Blog Short #46: The Weekly Reset: A Strategy to Get More Control Over Your Life
Welcome to Monday Blog Shorts – ideas to make even Monday a good day! Every Monday, I share a short article with you about a strategy you can use, or new facts or info that informs you, or a new idea that inspires you. My wish is to give you something to think about in the week ahead. Let’s dig in!
Photo by marekuliasz courtesy of Shutterstock
My electricity went off the other night for about a half-hour. When it came back on, my alarm system was sending out alerts because it had been interrupted. I had to find the reset button to get things restarted.
It reminded me of a practice I use called my “weekly reset.” I thought I’d share it with you today, and hopefully, you’ll find it as helpful as I do.
Before I tell you how to do it, let me explain what it is and why you should use it.
What It Is
In short, the weekly reset is a strategy to help you increase your self-awareness and monitor your experiences to gain greater control over the direction of your life. The goal is to increase your happiness, decrease your stress, and find more fulfillment.
To do it, set aside a regular time once a week to review the following:
- What was your emotional temperature this week? Were you generally content, anxious, depressed, just so-so, stressed, bored? What was the overall tone of your emotions? What events affected you most and how did they impact you emotionally?
- What did you accomplish or not accomplish that you had on your to-do list? Did you have some goals for this week, and if so, how did you do? What’s leftover that needs to go on next week’s list? Do you need to change some of those goals or tweak them or delete them?
- How did you do with your most important relationships? How did things go with your partner, kids, co-workers or bosses, friends, or other family members? Were there issues that arose? Are you pleased with your interactions, and if not, what needs to be addressed?
- How did you do with self-care? It’s easy to leave this one off the list or put it last because all the other stuff takes precedence. However, this is an important one. The questions to ask are: How was your diet, did you get any exercise, and did you get enough sleep? If not, what got in the way?
How to Set It Up
To make your “weekly reset” productive, select a regular time and place to do it each week. It can be any time you choose – there are no rules about that. Most people choose either the beginning or end of the week, but if you like mid-week, then go for it. I do my resets on Sundays so that I have things set up for the week ahead.
You can do it any way you like, but I’d suggest these guidelines to get the most out of it.
1) Set the scene.
Select a time you can be quiet and won’t be interrupted. If you have young children, you might have to snatch a time when they’re either asleep or being entertained by someone other than you.
2) Track it.
Journal your reset if you like to write, or make lists if you’re a list maker. If writing’s not your thing, then think about the answers to the questions and at the end of the session, jot down what you’re going to work on in the week ahead. Remember, this isn’t so much about accomplishing work goals (although you can include them in your reset) – it’s mostly about monitoring your emotional life and your weekly experiences. It’s also about managing your stress.
3) Time it.
Confine your reset to a specific time. You might do it in 30 minutes, an hour, an hour and a half, or whatever works for you. You know how much time you have or don’t have, so make it work within that framework. A set time will help you stay regular with it.
The Why of It
If you’ve read anything about emotional intelligence, then you know that one of the pillars of EI is “self-awareness.” Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, defines self-awareness most succinctly as “awareness of one’s own feelings as they occur.”
In other words, it’s being aware of how we’re feeling on a moment-to-moment basis, and also being aware of how we’re thinking about or interpreting those feelings or moods.
This kind of self-awareness is vital because recognition of our moods compels us to change them or work with them if we don’t like where we are. The more awareness we have, the more desire we have to evolve and self-actualize to reach greater levels of happiness and satisfaction.
Goleman describes the self-aware person thus:
Aware of their moods as they are having them, these people understandably have some sophistication about their emotional lives. Their clarity about emotions may undergird other personality traits: they are autonomous and sure of their own boundaries, are in good psychological health, and tend to have a positive outlook on life. When they get into a bad mood, they don’t ruminate and obsess about it, and are able to get out of it sooner. In short, their mindfulness helps them manage their emotions.
Managing our emotions, or self-regulation, is an essential skill for navigating life. The degree to which we can do it is directly related to our sense of peace and happiness. It follows that we need to engage in regular strategies to improve on it.
The Weekly Reset is one of those strategies. By making it a habit, you’ll find that you build an intuitive awareness of your emotional life as you experience it. You become “mindful” of where you are, and in effect, narrate it to yourself. This insight gives you the information you need to regulate and take control of your emotional life and guide it in the direction you desire.
It’s operating from a proactive rather than reactive mindset, but in a very pragmatic manner.
You know the old saying, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you?” It’s a lie. What you don’t know often has control over you. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to self-knowledge. Spending just a small amount of time each week increasing your self-awareness and witnessing your life will put you in the driver’s seat and is worth more than all the time spent on external pursuits.
Water the roots, and the plant will blossom!
That’s all for today.
Hope you have a great week and try your first weekly reset!!
All my best,
Goleman, Daniel (2005). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Random House Publishing Group.