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How Scheduling a Personal Check-In Will Keep Us on the Path to Success
What happens when a flight departing New York for Los Angeles begins the journey one degree off course?
Every degree a plane veers off its flight plan will miss its target destination by a mile for every sixty miles flown. The air travel distance between New York and Los Angeles is 2,451 miles. One degree at takeoff equals a forty-mile difference in the destination without a course correction. It's the difference between landing at LAX or almost halfway to San Diego.
An airline pilot course corrects often, do you?
Our Google Map
What do you do if you want to get to a strange place where you've not been before? You use Google, Waze, or some other app to help get you there.
Do you have a map to get you where you want to go in life?
Most of us have a general idea of where we want life to take us but have no plan or idea how to get there. So, how do we build a personal or professional Google map?
Ask yourself questions and write down the answers periodically to gauge your progress. You soon figure out that, just as a plane slightly off course, the further you go, the farther away from your goal you get.
Ideally, we want to personalize our journey, but here are a handful of questions to get us started.
1. What would I do if no one was watching and success was inevitable?
2. What would I do even if I knew failure was very likely?
3. What am I doing now because I think I should be doing it?
4. How much of my time do I spend working on things I enjoy?
5. How happy am I with the trajectory of my life right now?
To remove the subjectiveness of your answers, try to create a scoring system for your replies. If you use 1-10, seven is an unacceptable answer. Seven is a copout because it's good enough without making us feel bad while not achieving our goal. Don't be a seven.
The quality of your questions is more valuable than the quantity. Think about your goals and how you plan to achieve them. Break down each goal into small achievable bites so you can accurately monitor your progress.
If you strive to be a millionaire by forty, that's a reasonably broad goal. What's your starting point, and how do you plan to get there?
You could obsessively look at your financial statements several times a day, or you can break it down to how much you need to save and invest monthly. Which one is most likely to achieve your goal?
If you notice, the recommended questions above are geared more towards mindset than incremental progress. When assessing our progress, it's vital to also determine if our goals might be changing. Life throws us a lot of curveballs, and we need to understand when and how to adjust.
After veering slightly off course, a follow-up question we may want to ask is, "Is it time to walk away or try harder?"
That question is difficult to answer and often requires brutal honesty. Most high-achievers believe the answer is always to try harder, but it’s not.
Maybe you thought being a millionaire by forty was so crucial that you're willing to make all the sacrifices necessary to get there. But are you sacrificing things that may be worth more than a million dollars?
For instance, saving money by eating Hamburger Helper three days a week has health consequences, and so does working until 2 am on your side hustle every night. When you reach mid-life, will you be better off wealthy and obese or middle class and physically fit? Your answer to the health question will change as you get older.
How often you wish to do a life check-in depends on what you want to examine. Whatever timing you choose, make sure you schedule it. Life audits don't work using random check-ins. It's the difference between making several slight corrections instead of u-turns.
If you want a different take on life audits, check out how Tim Ferriss, the master of lifestyle design, conducts his "Past Year Reviews."
"The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done...you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do." - Lil Wayne
Remember that a self-check-in is not supposed to be a time of regret. A life audit should only be about moving forward. Everyone gets off-course over time. Embrace the course correction and land at your destination on time.
Anther. Male wellness where it counts.