When the day has ended, how will I answer? Will I answer that I’ve done as I set out to do? Will I have to mark that I’ve fallen short? Or worse yet, will I neglect to put up my day for review at all?

I’ve been off-and-on in ending my days with a review, but I’ve been mostly off. For me, avoiding an end-of-day review results in me not making conscious the areas in which I’m falling short. And even worse than that, it also means I forget to celebrate all that I’m doing well.

I was recently listening to a podcast with the brilliant and well-named Cal Newport. In it he shared how he is very intentional about what he puts up for review at the end of the day. He measures what, for him, is most important to living his best life.

And though it’s painfully obvious, I hadn’t fully internalized something he mentioned, “If your mind knows that your behavior for the day on key activities is going to be tracked, it’s much more likely to actually summon the motivation to do it.”

Which begs the question, what are your key activities?

What are the activities or practices that, if you do them, mean you’re likely to have a good day? And how are you setting yourself up for success in completing them?

One way to do that is to do as Cal Newport suggested, note what you will review at the end of the day at the beginning of your day. This morning I drew an empty box next to “25 minutes of exercise.” Tonight I intend to check that box.

After having set your intention early, it’s just as Cal Newport suggests, it’s motivating. You realize what you care to complete and why doing so matters to you. When you write your intention early, you realize that you’ll need to set aside deliberate time in your day to follow-through on that intention. When the time comes, you’re ready to take action because you want to be able to answer “Yes!”

Start small. Writing down ten things is sure to lead to failure. Just pick one. When you set aside time to review your day, how will you answer?