Yesterday I participated in my first Integrity Day. It is a day where two or more people commit to spending the day handling projects and tasks that we want or need to get done but never seem to get to. For instance, that burned out light bulb that never gets changed yet drives us nuts every time we walk into the room or the business proposal writing that you’ve been avoiding or the closet cleaning and organizing that never seems to happen. These are just examples of the types of things that could get handled, once and for all, during an integrity day.
While I have certainly spent the better part of a day handling projects and chores before, I never did it in this context where there is structure, group accountability, and support. It was amazing to me just how much I could accomplish in 8 hours and also just how fast 2 hours (our time interval between check-in calls with the group) could fly by.
How the process worked was that prior to integrity day, each of us made a list of everything we were tolerating. We then grouped those items (let’s face it, for most of us it is a LONG list) into similar categories and made note of anything we needed to purchase or get our hands on prior to integrity day so we wouldn’t get sidetracked by trips to the store or have our momentum and focus broken by not having the resources we needed to handle the task at hand.
The day started with a call in to the group and introductions. We then declared our commitment for the next 2 hours and were off and running. The subsequent call-ins gave us a chance to celebrate our successes and discuss any obstacles we faced as well as share any insights we gained about ourselves in the process. We then declared our new commitment for the next 2 hours.
I found this structure incredibly powerful not just in terms of accountability and support but even more so because it forced me to focus intently and clearly decide what I was committing to doing in the next 2 hours. Without this, I would be tempted to get off track, distracted, and scattered — sort of fixing a little of this, passing a cluttered table and doing a little of that and never really having a the feeling of accomplishment that comes with setting your mind to something and accomplishing it.
One of the biggest a-ha moments I had was when our integrity day tour guide shared that 17 people had signed up for the day yet only 5 of us actually showed up. I was like WOW…that’s less than 30% of the people who committed to the day actually showed up and honored their commitment to themselves. That is really huge considering the foundation of integrity is doing what you say you’re going to do. So, I really felt proud of myself for honoring myself in this way and clearing space in my busy life to have 100% focus and 8 hours of uninterrupted time to handle these projects.
At the final check-in besides a big celebration of all we accomplished we each shared something we learned about ourselves during the day. For instance I was reminded that I set overly ambitious expectations of myself and then initially focus on what I didn’t accomplish versus celebrating what I did achieve.
I would definitely do this exercise again in the future. In fact, I could only imagine what I will accomplish if I make it a regular exercise.
What is some thing you would tackle if you had an integrity day? If you made the commitment, would you show up or find a seemingly harmless excuse to let yourself down?
Share your thoughts in the comments, and if you would like to be part of a future integrity day, let me know!
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