Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I initially picked this up from Tim Ferriss, but I tweaked it to better fit my needs.  Tim does this process yearly; I like to go through it quarterly.

Like Tim, I don’t do resolutions as such.  I mean, why wait a year to implement a good habit or break a bad one?  I’m constantly self-reflecting and integrating. One of THE biggest lessons I’ve picked up from sports, entrepreneurship, plant medicine work and other forms of journeying is the art of continual self improvement.

Without, that is, falling into the destructive, “not good enough” trap.

The process is simple enough.  Though it will require of you to be completely honest with yourself AND commit to follow-through.  

1. Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.

2.  Go through your calendar from the last quarter, looking at every week.

3. For each week, jot down any people, activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.

4. Once you’ve gone through the past quarter, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”

5. Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the next quarter. Get them (or those activities / events) on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar.

Note: this is where people stall.  They weed and identify just fine, but fail to go through with the schedule part.  You’ve got to actually get up with that person, or pull out the credit card and book that trip or mastermind.  Don’t procrastinate (OODA Loop!  5 second rule!); do it.  

Next, take your “negative” leaders, put them in your “NOT-TO-DO LIST”.  Put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of the quarter. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.

Now, I get that many of you don’t live by your calendars. No problem.  The same process can be done with a daily journal. Don’t have a daily journaling habit?  Now would be a great time to start! Let that be your “step one”. You’ll be amazed at the patterns that will be revealed that you might otherwise not have seen.

This works in the micro as well, which is why I keep a workout journal. Obviously working out is something that’s a permanent “fuck yes” when I look at my quarterly schedule, so that’s a “given”.  I have a few other “high ROI” daily habits (post on those is forthcoming) that are a permanent fixture on my schedule. This practice, though, is what helped me identify those habits.

But what about those elements within my workout?  This is how I identified that I was (1) spending too much time warming up, and (2) not enough time on daily recovery methods.  I found that infrared sauna sessions in the winter, time with the Joovv light and float sessions really aid in my ability to rock both my workouts AND my hectic entrepreneurial life.   

Heal thyself, harden thyself, change the world –

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


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