What defines a great day? When do you know you've spent your time wisely? Does it make a difference how you live today? Are there any principles that can clearly define if we're doing more than just OK?
Whenever I do public speaking, training or coaching questions frequently center around that one topic that concerns most of us on a daily basis; how to spend time and strength wisely and feel good about it?
Here's the essence of what I believe are the principles behind making TODAY count:
(1) Get Up Early
Getting up early makes all the difference! Anyone who wants to can be an early bird. It's a matter of practice and training like anything else. When you get into a habit of beginning the day early a powerful side effect gradually appears: Morning hours from approximately 04:00 - 06:00 will turn your subconscious mind into an explosive tool for ideas and insight.
(2) Ponder Inspired Literature
No one can draw water from an empty well. Nothing inspires inspired living more than pondering inspired literature.
(3) Plan Weekly
Most of the people I speak with are somehow into planning because of time pressure. I don't plan to relieve pressure. I plan to create pressure. How come? By planning on a weekly basis i don't burry myself in "the thick of thin things". I stay in control and I plan firing up what really needs momentum.
(4) Five Tasks a Day
It's in my system. Every day I define the five most important tasks. Those five are the most important, high priority areas that I stay focused on no matter what happens. Of course I sometimes don't make it to doing all five, but here's the magic. I keep them in my pocket. They excite me. They're clear. It's not too much and I enjoy the victory of getting done what's truly most important (by how only five items forces me to say no to "all the good").
(5) Replace "Why Me" With "Thank You"
The attitude of gratitude - the mother of all virtues - is probably the single most meaningful and useful source of happiness. Every day consists of a break-down in plans, interruptions, instant needs, accidents and the like. When these occur, we are asked to respond in the moment. People who ask "why me" are typically reactive. Those of us able to respond with "thank you" have the edge to stay proactive.
(6) Get Regular Exercise
I can tell when my life is out of balance. It's when I don't get regular exercise. The antithesis also holds true. Getting exercise three times a week can be a good sign of a balanced lifestyle.
(7) Never Succumb To Discouragement
If you are tempted to think negatively, feeling down or speak self destructive language, make it a rule to replace it with a positive thought. Your emotions are a result of your internal dialog. Never, never, never put yourself down. If you do, you've lost before you even began.