Good Days Lead to Good Years

Happy New Year!

I trust you are off to a good start to 2014. If not, here are a few thoughts to help you get on course.

I won’t go into resolutions, goals, ready-set-go, get psyched, etc., etc., You’ve probably already seen plenty of these types of articles, blog posts, or Facebook entries in the past several weeks.

Rather, I’d like to refocus you and me on a simple step to help you get on track as you start your year. By the way, this also helps you stay on track, or get back on track if you go off-road, as you progress through the year.

First off, I believe strongly in thinking through, considering, emotionalizing, and then writing down your goals for the coming year.

Take your time to do this. If you’re doing it right, you’ll write and re-write multiple drafts until you get to a focused set of goals that mean something to you, and that you would really really like to achieve this year.

Once you’ve done this, it’s also good practice to review your goals on a regular basis. Some people advocate daily review. Weekly review is good too. You can even test writing out your goals every day into a notebook.

Reviewing, rewriting, thinking about, and emotionalizing your goals is an easy to do, easy to follow practice. Start this now, today, and do it for 21 days. See how you like it.

If this is helping you stay focused, helping you get motivated, then keep it and make it a habit.

Once you’ve got some sense of where you want to go, you’ll find you are naturally more focused, more motivated, more energized to do what you need to do to move toward your goals.

However, if you’re like most people, you’ll find that initial motivation can wane over time. Life gets in the way. You get busy with the current “urgent but unimportant” stuff that can just suck the life out of you.

What can you do to help maintain your self-motivation throughout the year?

One thing I’ve discovered is the importance of taking it day by day. Not a new concept; however, I think it’s one we could all leverage much better than we typically do.

Thinking about what you have to do over the course of the year – all the work, all the effort, all the hours, all the things that need to fall into place – can be intimidating and de-motivating.

On the other hand, if you focus only on what you need to do today to move toward your goals, you’ll find it much less intimidating.

Ted Leonsis, part of the initial management team at AOL, who later went on to become owner of my beloved Washington Capitals, has a great way of looking at life.

He believes that, both for your work life and your personal life, taking it day by day is a very powerful practice.

As he says, “Good days lead to good weeks. Good weeks lead to good months. And good months lead to good years.”

Here are some ideas to help you make the most of each day:

Map out each day (or the next day at the end of today) before you begin.

A simple but effective approach is to write down the six most important items you need to get done, in order of importance. Start working on the most important item first thing in the morning, or as close to first thing in the morning as you can.

You may only get one or two items done today. But guess what – that’s OK! You’ve done the one or two most important things you needed or wanted to do today. It’s been a good day!

Now, rewrite your list to reflect the six most important items for tomorrow. You’ve got tomorrow planned. Relax and enjoy your evening.

Focus on a superior beginning and a superior end. This leads to a superior middle.

Start your day off right. Do some deep breathing exercises first thing after you wake up. Stretch your body – really stretch, like a cat stretches whenever it wakes up from sleep or a nap.

Think good thoughts. Think gratefully for the blessings in your life. Know that you are more than equal to the situation and to the upcoming events or challenges of the day.

Do the same thing at the end of your day. As you get into bed, stretch your body a little. Breathe deeply and calmly. Follow your breath to help you relax.

Getting into bed with a relaxed body and mind helps you sleep better. It’s also an optimal time for programming your mind. Program positive thoughts. Program in a request for a solution to a problem or challenge. Think again about all that you are grateful for.

Beginning the day and ending the day in a positive way helps to “bookend” your day and make the middle of your day more positive and productive as well.

If you are at a lack for motivation today, or finding yourself getting distracted with unimportant things, take a moment to refocus.

What is one thing – even if it’s small – you can do today that will help you move forward toward one of your goals?

Figure it out and do something on it today – right now, if possible, before the day gets away from you.

Remember, a good day today will mean a good week this week.

And a good week this week will lead to a good January – which means you are off to a great start in 2014!

You Can Do It!

Karen_signature

“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!” http://www.BestBreathingExercises.com

P.S. I’d love to help you get off to a super start this year! Go to the Best Breathing Exercises website for information and inspiration. Also, here are a couple of specific recommendations:

-If you’re looking for an effective, easy way to enhance your energy, lung power and focus, the combination of deep breathing and dynamic exercises in “The Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume 2: The Dynamic Energy Routine”, is a powerhouse. Go to http://www.bestbreathingexercises.com/dynamic_energy2.html to learn more.

-If you wish to “finally” lose the weight and shape up fast, get a copy of the “Fire Up Your Metabolism Program”. In it, you’ll discover an excellent workout centered around breathing, dynamic tension, and movements that work the large muscles of the body. Visit http://www.bestbreathingexercises.com/metabolism.html for more information.

Each of these programs takes only 15 minutes to do, but are a great way to start out your day strong and energized.

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

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