Your DayPlan is The Most Important Five Minutes of Your Day

Do you have five minutes a day to completely change your life? Everyone you or I know would say yes. Yet most of us would not end up making time for it. In my goal-setting system, I teach a simple five-minute daily commitment to yourself, I like to call your DayPlan. It’s a brief review of your day and a few minutes to write out tomorrow’s plan.

Here are some tips that will not only make your DayPlan a habit in your life, but will also make that habit work miracles for you.

Five minutes is nothing! Look at this list of things you can do in five minutes or less. Yet when you apply that seemingly insignificant amount of time consistently, it can reap huge dividends to your life. Below is an outline of what my DayPlan meeting looks like. Of course, I like to use 3×5 cards for my DayPlan, but feel free to use whatever system works best for you.

How to create your DayPlan
  1. Review your today. Take a moment to look back at your day and answer a few questions. First, list one “mini-win” you had? Something you did or that happened to you that you consider a win. It’s important to recognize and celebrate what you did right. Stir up a few endorphins by giving yourself a mental pat on the back. Few other people will do it for you. Second, what could you have done better? Always be on the lookout for ways you can improve. Surely there was something you did today that you could have done better. Maybe you made a poor decision. Perhaps you overreacted or acted too hastily. Be aware of your shortcomings and keep an open, humble mind on how you can improve. Third question to ask yourself is: what are you grateful for right now? As you reflect back, what is something that happened, a twist of events, positive mojo, even just an old friend. Gratitude is one of the most admirable characteristics a person can acquire. Make it a daily habit.
  2. Go through your action list. If you aren’t writing down what you will do each day, now is a good time to start. I like to limit my list to the top five most important things I did. Take that out and see what you did not get done. If you managed to check off all five, great job! You can move on. If you left any items undone, stop and ask yourself why. Did you over commit? Were they not important enough? Did you just have a bad day? Figure out what happened and make adjustments as needed. For example, if you didn’t do it because it’s not very important, you can drop it without feeling guilty.
  3. Write out tomorrow’s action items. This is the most important part of your DayPlan meeting. If you have momentum, this should not take long. Important items from today’s card should go to the top of tomorrow’s card. Otherwise, you should have a good idea of what needs to be done based on a combination of what you’re trying to accomplish for the week, what you have broken down in your LifePlan document and new thoughts that you captured during your day.
  4. Rewrite your main habit, monthly focus and weekly focus. These will not change often and hopefully you’re on track so you can cross them off at the end of the week/month. It’s important to write them down with each new card because it reinforces them in your mind.
  5. File today’s card and place tomorrow’s card by your bed or on your dresser. Leave it somewhere you’re likely to see it when you first wake up. There’s a certain confidence that comes with having your plan written out and ready to go as you start your day. Refer to the card frequently throughout your day and use it as a barometer to vet out any new ideas or important decisions. Do they align with your plan?
Simple, right?

That’s what a DayPlan meeting looks like. Get in the habit of doing this at the same time each day. Set a timer or alarm on your phone to remind you and be diligent about it. The best part is that it only takes five minutes. You can fake a bathroom break in that amount of time. In conclusion, be fanatical about your daily meeting and see how they quickly become the most important five minutes of each day.