"Make each day a masterpiece."
- John Wooden
We all want to live a rewarding, enjoyable, and meaningful life. This happens a day at a time. A good day means balancing structure with flexibility.
Having a list of 20 things to do and keeping your head down all day to make sure everything gets checked off leaves no room for life to happen in the 'white spaces'.
Simply going with the flow with no game plan will likely lead to busywork, distractions and drifting all day. Flying by the seat of your pants is not a recipe for success.
Here are 4 simple ways to make each day a masterpiece.
1. Plan Your Day
Planning your day helps you live with intention and purpose. Be clear about what you want to achieve. I recommend that you decide on three priority items that you want to accomplish for the day. You can plan for more but focus on the big 3. (You can get my Win the Day Action Plan template here.)
2. Start Strong and End Well
The two most important parts of an airplane ride are the take-off and landing. In the same way, you want your day to have good 'bookends'.
Henry Ward Beecher said, "the first hour is the rudder of the day." In other words, how you start your day sets the direction for the next 18 hours. Give yourself some time for solitude first thing in the morning. Read something uplifting. Think through the day ahead and about bringing your best self to every situation.
And don't end the day with a whimper. Listen to instrumental music as you fall asleep or express gratefulness for the gift of rest. Reflect back on the day: what went well, what didn't, and how you can make tomorrow even better.
3. Slow Down
Most of us are constantly thinking of 'the next thing'. Be in the moment. Do one thing at a time. Devote your full energy to what you are currently doing. If you are going for an outside walk to get your daily steps in, enjoy the scenery. If you are writing a report, do it well. If you are stuck in a traffic jam, rather than letting your frustration mount, enjoy some music or engage your mind in a helpful podcast. (I personally recommend The Accelerating Excellence Podcast!)
4. Make Quick Corrections
If you find yourself surfing Facebook too long or having some junk food that you regret eating, get back on track quickly. Don't abandon your game plan, simply make adjustments. If your emotions got the best of you and you said something you shouldn't have, promptly apologize. We all make mistakes. Look through the windshield, not the rearview mirror.
Life is about success, not perfection.
"A successful life does not result from chance, nor is it determined by fate or good fortune, but rather through a succession of successful days."
- Ari Kiev
I will be speaking at the New England College Human Resource Management Conference on Thursday, August 9th on the topic The Exceptional Workplace: 5 Practical Ways to Build a Culture of Collaboration, Retention and Results.
I would love to see you there. Find out the details here.