DAILY PRACTICE LOG
ABOUT THE LOG
The purpose of this log is to encourage and support you to practice one action every day. Each of us wants to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. Sometimes, however, we experience weakness, temptation, and cravings for things that aren’t good for us. We all experience personal obstacles that keep us from achieving our goals. The Daily Practice Log is here to help you create the life you desire. Your practice can be:
Keep track of your practice on the log form, day by day and month by month.
The concept is simple:
“WHAT THE SOUL RECEIVES, THE MIND CONCEIVES, AND THE HEART BELIEVES,
Practicing the concept is powerful:
5 MINUTES A DAY OPENS A POSSIBILITY
15 MINUTES CREATES A CHANGE
1 HOUR A DAY CHANGES YOUR WORLD
How to use YOUR DAILY PRACTICE LOG :
1) COMMIT: Easily begin with a single commitment to practice one action each day for one month to achieve a goal. At the end of the first month, you can review your practice, modify (if needed) and commit to a second month (and so on).
2) YOUR LONG-TERM GOAL: At the top of the first month’s log sheet, define the long-term goal of your practice: learning a skill, creating something, making a lifestyle change, an act of service, etc. Learning a skill could be practicing singing or meditating. Creating something could be writing a book, building your own business, redecorating your home. Making a lifestyle change could be exercising daily, following an eating program, overcoming smoking by substituting a healthy habit. An act of service could be helping the elderly, mentoring a teenager, or visiting patients in a hospital. These are just a few examples to open your mind to possibilities.
What do you want to create? Further define your long-term goal with a mental image, an emotion, and a physical sensation. IMAGE: What does it look like when your goal is achieved? Briefly describe this image. EMOTION: What emotion do you have when you have achieved this goal? Briefly describe this emotion. SENSATION: What bodily sensations accompany the achievement of your goal? Briefly describe. For example, if my goal were to lose 25 lbs., I could visualize how I fit into a new pair of jeans of a certain size. I feel the emotion of self-confidence and I experience a sensation of lightness and energy in my body. All spaces in this log are small to encourage you to keep it simple.
3) MONTHLY GOAL: For each month, set a monthly goal, which is an incremental step toward your long-term goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 25 lbs., then your monthly goal could be losing 4 lbs. If your long-term goal is to write a book, then your monthly goal could be writing one chapter. If your long-term goal is to help a group of elderly people with their errands, then your monthly goal could be to begin helping one person with their errands.
4) DAILY PRACTICE: Define your daily practice as a simple concrete action that you will do every day toward achieving your monthly and long-term goals. What you choose needs to be a positive action, even if the goal is to break a negative habit. Every time you want to do the negative habit, instead substitute the positive. For example: chew gum instead of smoking a cigarette or write one paragraph on your novel instead of watching TV. Toward a weight loss goal, you could drink a glass of water or do deep breathing for five minutes when you want to eat after 7p.m. If your goal is helping a group of elderly people with their errands, you could contact one or more of them by phone each day.
5) COMMIT TIME: Decide how much time you will devote to your practice on a daily basis: 5, 15, 30, 60 minutes/day. For a negative habit, decide how many times a day you will substitute a positive action for the prior negative habit.
6) SCHEDULE a specific time for your practice. For a negative habit, choose a time to substitute your positive action based on when you are most likely to perform your negative habit. For example: Instead of eating French fries at lunch, eat an apple. To learn a new skill, such as meditation, it is best to schedule the same time everyday to ingrain the habit.
7) LOG YOUR PRACTICE: Every day for the next month, re-read your long-term goal, your monthly goal, and your daily practice at the top of the monthly log sheet and log your practice using the chart provided. Describe what you did, how much you did, when you did it, and how it went. Rate your practice from 0-10 and briefly describe your experience. 0 means you didn’t do your practice, 10 means it was a great experience. Describe that experience in a few words to integrate it and to log it for review later. Notice negative self-talk. We all have voices that hold us back. Recognize them, let them go, and continue on.
8) REVIEW: At month’s end, review your log. Add up your daily rating numbers for all days and divide by the number of days to get your average rating for the month. Ask yourself: What worked? What didn’t work? What to change next month?
9) MODIFY: If you need to, modify your practice for the next month. Be positive and realistic. Consistent small actions build great things.
10) CONTINUE month by month until you achieve your long-term goal.
“The moment one commits oneself, then, Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from that decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now!” Johann Goethe 1749-1832