What went well today?

A few years ago, while I was recovering from cancer and dealing with a whole bunch of other ‘disasters‘ that life had brought me at the same time, I decided to begin a new habit.

I set an alarm on my phone for the end of each day, as a reminder to ask myself one very simple question:

“What went well today?”

At first my answers might not have seemed very impressive to you. They were things like “walked 50 metres,” “saw a beautiful sunset,” “met up with a friend.” But at the time they were big things to me and they helped me to keep going. Since then my answers have shifted and grown as I have shifted and grown.

Now, years later, the alarm is still on my phone and I still ask myself this question, nearly every day.

With hindsight, this extraordinarily simple question brings me three very powerful things:

  1. It reminds me what is going well, as well as all what is going badly. This gives me a more balanced perspective and improves my morale.
  2. It reminds me of what is important to me. This helps me decide where to focus my energies tomorrow and next week, so I create more of those things in my life.
  3. It helps me to problem-solve and find new ways forward, because it trains me to be able to see past the ‘problem’ to find what is going well, and what could go even better.

Over the years, I realise, this apparently simple process has been transformative — an important step towards becoming antifragile.

Is your life perfect at the moment? Do you take the time to remember what is going well, as well as what isn’t? Would it be useful to gain deeper insights into what really matters to you? Would you like to improve your ability to problem-solve? Have you set a reminder on your phone?


Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

You can sign up to daily posts here.

You can buy the book here and the workbook here.

(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.)


Photo By Kevin Gale via StockPholio.net

Leave a Reply