Do you ever find yourself in a rut in your day-to-day life? Do you ever feel like you are taking two steps back for every step forward you make? Here are 5 quick action steps you can make today (and start doing them daily to create some positive habits) that will bring about some small (but important) successes tomorrow.
Schedule Your Day
Every Sunday I take about thirty minutes to schedule my week and every Wednesday I take about five minutes and schedule what I will do on Thursday (my typical day off). My Sunday list is about a full page of legal-size paper while my Thursday list is on a 3X5 card. The Sunday list includes several categories (based on Stephen Covey’s book):
- URGENT/Not IMPORTANT
- Not URGENT/IMPORTANT
- Not URGENT/Not IMPORTANT
On Monday I start working through the URGENT items first and I can usually get through all the items by mid-day Wednesday. I also include my weekly workout schedule on the list, balancing it between strength and cardio workouts.
Visualize and Pray
Once you have your day/week scheduled out take some time (maybe before you go to sleep) to visualize and pray about any important meetings or conversations you need to have. Are there conflicts you need to resolve or presentations you need to make or a pitch you need to give? Visualize them, think them out in your head, play out the conversations in your mind, and pray about them. I will often ask God to “go before me” and prepare the heart and mind of those I need to talk to. I will also ask God to give me wisdom and the words to say in those meetings. I have found that doing this has given me more confidence to tackle these important meetings.
Be Thankful and Journal it
I have been in some really down/emotionally draining situations. Whether it’s a conflict at home or work, or maybe it’s just some bad news that you were not ready for. A great way to pick yourself up and be ready for the next day mentally is to think about all the blessings in your life and then to actually journal about them. What I mean by this is you write out a prayer to God, thanking Him for the specific blessings in your life. Several years ago (about 25 I think), when I was single, I was having a really down day emotionally. I was having a real big pity-party for myself and thinking a bunch of negative thoughts. Then a thought came to me – “Be Thankful”. So I spent the next hour journaling all the things I could/should be thankful for. I came up with a list of two pages (legal size) with two columns on each page. After this exercise, I felt very grateful for EVERYTHING God had blessed me with and I realized how blessed I was.
Be Prepared (set your clothes out)
This is simple and somehow it is effective, but each night before bed I simply lay out what I will wear the next day. Now, because I scheduled my day already (see item 1) and because I visualized my important meetings (see item 2) I can lay out the outfit that will work best for the following day. Do I need the “power tie” or would it be best to be functional and casual? Lay it out the night before and take the guesswork out of your morning.
Be Consistent (with sleep)
Believe it or not but you need 7 to 8 hours of sleep and your body will work better when you get consistent sleep; as in 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If I can get to bed by 10 pm then I naturally wake up the next morning between 5 and 6 am. No alarm clock. If I lead an early morning Bible study I will use the alarm function on my watch, but for most days I just wake up on time because I prepared the night before. Even on my day off, I get up before 7 am to get going on the things I want to do around the house or accomplish with my “free-time”. Seriously, I just wake up, I try to sleep in (and occasionally I do) but by 7 am I’m up and ready to attack the day!
So what do you think? These are five easy things you can do that will bring some confidence and success into your life. Do you have anything you might add to the list? In one hundred words or less send me an email to: [email protected] and tell me what you might add to the list. I love hearing about the simple things that others do that brings about life success.
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