How to Win the Day
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Aristotle once said, "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit."
A habit is a regular tendency or practice that can be in some instances hard to give up. Whereas one of the secrets of changing our habits is the ability to take on the personal identity of the person capable of developing the new habit. When we identify who we need to BEcome to DO what it takes to HAVE what we desire, our consistent efforts of BEing this person inspires us to modify our behavior in order to achieve what we want.
In this article, I want to discuss the benefits associated with developing the habit of a morning routine and how you can devise a morning routine that sets you up to win the day. Over time, you will discover that every time you win the day, you will want to win the next day. You will want to win the week, the month, the year, the decade, eventually the habit of a morning routine can lead you to living an extraordinary life.
Question: How intentional and strategic are you when it comes to using a morning routine to help you master your focus, discipline and productivity?
When I think of some of the habits that helped me to achieve extraordinary success in my corporate career there are several that come to mind, specifically my Go Be Great habits of mind framework, my commitment to planning my week and my day with my Day Timer, and my weekly night out dancing which help me to reduce the stress associated with the demands of my leadership responsibilities.
It wasn't until I decided to start my podcast and commit to delivering content on a weekly basis via audio that I realized how I had become slack on using one of the most productive tools that was once second nature to me and helped me to maintain my focus forward attitude towards my goals, even in the midst of great challenges and life changing adversities. The tool that I'm talking about is using a daily/weekly/monthly planner to be intentional about my time, energy, attention and focus.
Because of my commitment to delivering my podcast on a weekly basis this year I purchased a planner to keep myself organized by knowing what I needed to make happen on a monthly, weekly and daily basis towards moving the needle in my life while at the same time managing my responsibilities and pursuing new opportunities. Using a planner has improved my year over year productivity in the midst of Covid-19.
Win the Morning, Win the Day
My planner helps me to organize my month, week and day. It is my morning routine that has enabled me to maintain the energy and focus necessary to carry out my daily, weekly and monthly intentions outlined in my planner.
I will be honest with you, my morning routine wasn't something I was as committed to doing on a consistent basis until my daughter Dee was told while visiting Ghana in February this year that the country was closing its borders and not allowing commercial flights land at the airport. This caught both of us by surprise because there was no warning by the government. So, from February until the 1st weekend of October 2020, she lived in Ghana.
Of course when I first heard this news, I was concerned about my daughter's safety and how she would be able to manage living in the country for an extended period of time. She surprised me as to how well she was able to adapt and remain safe.
During this period of time, I started doing a morning walk at home routine with Leslie Sansone. I realized after my days of going to the nightclub on a weekly basis to manage my stress, I am the type of person that operates at a higher level when I am intentional about moving my physical body on a regular basis. This daily 30 minute workout allows me to move and connect with my body.
In addition to my morning walk at home routine, I began to spend 10 minutes reviewing what I had planned for the day and taking it to the next level by, visualizing how my day would unfold in order for me to add value, have the impact and make the contributions I want to experience each day.
After my morning walk at home routine, reviewing my planner and visualizing my day, I spend 20 minutes reading and meditating on a daily devotion to pray and help me identify the mindset and heart space that would represent how I intend to show up and take actions that enable me to contribute value and have a positive impact on the lives of others.
Yes, I have to get up early to do this so that I'm ready to rock and roll at 10 am. In addition, now that the weather has become cooler, I walk outside 2 to 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes and the remaining days I walk inside my home. I'm sure in January, I'll be doing most of my walking indoors. For now, I'm enjoying the crisp air in the morning when I walk outdoors. It seems to refresh and energize my spirit.
I'm sharing this information about my morning routine not to imply that you need to adopt the activities I am doing to win the day.
I'm sharing this information for you to consider the impact a morning routine howbeit imperfect would have on your ability to maintain the focus, discipline and productivity necessary to level up your performance and results.
I am a big believer that since we work hard, we need to work smart and strategic. We need to work in a way that makes it easier for us to succeed.
When we start out each day with clear answers to the following questions, we are deliberately setting ourselves up to win the day.
What is my intention for this day?
What am I excited about accomplishing today?
What frame of mind do I need to adopt to be my best self and have the best impact?
What actions will I take to refresh my energy today?
During difficult moments today, how can I be more compassionate to myself and others?
What actions can I take to be and feel more connected to those within my circle of influence today?
What tasks, projects, appointments, meetings etc. are blocked off on my schedule as priorities I need to complete today?
At the end of each day, do a daily debrief by asking yourself the following questions:
What went well today?
What didn't go well today?
In the situations that didn't go well, what role did I play in the situation not going well?
If I had a role in the situation not going well, what is it that I can learn to improve my effectiveness in similar situations moving forward?
What are five things I'm grateful for? (Most of your answers need to be different to ensure that you are mindful of the everyday blessings around you.)
The unexpected power of a daily debrief is that once you begin to ask yourself these questions on a regular basis, it makes it easier for you to set clear intentions about the next day because you are inspired and motivated to give account of what went well during your daily debrief.
Developing a morning routine that helps you to be intentional about each day instead of waking up and getting started with no thought about how you want your day to unfold is one of the most empowering habits you can develop.
Give Yourself Permission to Say YES! to Yourself
The challenges you are facing are real. The possibilities you desire in life are real too.
As you think about all that you have faced in this year alone, what is your view of what's possible for you next year and the years to come?
Are you excited about what you've been able to accomplish and looking forward to building on the progress you've made next year?
Or, are you questioning how long it will take you to come back from all that you have experienced this year? You're not sure if next year isn't going to be more of the same.
When you feel unsure about your power to create positive change in your life, it is always helpful and empowering to take the opportunity to reflect on key areas of your life and to get a fresh perspective on all that you have gone through in order for you to leverage all that you have learned, shift your spiritual, mental, and emotional energy and create a plan to create new possibilities in life.
There are seeds of greatness dwelling in your potential. I know that when you're feeling unsure, overwhelm and stuck its hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel that can lead you to better place.
When you're working hard and not sure of how to get ahead in your career that is frustrating. I know until we step into the leadership role of our life and take our power back nothing changes in our life.
If you are in a heart space and mindset where you know something needs to change but you're not sure of what that is a good place. It means that your soul is trying to lead you to the answers that you need.
Each moment in my life where I had the biggest breakthroughs in my approach to challenges and new opportunities that scared me were initiated by someone speaking their truth to power and helping me to recognize my own power as a creator of change in my life.
The sole mission of my work is to be that person for others in order for them to take back their power, step into the leadership role of their life and trust they are enough to master their inner game of greatness to win the day!
If you are ready to BEcome the person that is willing to DO what it takes to develop the mindset and heart space to HAVE what you perceive to be the next level of joy, peace, clarity, courage, confidence and success you desire, I invite you to join me in my upcoming Go Be Great Workshop .
Better is possible, and it's doable by you.
Whatever your soul desires to emerge from you in this moment is the "thing" that will enable you to experience your heart's desires.
Everything is possible.
With care + respect,