Keeping a Life Calendar
What color is your week?
Progress can be intimidating. Changing things we do every day, so we can have a better future is tough. It's easier to sit on the couch and tell ourselves, "I'll do it tomorrow." There's no immediate downside to putting things off.
Over the years I've made lots of suggestions about how people can motivate themselves and get more done. Making lists of daily, weekly and monthly goals is good. Monitoring yourself with fitness trackers or smartphones works. Giving yourself daily reminders, getting a workout buddy and even calculating the financial benefit of doing things that are good for you, can all help.
The problem with all those suggestions is that they don't provide a "big picture" of how you're doing. I want to know how the things I've done this week, compare to what I've done in the past.
I mentioned my problem to a friend, and he sent me the link to an amazingly simple tool. It's called a "Life Calendar." On a single sheet of paper, there are 52 boxes across, one representing each week in a year. There are 90 rows of those boxes going down the sheet, showing a life of 90 years.
You can download a PDF version of the Life Calendar by clicking on the graphic below.
You start by moving down the chart to find the year that matches how old you are. Then you count the weeks since your last birthday. The box that you end up at represents this week. At the end of the week, you fill that box in with one of three colored pens.
BLUE is for a week where you did some of the things you intended, but maybe didn't do everything you could have.
RED is for those weeks that nothing changed. You kept sitting on the couch and simply talked about the things you plan on doing.
What happens is that over time, you'll see a trend. If you've got a lot of red, it's proof that what you're doing isn't working. You need to talk less and take more action. You may have the best of intentions, but you're not improving your life.
Lots of blue may mean you're lacking focus. You do some of the things you should, but you're letting too many things interfere. Find and eliminate those subtle saboteurs.
Mostly green is the best. You're staying on track and that should be reflected in your overall health and happiness.
Looking at that chart is a brutal reality. You do not have endless tomorrows stretching out forever. Each week you mark off brings you closer to the end. But, if those weeks are mostly green, there are two benefits.
The first is that as you get older, you will have lived a life filled with accomplishments. You won't regret your past.
The second is that if you're using it as a way to monitor your healthy commitments, you'll have lots more weeks to fill in. On average, every hour you exercise will extend your life by seven more hours.
Take that chart and hang it somewhere you'll see regularly. Put it on the refrigerator, beside your desk or on the door of your closet. You need to see it at least once a day, preferably early in the morning, so you remember to stay on track.
I've provided a couple of samples of the chart on my website that you can download for free and print out. However, if you want a version that will last for decades, there's a company called "Wait But Why" that sells a large version (26 inches by 39 inches) and it's printed on "archival grade 100 lb. matte poster paper."
Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.