A virtuous cycle

vurtious cycle

Who would not want to learn from their mistakes? In principle everyone would, yet how many of us make a date in their calendars to just do that? There is an easy practice that makes the process consistent and effective – it is called: Sprint.

‘Sprint’ is an approach to project management that uses the week as a building block. It involves mapping out what you’re going to do on a project for the upcoming week (1), executing the plan (2) and doing an end-of-week review with an emphasis on overcoming obstacles (3). There is nothing too groundbreaking about this approach, but having used it before I can confirm that it can work wonders.

This is the end of my fourth week of my forty-two day writing challenge, which involves testing out the advice set out in the Zen Habit Book and documenting the process. Put simply, I read a chapter a day and put into practice each recommendation. For some reasons, in the past I have always found it difficult to keep up a weekly review – perhaps the problem was that I used to pack too much and set my expectations too high. The ‘Sprint’ technique is rather simple and to make it even easier I am going to take baby steps. So here my review:

The last four weeks have gone rather well. I have managed to publish or republish a blog post every day for the last 28 days. One of the main difficulties has been to write new fresh material in the little time that I have. Also, many of the topics I chose were perhaps a little too philosophical and brought on many ideas which sometimes collided. Consequently, I spent a lot more time rewriting and editing. The challenge for next week is to reduce the amount of time I devote to each post – while keeping articles interesting and well written.

Since the Breangelo blog is about change and self-knowledge, I would recommend that you consider testing out this technique. I challenge you to set a weekly time to review a current project you are working on, to identify what obstacles you face and, to  write down how you intend to tackle those challenges in the upcoming week. It is often tempting to give up on a task or project that one finds difficult; the weekly review enables one to try out different strategies and to persevere.

We all make mistakes, and we all have the ability to change. It takes self-awareness and perseverance to become proficient at deliberately improving our performances. Step by step, we climb the spiral stairs to the top of the proverbial lighthouse. Reviewing the week with a focus on identifying obstacles and overcoming them is a tremendously valuable practice. The learning that comes from the weekly review can immediately be put into practice and thereby start a virtuous cycle.


One sentence journal – day 6:
“The shock and excitement of a new challenge can produce butterfly in the tummy. Barcelona here I come. ”

This blog is part of a renewed 42-day writing challenge inspired by Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits Book.
Photo: Won Young Park