A hit list isn’t a hit list in terms of who you are going to kill but rather a hit list of the things that you need to kill every day so that you know you are moving towards your goals in life. Here I will lay down somewhat of a framework that can help you make small check lists (hit lists) for your daily life so that you can stay on point all day.
Why do I need to make a check list?
Many people come to me and ask why am I always pulling a little paper out of my pocket and looking at it. The reason I do this is because I have a lot of things that I want to get done everyday and if I do not make a list of them then I know that many of them will slip by as the day unfolds.
Over time I have learned that in order to gain success in life, we need to do things incrementally in order to see what we have learned or developed in life. I learned it mostly from looking at my level of Cantonese way back in 2002 when I moved to Hong Kong. I didn’t know very much, but I worked on it day by day and never, even to this day, gave up on learning more. I now can look back and see all of the things that I can now say, read, write and understand compared to what I couldn’t 18 years ago. This idea of the incremental learning also became very clear to me from learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. The first day you walk in you are getting killed by guys and girls that are smaller than you and over time you are able to defend yourself and then you’re becoming more of the hammer rather than the nail all of the time.
When I started to make check lists for my daily needs of learning, I started to see the incremental learning happening in front of me as the weeks and months went on. I didn’t need to spend hours at a time on each and every thing on the list, just 15 minutes is enough at times. When I checked off that activity, I felt really great about having had succeeded for the day for that particular event and it made me feel good because I knew that I was moving forward. Conversely, if I hadn’t check it off, I felt a bit upset at myself for not doing it, but would vow to make it one of the first things I checked off the next day.
Types of things to put on your hit list
For myself, I try to plan a lot of things in each and every day as I know that if I manage my time well, that I can get a lot of the things done and see my forward progress. I try not to get too hung up on the things that I miss, although I will be a bit upset, I know at the end of the day I still accomplished a lot more than had I not made a list. Time goes by very quickly at times and we need to make sure that we are spending it wisely.
Below is what my daily hit list looks like. I try to fit all of these items into my daily life. Again, I may miss some items here and there, but overall I am putting down a lot of checks throughout my week.
Daily Success February 21st – 28th, 2021
There are 98 boxes to tick for the week and the game is to see how many boxes you get checked off each week. Items like H20 and Eat Well, should be the easiest and for me and the Workout box gets done every morning at 630am, so those 3 combined are already 21 boxes checked off. On my commute to work, Monday – Friday, I can Read or write in my Journal, so now easily I can check another 10 boxes. Now I’m already at 31 checks out of the 98. On my lunch break, I’ll study Thai (ไทย) and when at my desk I will read the Chinese (中文) newspaper or go through my lists of things to study for Chinese and that is another 10 checks, so I easily can have 41 boxes ticked by Friday each and every week. Once I add in the things I do in the evening and how I manage my time on Saturday and Sunday, I hope that all of my boxes are check off and I have reached 98 ticked. For reference, I have yet to get all 98 for a week. I usually train BJJ 3-4 days a week and sometimes on my commute home I fall asleep on the bus ride home and miss reading or doing some research.
The most important thing is that you have it to look at and you work through it as much as you can each and every day. Sometimes I only study Chinese for 15 minutes or Read for 30 minutes. Sometimes I listen to Thai dialogues while on my walks during my lunch break and therefore my time commitment is quite low on those days. My point being is that we can get SO much done if we manage our time well and for that we should make a daily success hit list.
At the end of each week, we need to sit down with our check list and review and reflect on what we have done or not have done. Have our journal out and run through some ideas as to how we can be more productive the following week and make note of the things that we did really well so that we can repeat those in the coming week too.
The reflection will help to make sure that we are doing things to get us to our goals. We can add items such as, saving money points for the week, preparing meals for the week, family time or time with friends. The list can go on and on. Sometimes we get carried away with things that are not so productive or that distract us a bit longer than they should, and having a list out and in our face can help us to limit some of those distractions.
We all need a kick in the backside from time to time and the hit list can be that self kick to keep us moving forward. Try to use a daily check list for a month and see how it can benefit you. You can always change the list and always keep in mind that it is your list, so make it personal. Try not to get hung up on too many boxes that are not checked and try not to have too many boxes at the beginning. Start with a few important things that you want to make sure you get done each and every day and week and you can always add more later.
Keep moving forward. Leave me a comment and share what your hit list has on it and what experiences you have had.