is vying to BE that one thing. A key part of any productivity system is shielding you from the entirety of your list and helping you focus on the work that’s relevant and important right now.

(2) The mechanics of your task management system can apply to ANY work you need to accomplish. Looking to plan out your meals? Hook your recipes and shopping lists up to your task system. Need to be more specific and intentional about your goals and vision for the future? Hook it into your task system so your intentions can turn into action.

(3) Simple is better. But make sure everything you need to track is set up to be trackable. As long as you can trust that your system will point you to the right place at the right time, your system is working for you. Don’t overcomplicate it.

(4) Think tasks, not projects. When you want work to surface for you, you don’t want to just see “Work on [project]” unless that’s genuinely as specific as you can get it. You want to see clear, actionable tasks that you know what to do with right away. Set up your tasks to surface on the right day, or when you’re with the right people, or when you’re in the right location.

That's it for this week!


See you next week -- unless you decide to join R.J. and me later today for our workshop, Intention & Identity: Simple Planning for a Guilt-Free 2023.

During our workshop, R.J. will be using Tana to demonstrate his system. However, the principles apply to any tool you typically use to organize your life.