Just as the daily practices that I've posted about have helped me to maintain a positive attitude, a set of weekly practices have also been useful. You can download a PDF file with the "Friday File" from the link at the bottom of this page or on the Resources page or here. This file will guide you through a process to implement the ideas discussed.
Weekly Practices Explained
This ‘habit’ - of pausing at the end of a week to take stock comes rom Stephen Covey and his Seven Habits. The key is to focus on the positive - what you have achieved. This can be very uplifting! It can be quite small things that matter to you. I also like to find a comfortable space to do my Friday File. Not at my desk, but somewhere cheery. The Friday File has two aspects: looking back at the week and looking forward to the coming week.
Everyone says it's a good idea to stay in touch with other people. I suggest using an adapted version of the “Five Emails Principle” discussed by Eric Barker, March, 2014: http://time.com/22752/how-to-make-your-life-better-by-sending-five-simple-emails. I’ve kept the first three Emails suggested by Barker: 1) Send a friend, family member or co-worker an email to say thanks for something; 2) Update as appropriate, to sum up what you’ve accomplished or how things are unfolding; 3) Email a good friend and make plans. Staying in touch keeps friendships alive. I’ve changed the final two Emails to focus on different questions which I’ve found more linked to my cancer/treatment experience: 4) To offer support or encouragement to someone else; and 5) Reach out – to a mentor or a fellow traveller. Could be to someone who has knowledge or experience relevant to your treatment or anything on your mind.
The Coming Week:
You can’t do it all – particularly when you’re in the midst of treatment. Use “This Week’s List” to select the things you want to get done (or started) in the week ahead. The [A] column is for Appointments. The [F] column is for things that you can do anytime - flexible or fluid. Tag them to a day if that helps you get a focus and flow for the week. It can be a very short list! I kept a full list of ‘to do’ or recall or follow up in a personal file at www.wunderlist.com.
The Most Important Thing:
Identifying the most important thing(s) to be achieved in the coming week can give you needed focus. This will give you a bit of focus and help you shape the week to be a step forward to wellness. Generally, see: http://jamesclear.com/productivity-tip
Complete the sentence: “I am….” Pick something positive and pertinent that will affirm you and remind you of your good qualities and strength! Let that affirmation carry you through the week.
Click on the following link to download the "Friday File"/Weekly File as a PDF or find it on the Resources Page along with the Daily File Cover Page.
Hint: Print double-sided, landscape mode, flip on the short edge.
Using the System
I hope you find the pages and ideas useful. Feel free to adapt them to suit your own style. Create a template in Word or an online note-taking app. Another system that picks up the themes of gratitude and attitude is the Five Minute Journal which is available as an iOS app or online through https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-five-minute-journal.