Nightly Questions: Ask yourself this

A while back I read a great book called Triggers: Creating Behaviors That Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith (gasps for breath), about self awareness. It’s an easy read packed full of practical and actionable advice. It is pointed a bit more at career and leadership, however you can use the same advice to help increase your personal potential and growth as well.

A big focus of the book is about moving from planning and talking about change to actually taking steps towards change.  “We are superior planners and inferior doers.”

Marshall suggests looking at your environment to see what triggers you to abandon your plan for change. A bit like we discussed yesterday. He says we should set up the right structure that supports our goals and to be honest with ourselves about how badly we want this change we seek.

One of the biggest takeaways for me was the idea of nightly questions that you ask yourself at the end of every day (or actually he suggested going through the questions with a friend, loved one, or coworker). It allows you to evaluate your day and plan for the next. Got off course with your budget? Refocus and do better tomorrow.  Ate a bacon cheeseburger instead of staying on your new hardcore vegan diet? Well, go make your tofu salad for tomorrow so you can be more successful. Nailed all of your questions? Flipping celebrate, because you’re a damn rockstar!

The trick to the nightly questions is in how you phrase the questions. You are not just looking to see if you accomplished the task; you are mostly looking at did you try to do it. Did you make the effort? You can’t always control the result, but you do have control over the energy and effort you put towards it.

Here’s some examples of what the nightly questions can look like.

Nightly Questions


1. Did I do my best to check off one of my daily fitness goals? (yoga, run, gym, crunches, exercise class, dance)

2. Did I do my best to get to 10,000 steps?


3. Did I do my best to focus on portion control?

4. Did I do my best to not eat out?

5. Did I do my best to take my supplements?

6. Did I do my best to plan tomorrow’s menu/meals?


7. Did I do my best to make sure my children feel loved?

8. Did I do my best to provide for my children?

9. Did I do my best to set my children up for success?


10. Did I do my best to stick to my budget?

11. Did I do my best to control spending impulses?

You can use these for any goals you may have: interpersonal relationships, health, career, household, etc.  The number of questions vary greatly depending on how much you want and are willing to take on.

It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it.

Have you read this? Any other self help books you’ve read lately?

Any favorites?


One thought on “Nightly Questions: Ask yourself this

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s