Over a decade ago, I started doing something every day that I’ve never shared with anyone before. It’s a meta-habit — a habit that helps me form better habits. And it’s been so transformative that it’s time to share this little secret.
Every day, I read a 3×5 inch note card filled with a small list of specific actions to guide my day. They help me focus on the present, create good habits, and establish traits I want to embody.
This is the notecard I looked at every day in my first job after graduating college.
During those two years, my goals were to forge foundational professional habits and put myself in a position to get promoted. So my Daily Note Card focused on definitive actions to help turn that into a reality.
My Daily Note Card has evolved along with my overall goals.
In fact, I don’t even use a physical note card anymore. After a while, it became such a normal part of my routine that I wasn’t sufficiently internalizing the guidance to create real change. To fight this laziness, I’ve switched to using an app that sends a push notification with one Note Card reminder at a random time. This randomness has helped me take the time to pause and reflect on how I can incorporate the wisdom into my life.
Here are a few of the items currently on my Daily Note Card:
- If you have two relatively equal choices, take the path more difficult and painful in the short term.
- Not wanting something is as good as having it.
- You can’t control everything. The more you try, the more pain you will feel.
- Your body wants to quit at 60%. Recognize and push through.
- Create more, consume less. When bored, create or meditate!
I don’t think it really matters how the message is delivered: tape it to your bathroom mirror, keep it tucked your wallet, or a calendar reminder. The most important thing is that nudge of focus each and every day.
Your Daily Note Card.
What’s on yours?