On our life's journey, it is natural to catch ourselves in moments where we ask, “What is life really all about?” Sometimes reflection comes not at the end of life but before, in these moments of questioning. Four years ago, my husband and I decided to build in a practice of daily reflection together, which we call The Daily Check-In. It began as a goal for the new year and slowly integrated and wove into our aim to become more mindful of our thoughts and actions. Although we share this routine together, it can be an individual practice.

We found The Daily Check-In helpful in nurturing our own personal growth and marriage. We would ask each other the same four reflection questions almost every night. Through this practice, we open up our line of communication, facilitate honest and personal reflection, and establish accountability for each other. Reviewing our day allows us to pay attention to not only the smooth and joyful moments, but to also bring painful experiences into the light.

The Daily Check-In enables my husband and I to grow in greater compassion and gratitude to one another and all those we encounter. It continues to inspire us to become better spouses, friends, family members, neighbors, and human beings. We find our joy and pain through our interaction with others. By making a balanced and honest appraisal of our relationships, challenges, behaviors, moments of happiness, and emotions, we deepen our self-knowledge and increase our capacity to love. Along with compassion, our gratitude encourages us to be more positive, receptive, connected, and open. The more we access our core individuality and listen to what it says to us, we have a clearer vision of what we are all about. We begin to mend our ways and redirect our lives to be more present and attentive to life as it is happening. In its simplicity, it brings together life and reflection in one unending conversation.

Our Daily Check-In questions:

  • When did I feel most uplifted, joyful or at peace today?
  • When did I fall short, felt burdened, uninspired, or weighed down?
  • How can I do better tomorrow?
  • What am I grateful for?

Want to practice intention this year? Come to our Intentions & Habit Building Workshop on January 20th!


Tam Lontok is a lifestyle photographer based in Southern California. She enjoys writing and coordinating retreats to empower young adults in remembering they are loved and created whole. Her superpower lies in her compassion, but Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coconut Almonds continues to be her daily kryptonite.

Love to write?

Every month we select at few writers to help us explore what it means to live a life of reflection and intention. Reach out to Helen, our editor at Helen.W@holstee.com to learn more

Holstee explores what it means to live a life of intention and reflection through art, words, and action. Sign up for the Holstee Subscription and join our growing community today!

Learn More

Recent Articles

You are. And that is enough.

April Founder's Note: A letter to remind us to be compassionate to ourselves.

In The Studio (Again) With Jennifer Lioy

A conversation with April's featured artist.

The Compassionate New Yorker

How one random act of kindness can inspire others to do the same.