If I could kick myself in the ass right now, I would. Last night on my way home from the driving range I was caught for speeding and issued a nasty fine (like golf isn’t expensive enough already…). Unlike my experience in If You Want To Change, Tell the Truth, I was never in any doubt that this was anything but my own fault. I strongly agree with the principle that people should drive within the speed limits, and I put this down to a lapse in concentration. What really annoys me, though, is the fact that this is something I vowed I would never do again after the last time.

The last time was a few years ago, but I still remember it very clearly. I also distinctly remember the following weeks where the care I took driving could have had me nominated for a “Driver of the Year” award. But as these weeks turned into months, I slowly returned to a more “normal” way of driving (still predominantly safe – just more relaxed and, therefore, prone to occasional lapses in concentration).

Anyway this experience had given me a simple, yet extremely powerful idea: life reminders. I’m sure there are numerous lessons I have learned at some point in my life that, as time has marched on, have slowly been forgotten. One example I think everyone can identify with is the experience of going on holiday. Personally, when I am on holiday I start to really appreciate the important things in life: family, friends, happiness. I also generate endless ideas for what I want to do to fill my life with success and meaning. However, as sure as day turns to night, once the holiday is over these ideas and insights slowly get pushed out of my mind as the trials and trivialities of everyday life demand my attention.

To make sure “never again” really means “never again”, I have come up with the some personal reminders:

  • Drive safe and within the speed limit (an obvious one!).
  • Failing to prepare is preparing to fail (thank you Benjamin Franklin).
  • Don’t taken family and friends for granted.
  • Remember to find pleasure and meaning in each and every day.
  • Being fit and healthy feels so good (a reminder I need on those days it is difficult to motivate myself to get to the gym).

I’m sure there are many more, and I plan to add to these as they pop into my head. The next thing to consider, of course, is what to do with these reminders. Here are also some methods I think will work well:

  • Stick them on the fridge, at the front of your diary, or some other prominent place.
  • Choose a particular date in your diary (maybe at the start of a month or a date with particular importance to you) and write your reminders in there.

As you can see, my methods are fairly “old school”. I’m sure there are also some tech savvy way to set up these types of reminders. Maybe a reader could suggest some?

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.