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A Most Practical Weekly Review

One of the best activities I added in 2021 was a weekly review.

I think of the week review as a free coaching session. And I can look back after several weeks or months to revisit my previous advice.

It took a few iterations to get to the best questions for me, and every few weeks I ask myself if I have new questions to add or remove.

I don’t expect this exact set of questions to fit anyone else perfectly, but we all have to start somewhere.

1. Did I fight my lizard brain and/or do something that felt scary?

The oldest part of the brain fights any urge to do more than simply survive. The lizard brain often discourages me from doing what I strive to do. Beyond just doing the work, when I lean into the idea that seems scary it usually offers the largest possible upside.

2. What did I fail to achieve that I aimed to do and why did I fail?

This helps me identify my area of weakness, which often has to do with setting overly ambitious goals. Or trying to drink less coffee – is that ever a battle worth waging?

3. What’s something I did right and how could I have done it even better?

To help double down on my strengths, I identify the most valuable activity of the past week and how I might make it even more valuable.

4. What’s the least valuable thing I did last week and how could it have been avoided?

I make it a point to revisit my previous answer each week before putting in a new one, so I don’t keep investing time into low-value activities.

5. How can I outsource or up-skill to make my life easier?

This question often feels like the hardest one for me. I prefer to do as much myself as I can, but I have to keep reminding myself that teams can achieve way more than individuals.

And there’s usually some facet of my week that I could learn how to do better (e.g. save time by switching to elastic no-tie shoelaces! Sort of kidding…)

6. What’s one useful lesson you discovered or rediscovered last week?

I break this down into business, work, and exercise, but this question doesn’t often reveal anything too interesting… Just being honest.

7. [Blue Sky] If I had no constraints of my time and money, what would I do?

My answers to this question vary widely and it’s fun to look back at them several months later.

8. What One Thing could I do that would make everything else easier or unnecessary?

Sometimes my answer to this question is very clear, such as “identify one top priority goal for each week and focus on that before anything else.” Once I simply wrote, “just be happy!”

Wrap-Up

The simplest way I’ve found to conduct this review is to create a word document with the questions and type up my answers.

I make a copy of the previous document each week and that lets me see my previous answers. This also helps me avoid making the same mistakes each week, although it can be helpful to repeat lessons that I’m too stubborn to learn.

Try it out and let me know what questions work best for you!

** The original inspiration for my questions came from Taylor Pearson’s post. His week review includes a lot of details for closing out his to-do list and goals, which I personally don’t find as useful.