Monday morning comes around —and there are typically two types of people out there:
95% of people wake up in a fog, scattered, and putting out fires. They have no clarity on where they’re going —they simply want to make it through the day as fast as they can, so they can come back, “relax” and/or lay on the couch, binge-watching Netflix.
(Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with Netflix…but distraction is usually a feedback mechanism for a lack of clarity and purpose.)
Then, there’s the 5% of people who wake up with intention —they’ve designed their day based on a broader desire or vision. Their actions, rituals, habits, and environments support where they’re headed. There’s a peace and calm, balanced with a deliberate focus to start their week.
Now, there’s no question who is more likely to create meaningful progress in their life and business between these two. But if you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or work for yourself in some capacity —this becomes even more important.
One of my most prized rituals which I teach all of my clients is: If you do it right, taking 45-60 minutes on a Sunday to reflect, course correct, commit and prepare can and will change your life.
In this post, I’ll share the exact process I use and teach —as well as tools and resources to help you do the same. Because if you do, you’ll create the clarity and momentum most people wish for.
And as you know, wishing is never a strategy for success. But first, let’s get clear on why this matters in the first place.
Where Will You Be One Year From Today?
Barring some type of physical catastrophe in your life —you’ll be waking up in one year. And you’re either going to be in a radically different place than where you find yourself today…
Or most likely —you’re going to be exactly where you are now, but worse. If you’re in a career that isn’t working, you’ll be worse off. If you’re finding yourself lacking momentum, you’ll be even more stuck. If you’re not making the money you want in your entrepreneurial or freelancing gigs…your bank account is bound to look the same.
The truth is: success is quite predictable, and sometimes even boringly predictable —look at someone’s mindset, behaviours, and habits and you’ll get a clear picture of where they’re likely to end up. Sure, there are outliers. But I’m not going to bank my life on unicorns, even if they’re kinda cute.
But there’s also another possibility: you wake up, and you’ve seen tremendous progress over the last year. The little decisions you made to adopt a morning routine, get clear around your goals and invest in some accountability are now paying off.
Remember: this Sunday routine, like anything else —can seem insignificant in the moment. Because this Sunday, if you do it or you don’t, you likely won’t see monumental change. But if you take this practice and compound it over a full year, you can be living a radically different life. You could have finally achieved the momentum you wanted, made the extra $20,000 you dreamed of —launched the platform or written your first book.
Like I said earlier, during the thousands of hours I’ve spent in the trenches obsessing over peak performance, human behaviour change and results —the Sunday ritual came up time and time again.
Now let’s explore exactly what you’ll be doing on Sundays to maximize your success and never look back.
Step 1: Reflection
When was the last time you pushed the pause button on the freight train of your life and asked some deep questions, such as:
Am I on the right path, and do I know where I’m going?
What is my level of excitement and enthusiasm for life?
Why am I doing this all for anyway —what’s my bigger why?
Now, here’s what I’ve known to be true: we all ask these questions, but rarely create the necessary container to answer them. Meaning: we may contemplate these riding high above the clouds at 37,000 feet, but then we check our phones or fall asleep.
We may have a moment after a workout where we tap into something deeper —and then start our workday. Put simply: because we live in a shallow, caffeinated, non-stop stimulus world —true reflection is rare.
So the first step of your Sunday Reflection protocol is all about reflection —and taking the time to check in with yourself by asking yourself the following questions:
What was your biggest win(s) of the last week and how did you make them happen?
The first part of the reflection process of Sunday Reflection is about one thing: celebrating your wins. Because too often, we either conveniently forget the places we won, or choose to focus on what isn’t working. I don’t care how challenging, hard and scattered the last week was: there are wins in there, and plenty of them. It’s not about the magnitude of the wins, this is about celebrating yourself.
Once you’ve identified at least three wins, take a moment to deconstruct how you made that happen. Think of how’d you teach someone else the principles and tools you used to bring it to life.
My biggest win this week was making a decision on my next project —and completing the research phase.
How I made this win happen was by setting boundaries and taking focused action —even with a busy week, I created the time by planning and saying “no” to other opportunities.
Or, let’s use another example:
My biggest win this week was connecting with my significant other and kids with an amazing date night experience where we laughed and were all fully present.
How I made this happen and the lesson I’d teach others is: if you don’t schedule something in, it probably won’t happen. I’d noticed we hadn’t done a proper date night in months, because we were “busy.” By planning it out in advance, I made it happen and it was incredible.
By doing this, you’re not only putting your focus on what’s working (which as we stated earlier, is rare), but you’re teaching yourself how you made it happen. This re-wires your neural circuitry in real-time and will help you replicate these results in the future. This is the path to self-mastery where you build on your successes time and time again.
Now, it’s time to move on to the second key question:
What was your biggest challenge(es) of the last week and what did you learn through them?
Once we’ve celebrated your wins and de-constructed how you brought them to life —it’s time to identify your biggest challenge. I usually keep this to the one big stressor or adversity experienced during the week.
Often, we don’t face our challenges and take the proper time to reflect on them —missing out on valuable lessons and growth. Often, the act of releasing our challenges on paper (or digitally, if you prefer) means they lose their emotional charge on us. In fact, research has proven
The same process applies to the celebration phase, but now you will identify the challenge and de-construct the lesson and perspective it provided.
My biggest challenge this past week was not securing new revenue or clients in my business and feeling financial scarcity and stress.
Don’t focus on what’s not working. Most of the week I kept checking client proposals, and there was nothing there. I felt depleted and lost my confidence by placing my attention in the wrong places. Because of this, I didn’t make any new proposals or finish the marketing plan.
Or, another example:
My biggest challenge this past week was only doing my morning ritual two out of the seven days. I felt stressed and the kids were sick —and I reverted back to old habits.
Simplify the routine when there’s less time, and/or wake up 20 minutes earlier. I was able to see the contrast of when I do the routine, and when I don’t. I need this “me” time.
Can you recognize the power of reflection after reading the above? This is how you supercharge your learning and use your wins and challenges as catalysts to foster faster growth.
Lastly, the key here is to completely own your win(s) regardless of their size and scope —and do the same for your challenges. But instead of judging yourself for the challenges, seek the lesson they taught you.
Because now you’re wiser for them and have the ability to make a new choice.
Step 2: Course Correction
The second step of how 60 minutes on a Sunday can change your life is about course correction. Because often what I’ve noticed is after we set our targets and goals —we rarely take time to ask some crucial questions:
Given where I am today, am I still on the right trajectory?
Am I behind, on or ahead of schedule with my targets?
What is something that is working that I can double down on, or something I must delete?
There are two parts to course correction. One, you must know where you’re going —personally, your North Star vision (you can learn more about that here) and current quarterly targets based on the vision.
For example, if my goal was to bring in $100K of revenue in my business this quarter and I’m 45 days in and sitting at $25K —I may need to course correct to ensure I get where I’m going.
Step 3: New Commitments
Once we’ve done the first two steps, it’s time to look forward to the upcoming week —and create our new commitments. Notice the word choice here: this is not a hope, a wish or something you’re merely interested in:
This is a commitment, and there needs to be a powerful intention to bring this to life. The system I teach is based on doing this same process with countless mentors of mine —as well as leading my own programs.
Diving our lives into 4 areas, we ask a simple question:
- What am I committed to this week in regards to my business and career?
- What am I committed to this week in regards to my relationships and connection?
- What am I committed to this week in regards to my physical vitality and health?
- What am I committed to this week in regards to my spiritual practice and growth?
The key with these, as you’ve likely heard with most goal setting is to ensure it’s specific, and connected to your quarterly (and yearly) targets.
Here are some examples:
What am I committed to this week in regards to my business and career?
- I am committed to reviewing our marketing and crafting the new plan.
- I am committed to making 50 sales calls and follow-ups to potential clients.
- I am committed to recording 3 podcast episodes and releasing one blog post.
Business is easy, so let’s show an example of the spiritual side of things (however you may define this):
- I am committed to 10 minutes of daily meditation and reading 10 pages a day.
- I am committed to one floating tank session (sensory deprivation).
- I am committed to journaling every single evening about my wins of the day.
Once you’ve identified your commitments for each bucket of life, you should have a clear vision for the week. You know what you’re going to be creating, and this should fill up a decent chunk of your week. Because now, you’re part of the 5% who have clarity around their priorities, have identified specific behaviours in line with those —and have put pen to paper (and paper to the calendar, as we’ll do here in a moment).
Now it’s time for the next step: daily integration.
Step 4: Integration
The last step of this process is simple: integration. What I mean by integration is ensuring all the work you’ve done is going to turn into the real world, tangible behaviours.
The version of integration I teach and my clients use is ensuring all of the above goes into their weekly calendar. I know this is where most people stop reading, but what doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done. At least not long term: and if you’ve never used a calendar, this will be painful.
But it’s also going to be worth it. Because when you prioritize every part of your life, you don’t have space for the clutter. You don’t have space, time or energy left for gossip, mindless information, useless meetings or idle time where you’re left anxious, scattered and stressed.
Don’t get stressed: because within this calendar, I have plenty of time to recharge. I always keep a block in the afternoon called afternoon white space: no one can schedule me in here, and I get to do what I please (benefit #111 of being an entrepreneur.)
What I do after I’ve done all of this is add the little things that aren’t priorities, but still have to be done: email stuff, social media, checking in with my team and other efforts.
How 60 Minutes on Sunday Can Change Your Life
Every single mentor I’ve ever learned from directly or from afar has created the space for reflection. They all create a ‘bookmark’ to their week —and it happens on Sundays.
Whether it was Robin Sharma, Brendon Burchard, Dr. John Demartini or countless others —this is a life-changing practice. While we covered a ton of ground here, what I’ve found to work best is spend the next 66 days (the time it takes to build your habit) with your Sunday Reflection using a specific system and then start to make it your own.
Below, I’ve listed some tools and resources that help me with my reflection, as well as some research I used to bring this post to life.
I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments or if you have any questions about how to maximize your time and harness the power of this Sunday practice.
It is an honour to be a guest blogger on Alison’s Blog “I love the work she is doing”.
Be sure to check out my books, The 1% Rule and Leap of Faith on Amazon
Enjoy the Journey,
Tommy Baker, Resist Average Academy
About Tommy Baker
Tommy Baker helps dreamers, visionaries, and entrepreneurs bring those dreams to life –and create a life they can’t wait to wake up for. As the author of UnResolution, The 1% Rule and The Leap Of Your Life, Tommy believes living up to our potential is what we’re here for.
Through his writing, high-performance coaching and Resist Average Academy podcast –he’s helped thousands of people take their next bold step and never look back. He’s been featured in Entrepreneur, Influencive, Thought Catalog and more. Learn more at ResistAverageAcademy.com
60 Minutes Can Change Your Life Research and Notes
- Journaling about stressful events: effects of cognitive processing and emotional expression. “This study indicates that journaling about a personally experienced stressful or traumatic event may facilitate positive growth from the event.”
- The study focuses on strategies for achieving goals and resolutions, including the power of sharing your goals with others for a 70 percent increase in results.
- Cal Newport Blog: Deep Habits: Plan Your Week in Advance.
- Brendon Burchard, High-Performance Planner. One of my favourite tools that has a simplified version of the above and I always do both.
- The 1% Rule. In this book, I also write about the Sunday Reflection process, why it matters and how to connect all the dots to reserve engineer your success.