One of my favorite things to nerd out on is studying how successful people do things and modeling what I like in my own life.
This includes things like morning routines, daily habits, business strategies, tools, etc.
I was on a coaching call yesterday and recommended one of these tools to the person I was speaking with.
It’s called a When Life Works List and it was created by Sean Stephenson.
In case you haven’t heard of him, Sean is nicknamed the 3-foot giant. He is a well-known and much-loved therapist, author and motivational speaker who was born with a rare condition that resulted in stunted growth, weak bones and the need for a wheelchair. He’s one of those people who you’ve probably seen online but just can’t put a face to the name.
Anyway, the When Life Works List a tool that enables you to make progress on the things that matter in your life. Basically, it involves coming up with a list of 10-20 things that you would do on a perfect day.
In other words, “When I do these things, my life just works.”
But here’s the trick: The point is not to crush every item every day (sorry perfectionists). The list should be designed in such a way that just hitting 3-6 items would make it a good day (remember, we don’t want to make perfect the enemy of the good).
IMPORTANT: This is not to be confused with a to-do list. It shouldn’t feel like a chore or stressful at all.
This tool is great for all the list making and tracking nerds out there like me. You could print the list on a piece of paper that you check off each day or create a spreadsheet and do it digitally. I’ve personally inserted the habits into my Productive app on my phone, which syncs to my Apple Watch, making it easy to check things off throughout the day.
Side note: Let me know if you’d like to see other nerdy ways I use my Apple Watch.
What’s great about the When Life Works List is that you don’t need to limit it to just your personal habits. You can do a similar exercise in other areas such as your business (which I’ve also started doing) or relationships (“When Love Works”).
By getting clear on what makes up a good day for YOU, and monitoring your progress on those things each day, you focus on what is within your control instead of all the outside circumstances that typically derail us.
And, when (not if) we do slip up, we instantly have a list of things we can fall back on to get back on track.
As an example, here are some of the things on my When Life Works List. Feel free to borrow what you like:
- Meditate first thing in the morning for at least 5 minutes
- Visualize my ideal life and the upcoming day
- Repeat positive affirmations based on my current goals
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes
- Eat nourishing, plant-based meals
- Drink 3l of water
- Complete my #1 Most Important Task before checking phone, social media or email
- Nap for 10-30 minutes after lunch
- Connect with or serve at least one person
- Learn/read for at least 1 hour
- Listen to inspiring music or watch an inspiring video
- Go for an evening walk with Taryn and Cooper
- Read a bedtime story to Cooper
- Switch off all devices at least 1 hour before bed
- Write down 3 things I’m grateful for
- Sleep for 7-8 each night
What would you put on your list? What are the things you automatically do when life works?
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