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Maintaining your foundation

compare to my 28 daily covenants

(keeping your rocks together)

Choose your own important daily rocks, or daily covenants, to keep in place

Any architect knows that, without a solid foundation, nothing can rise very far above it. Many of us live our lives as if this principle did not apply to us. It's amazing that we're able to do as much as we do without this consistent foundation. Imagine what you could build and maintain with that foundation.

Here are my 28 daily covenant intentions

They won't be yours. After reviewing these, you'll get a clearer idea for yourself of how to set up your daily foundation of covenants. After I detail my covenants, I'll provide the criteria I used to choose them.

"Comparisons are odious"

Although I first heard this quote as a child from my grandmother, it goes all the way back to John Lydgate around the year 1440. It's important that we not compare ourselves negatively or even positively to others.

I share with you my example below because it's the easiest way I know to stimulate some ideas for you to think of some daily covenant/intentions you might want to set up for yourself. And, as in any example, usually the most important thing to get is the principles behind the example that could be useful to your life.

Using Excel to track my covenants


Chart structure, as of March 30, 2020

Twenty-eight agreements apply Monday through Friday. Eleven agreements are operable on Saturday, with ten agreements for Sunday.

At the beginning of each day, usually 4.00am for me, but on this day I got up at 3:04am, I insert a new column before column E. It will end up becoming the new column D. Excel automatically makes it the same size as column D, the date column. I insert the current date in the heading of this new column. Then I cut the previous day's column and re-insert it off to the right, outside of what you can see, as "history." Finally, I refresh the C column with the propagated formula =IF(D2>0,1,0). This will put a "0" in the C column if nothing exists in the D column, the new date column. Otherwise, it will enter a "1." Whenever I complete a promise, I put a time stamp in the date column, sometimes with additional information about the promise kept. By the way, if you're using Windows, use "ctrl" + ";" to do a time stamp into an Excel cell. Use "cmd" + ";" on the Mac.

The graph is a "waterfall graph" based upon the values in columns B and C (with C having a value of "0" or "1"). Every time I complete a promise and enter the time stamp in a column D cell, the graph automatically updates.

In this screen shot, taken about 6.00am, you can see that the last promise kept was the "desk clear" promise finished at 5.53am, with a total of 17 promises kept, with 11 more to go for the day.

Describing each promise

  1. "Weight kg" Almost always the first promise kept each day, showing my morning weight.

  2. "morning routine" I print this one-page sheet of 26 agreements/reminders every morning and check off the items as done. Examples are eat one gram of raw garlic, brush teeth, check emails for anything urgent, green tea.

  3. "Fast 16+ hours" Except for one or more cups of hot cocoa, with a bit of liquid stevia and a drop of peppermint oil, I fast from about 11am to 5am the next day M-F.

  4. "Visions speak" To the beat of energetic music I like, I sub-vocally speak my vision statements. I alternate these by even and odd days of the month, since I have two of them. Here are the visions that I speak:

  5. "TMCW" This is my ten-minute cognitive workout, which consists of sub-vocally speaking 19 affirmations, with energetic music playing. Two examples are, "I am fully engaging with and enlivened within all my circumstances," and "I am exercising for great fitness and posturing perfectly."

  6. "Dance with above" I am also dancing easily to the music while doing #4 and #5.

  7. "Full body vibe (FBV)" Using my full body vibration machine at my stand-up desk.

  8. "RLT FBV sitting #1" This is two promises together: sitting on my full body vibration machine, as it vibrates at the highest setting, while my face is about 12 inches from an array of 120 red/near infrared light bulbs. Duration time six minutes. Here's an example of this standing up, while "singing."

  9. "RLT FBV sitting #2" (same as #8)

  10. "RLT FBV naked #3" Again two promises together, done just before I soak in my an epsom salt bath, see #24, and then into bed. However, I am now naked, standing on the full body vibration machine with the array of lights directed more towards the middle of my body. I expose my front for three minutes, then my backside for three minutes.

  11. "Checkoff yesterday" Each day, using an app called Todoist, I plan and print out the schedule for my day, see agreement #12. Using the previous day's printout, I review and checkoff what I did and didn't do from the previous day.

  12. "Todoist plan <7am" Using the Todoist app, I plan and print the task items to be done or considered for the day. This must be done before 7am.

  13. "supplements #1" Along with agreement #22, I take 37 different supplements each day, examples: ground flax/chia seeds, nutritional yeast, citrulline malate, vitamin B12, rhodiola, zinc, turmeric with black pepper, silymarin.

  14. "situps for 20s #1" I do as many sit-ups as possible in 20 seconds.

  15. "situps for 20s #2" (same as #14)

  16. "situps for 20s #3" (same as #14)

  17. "whirling dervish 5-5" I spin around to the right as fast as I can for a minimum of five times, then reverse and spin to the left the same number of times. If needed, I steady myself by holding my desk afterwards until I am no longer dizzy.

  18. "super screaming #1" After taking a deep breath I see how long I can scream without taking another breath, emptying my lungs completely. I can always do at least 20 time I was able to do it for 45 seconds.

  19. "super screaming #2" (same as #18)

  20. "super screaming #3" (same as #18)

  21. "green smoothie eat" My housekeeper prepares a blended smoothie containing spinach, kale, another green vegetable, black sesame seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, carrot, and cherry tomato. I drink/eat this every afternoon.

  22. "supplements #2" See #13; taken in the late afternoon.

  23. "emails yester finish" Each day I handle all emails that arrived the day before. I answer them, file them, read them, or throw them away. My inbox from the day before must be emptied by the end of every day.

  24. "Epsom salts soak" Just before bed, with all the main lights out, I soak for six-minutes in a hot epsom bath, using about 250 grams of epsom salt dissolved in the hottest water I can stand. This relaxes me and makes it much easier to get to sleep and to sleep soundly.

  25. "30 minute project" At the beginning of the day I select a specific project to spend at least 30 minutes on. For examples, it could be either working on AskDwightHow or developing "The Chronicles of my Crooked Life," my autobiography.

  26. "Desk clear" Spend at least five minutes a day keeping my desk clear and organized.

  27. "Longevity 15+" Spend at least fifteen minutes researching longevity issues.

  28. "Report day" This is always the last promise kept because it indicates that I have sent a message to my assistant that says, "Celebrate with me I've kept 28 of 28 of my promises today." If I didn't do all of them, my report would be like, "Celebrate with me I've kept 23 of 28 of my promises today."

How did I choose these covenants

I do many more things regularly besides these promises. I have two reasons that each of the above were singled out to go on this list.

  • Without doing this action consistently, a portion of my life foundation, needed to support other things I am up to, is obviously weakened.

  • Without the checklist and the clarity of each covenant, I may have a tendency to blow off or "forget" some of these items. Having clarity and a checklist as well as celebrating the promises I have kept at the end of the day, keeps them easily in place.

In designing/choosing each item on the list, it had to pass muster with both Dwight-Next and Dwight-Now. Dwight-Next must think that the task is important to maintain my life foundations so that the future's more likely to be better. Dwight-Now was able to think that each item in question will be interesting or enjoyable to do when the time comes to do it.

Finally, I have not selected more items than I can easily get done in my average day, Monday through Friday. I am under promising and leaving buffer in my day. 

Never blame yourself

Some days I don't do all these covenants. I never blame myself. It usually involves a re-negotiation between my Now and my Next. The great thing about this checklist is that, regardless of whether I do them all on a given day, I am consciously aware of what I choose to do or not do. My Now and Next are both involved in that process as partners/negotiators. Nothing is "not done" because it dropped through the cracks.

Covenants change

My covenants have changed, and will change, over time. I make adjustments, subtractions. or additions as I discover new things or as conditions of my life change.

Go create YOUR daily covenants!

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