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How do you launch your day for success? For so long in my life I approached each day haphazardly. I had no plans, no vision, no consistency, and no motivation with which to start my day. Oh, I had dreams, but thinking about them was just frustrating, because dreams aren’t reality, as much as we might want them to be. I went through each day just getting things done. If I’m honest, sometimes I didn’t get anything done at all, and when I did get something done, it really lacked much meaning. I believe work should fuel us, but in those days it rarely did so. Usually, it just drained me.
Based on all the self-help books on the market and on my personal conversations, I tend to believe I’m not alone. My guess is that a majority of people struggle each day to just get through. That’s why I often find myself asking a key question when I am coaching someone.
How do you start your day?
The beginning of any endeavor is critical. If you start a trip to the beach with a flat tire and an empty gas tank, you aren’t going to get to the beach. Not, at least, until you fix the flat and fill up your tank. The same is true about your day. The way you start it is critical. You must do a pre-trip on yourself, fix any flats you might have, fuel yourself up, and take at look at the map to be sure you know where you are going and how to get there.
When I talk to people about how they start their day, the inevitable follow-up question is, what time do you get up? Typically I find that most people get up with enough time to shower, get dressed and maybe eat a quick bite. It’s a “feet to the floor, sprint to the office rush.” There is no process involved, just a rush. There is no fueling involved. In fact, they arrive at work drained. There is no planning involved. They just bounce from one thing to another until they can finally fall asleep later that night dreading the repeat in the morning.
Get up earlier!
The fact is, most people don’t get up early enough. You might argue that you are tired enough as it is. The idea that you should get up earlier seems ludicrous. Surely that will only make things worse. Well, I’ve been following a standard process for a while now that gets me out of bed early, and it makes all the difference. I have more energy and focus. I am more positive and hopeful. My days are more productive, and I’m doing more to make my dreams a reality than I ever did before. But let me be honest, it’s not just about getting up earlier. There is a recipe that starts with getting up earlier but includes so much more.
- Step One: Get up earlier
- Step Two: Go to bed earlier
- Step Three: Eat healthy food in moderation
- Step Four: Drink plenty of water & drink it first in the morning
- Step Five: Follow a definite plan every morning to fuel your spirit
Follow a Definite Plan
This is critical. If you think getting up earlier will just make things worse, you are right if you don’t have a definite plan for how to use the extra time. What getting up earlier doesn’t mean is that you have more time to read and respond to email. Talk about an energy drain! It also isn’t extra time to watch the news or a TV show. Do you want to drain your energy and become depressed, then just watch the news or read the paper first thing in the morning.
Your morning routine must fuel you. It must help you repair the broken parts of your life. It must focus you on the positive and give you a vision for the day and even the future. That vision must energize you and propel you forward.
In future posts, I will write more about establishing a solid process with which to start your day. But, if you want to get a head start, and you prefer to not recreate the wheel, let me recommend the system that I use. It’s called The Day Launcher System. It was put together by a friend of mine, and it’s the first system that I enjoy and have found success with. In fact, the prospect of starting my day following this process propels me out of bed each day. Just the thought of getting to spend time working on this Day Launch System gives me energy. If you want to know more, I encourage you to check it out at markjpeterson.com/dls.
Do you have a process for launching your day? Tell us about it in the post comments below.