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The Daily Betterment Protocol

Updated: Jul 10

When I first started my fitness journey, I struggled to stay consistent and disciplined. I would always make excuses, get distracted by mindless scrolling on my phone, or find other ways to procrastinate instead of working towards my goal of getting fit and improving my mental well-being. Since then, I have built enough discipline to manage being a full-time doctor of physical therapy student, running my online personal training business, navigating a long-distance relationship, and still finding time to have fun. I don’t say this to brag, but to show you that by following a regimented schedule and sticking to your goals, you can change your life in a relatively short amount of time.

When I first started and lacked discipline, I realized I needed to find a way to stay focused on my goals and eliminate distractions. So, I researched some of the world’s most successful individuals. I looked at some of history’s greatest time managers and developed my own protocol based on my favorite strategies they used to achieve success. From this, I created the Daily Betterment Protocol.

This protocol is focused on improving every single day by honing in on your main priorities based on your long-term goals. It provides a blueprint for structuring your day to be productive and efficient. For the first time, I am going to share this protocol that has helped me train for multiple marathons, graduate from college with the highest distinction, balance a busy life of being a full-time student and entrepreneur, and still manage to have fun and spend time with my friends. I present to you, the Daily Betterment Protocol.

The Daily betterment journal in a users hand as he flys in a plane

Step One of The Daily Betterment Protocol: Three Main Priorities

One of the most successful individuals in history is Jeff Bezos. Whether you love him or hate him, he has developed one of the greatest logistics solutions in the history of human civilization in Amazon. During my research on managing my time efficiently and building discipline, I came across an interview where he talked about making sure he completed each day by making three main decisions. He mentioned that while we make tens of thousands of decisions daily, only a handful will ultimately steer the direction of our day and future. He likes to identify these three main priorities at the beginning of his day, and that is what he works towards accomplishing by the end of the workday.

So, the first step of the Daily Betterment Protocol is establishing three main priorities for what you want to accomplish in a given day. These are not simply to-do list items; they are the backbone of your daily regimen. Ideally, these three main priorities will tie in perfectly with your long-term goals. For example, if your goal is to lose 40 pounds to improve your health for longevity purposes, one of your main priorities for the day might be completing a 60-minute workout. Another example might be if your long-term goal is to build your own business, one of your main priorities might be reaching out to a certain number of clients or scheduling a certain number of appointments.

This is a super simple way to give your day focus and direction. If you’re following this protocol, start by writing down your three main priorities that you hope to accomplish today.

Step Two: Checklist Items

To-do lists have been around for centuries, providing a well-known way to give your day structure and ensure you don’t forget anything important. While doing my research, I was reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest artists and engineers in history, was known for keeping very detailed journals of his thoughts, plans, and sketches. When his journals were discovered, it was noted that he was a big fan of to-do lists. He wrote to-do lists for big projects, small projects, tasks throughout the day, and many other things. This helped him stay organized and focused, even when his mind wandered.

A few other notable individuals who used to-do lists include Thomas Edison, one of the greatest and most prolific inventors in history, and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and one of the biggest faces in the artificial intelligence wave.

The Daily Betterment Protocol includes a checklist for smaller to-do list tasks or decisions that need to be made throughout the day. This space is reserved for things that need to get done and should not be forgotten. The strategy for optimizing your day is having these checklist items fuel the three main priorities that you set in the last step of the protocol.

Step Three: Gratitude

More recently, I’ve seen more and more successful individuals talk about practicing gratitude. But why would gratitude help you to succeed? In my personal experience, practicing gratitude makes me more attuned to the little things in life. Nowadays, it’s easy to get upset or discouraged when things don’t go your way, or you don’t get instant gratification. I find that practicing gratitude helps ground me and opens my eyes to the beauty of the world around me. That might sound cheesy, but I encourage you to start by thinking about some things that you’re grateful for.

Some successful individuals who are known to practice gratitude regularly include Albert Einstein and Oprah Winfrey. These are well-known and successful people who have changed the world in many positive ways. Practicing gratitude helps lead to a healthy optimism that gives you a better outlook on life.

In the Daily Betterment Protocol, you can practice gratitude either at the beginning or end of the day. By simply writing down one or two things that you’re grateful for, it can help you reflect on all the positive things happening in your life. I find this especially useful when things are not going your way. It helps you step back and give perspective on what truly matters in life. I like to practice daily gratitude at the end of the day along with the next couple of steps in the protocol.

Step Four: Did You Get Better Today?

This is such a simple prompt, yet such a profound question. The only thing you are looking for in this step is a yes or no response. On a deeper level, this question asks if you stuck to the plan or not today. The more “yes” responses you accumulate and compound, the faster you will progress towards your goals. Conversely, the more “no” responses you accumulate, the more it can hinder your progress.

The objective of this stage in the Daily Betterment Protocol is to allow for a very brief reflection on how focused and on-task you were that day. This leads directly into step five of the protocol.

Step 5: Daily Reflection

In the Catholic Church, before confessing one’s sins, an individual is supposed to go through a reflection of conscience. This time of meditation and prayer is dedicated to thinking about all the wrongdoings and ways that you could have done better in troubling situations. It also allows you to give a strong confession and clear your conscience of any wrongdoings from the past. It also allows you to reflect on ways you can improve in the future.

Step five of the Daily Betterment Protocol uses a somewhat similar approach at the end of every day. Reflecting back to the question, “Did you get better today?” this step is the perfect time for reflection on ways you might have slipped and need improvement, or things you did well and want to continue doing. This is the perfect way to end the day and prepare your mind for making progress the next day. This step should take a decent amount of time, giving you a few minutes of critical thinking to solve your own problems.

There you have it, the Daily Betterment Protocol. A simple five-step process that you can follow every day to get better and compound your progress rapidly towards your goals. This protocol has helped me build discipline, time management skills, and focus as I pursue all my goals. I hope that you find this protocol to be as effective as I have, and I toast to your future success.

If you would like a physical journal that guides you through the Daily Betterment Protocol every single day, there are copies available for purchase here. I prefer having a physical copy rather than using a notes or to-do app on my phone, as I find myself easily distracted by technology. If you purchase the journal, let me know what you think. Good luck on your journey of self-improvement. I look forward to hearing about your success.

The Daily Betterment Journal, which contains the daily betterment protocol


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