Remembering The Why Behind Reminders

Sometimes I get an idea for a blog post only to discover that I’ve already written a post about it (no wonder it sounded like a good idea). For example, I got the idea to write a post about reminding yourself of the important things throughout your day, then saw that I wrote a post about this very thing more than four years ago. I could just say, go read that one and end my post there, but I want to add a few things.

So in that post, I wrote about all of the different reminders that I get throughout my day. Some are about things I need to do, including tasks, but also drinking healthy fluids. Others are about the person I’m trying to be.

I have all of these reminders, but I realized recently that I often ignore them. The task-related ones I do, but I know what the alarm on my watch at noon is about, usually stop the alarm and go about my business, not taking in what it says. “Yeah yeah, drink water” or “Yes, I need to be more present (the irony isn’t lost)” but don’t really listen to what I’m trying to remind myself of, making all of those reminders useless.

Even realizing how much I do this has helped me to pay more attention when an alarm goes off on my watch, or when I walk into a room where my wife and daughter are and want to be present for them. Setting another reminder on my watch is unlikely to do the trick, so what is the answer?

I’m thinking of a few ideas including:

  • Review my reminders at the start of my day to bring them more into focus
  • Review them once per week, or maybe once per month to check in on whether they are still the reminders I want to have
  • Find some way to give me a strong electric shock when I don’t pay attention to my reminders (while possibly the most effective, this was obviously meant as a joke)

In the end, the reminders will lose all meaning if we don’t remember why we have them. What do you need to be reminded of? How do you do that?


  1. Mike Diakuw says:

    Umm… EVERYTHING?!?

    I stop listening to reminders because I get too busy or the message is something I don’t want to hear. I get things done (and listen to that good a advice I gave myself when I made the reminder) when I give myself space to stop rushing around. Having a few spaces in the schedule to check in with myself is the biggest help for me.

  2. Heather says:


    That’s a great way to approach this, blocking time to just give yourself the space you need to remember, reflect, reassess, where you’re at and what you should be doing.

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