The Daily Alarm

My phone alarm went off at 3:33 pm and caught me just as I was starting to slide into “I will do it later land”. I got back on track and that is why you are reading this newsletter right now. I’ve been building self discipline, it’s like a muscle.

Let me rewind. My phone alarm goes off every single day at 3:33 pm as a reminder to check-in with myself to see if I am living in alignment with who I want to be and how I want to live. In practical terms, I consider the following:

Self-Reflection Moment:

What am I doing right now?
Is it what I had planned to do? Is this in line with my priorities?

What am I thinking about right now/today?
Am I putting my thoughts where I should be? Am I thinking more about what I want than what I don’t want?

Do I have the right attitude?
Am I approaching the day with openness, possibility, curiosity, and tenacity?

Do I need to adjust my environment / physical self?
Is my environment the way I want it, have I moved my body if I run into someone when walking the dog would they hire me as a coach?

Most of the coaching things I do I bring to pen and paper, but I usually just do this one in my head. When things are aligned, I fist pump. And when I’m dis-aligned and I want to resist, like I did today when I wanted to slip off into procrastination land, I take a moment to connect to how I will feel if I get back on track. That often serves as motivation to get back on track. It’s all about course-correcting!

When Procrastination Wins

The harsh truth is that sometimes it doesn’t work and I flip the alarm off and dive back into bad habits, but patterns reveal themselves. I know that if I’m not in alignment for a few days in a row there is most likely something bigger I need to address. Even if I’m not able to wrangle myself right then, the check-in gives me data that I can use in the future to improve my habits. Also, I’ve seen the amazing results when I have fist-pump worthy check-ins multiple days in a row. In coaching, I like to say that we are just “collecting data” about ourselves to keep it clear of judgement.

Building Self Discipline Muscle with 3:33pm

The 3:33 daily check-in started as a one-week group life coaching challenge, I just chose the time because it has a nice ring. It turns out that it is a great time for a check-in. It’s early enough that I can completely turn the day around if I need to, especially if something unexpected came up and there me off course. It’s training me to take full responsibility for my time, and it’s helping me as I develop my self discipline. So many of us are great at being accountable to others but are not as determined when we are being accountable to ourselves. The 3:33 alarm is like doing an extra plank every day for that muscle.


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