Many people just start the day by following their "To Do" list (if they even have one) and checking their e-mail. I learnt however that the most effective way to train for success, is to ask yourself four powerful questions every day. Ask yourself two questions at the beginning of the day and two questions at the end of the day. This beautifully simple technique helps ensure you remain focused on the things that really matter, whilst making every day more productive.
Allocate a mere 15 minutes a day to ask yourself these four questions, and write down the answers. It's the most powerful way to train your brain. It gives you a better understanding of the things you need to improve upon, whilst affording you the positive feeling of working towards your long term goals.
The two questions to ask yourself at the beginning of every day are...
1. WHAT ARE MY GOALS TODAY?
Most people have long term goals, but never apply them to the short term and immediate future. If you want to grow your business turnover by i.e.: 25% in the forthcoming year, what are you doing today to reach that long term goal? Are you concentrating on the appropriate areas to realise those goals, or are you faffing about checking your email and Facebook page several times an hour?
The only way to reach your long term goals is to work on them cognizantly on a daily basis. May I refer you to my blog article dated 21 November 2014, entitled The Rule Of 5, which promotes the workable theory that if you did five specific tasks every day towards the achievement of your goal, you would achieve your goal. It might not happen quickly, or be easy to achieve, but if you keep plugging away with a focused and determined intent, you will ultimately get there.
2. WHAT ARE MY CHALLENGES TODAY?
Successful people set themselves challenges every day; it's how they have pushed themselves harder and farther than everyone else, with pinpoint focus and intent, that has made them successful. You have to challenge yourself every day, to get the most out of you, so you become bigger, better, harder faster and smarter than your competitors. Don't shrink back from this challenge. Don't upset yourself thinking about how much time it will take to achieve your goals because a) the time will pass anyway, and b) with every swing of your axe (ref: The Rule Of 5), you are one swing closer to getting what you want. There is an old saying, used to encourage those beginning a new fitness regime: it doesn't matter how slow you're going, you're still lapping all of those slumped on the sofa. You have to be willing to do today, what others will not do, to have the success tomorrow, that others will not have.
Now, the two questions to ask yourself at the end of every day are...
1. HAVE I REACHED MY GOALS FOR TODAY?
Of course, only setting yourself goals at the beginning of each day isn't enough. You have to continually evaluate yourself and manage your time efficiently to actually achieve them. Don't fall at the ridiculously low hurdle of getting lost in excuses, by i.e.: telling yourself that you weren't able to reach your goals today because of X, Y and Z. The goals you set for yourself in the morning, were the goals you wanted to reach; have you succeeded? It's as simple as that: anything else is bluff and bluster.
If yes, you have reached your daily goals, take a moment to enjoy the fact that you achieved something great, whilst evaluating how you manifested this success. By being mindful of what worked well - and not so well - provides valuable learning, which can be carried over to tomorrow. The trick here is not to sleepwalk through every day, lurching from crisis to crisis, without learning how best to avoid crisis in the future, or how to efficiently tackle crisis next time.
If no, you didn't reach your goal, ask yourself what you can improve upon for tomorrow to ensure you do hit your targets. If you fail to reach your daily goals on a regular basis, find different ways of working to improve your performance, because if you always do what you've always done, you're always going to get, what you've always got. Don't give up. Never give up.
It's worth saying that if you reach your daily goals on a daily basis, now is the time to stretch and reach farther forward, to save yourself from the dreaded, evil, success-devouring Comfort Zone. If you're not growing, you're dying.
2. WHAT HAVE I LEARNED TODAY?
To become bigger, better, harder, faster and smarter than everyone else, you have to seek and acknowledge the lessons given in every day. Take a moment, several times a day, to ask yourself what you've learned so far. It can be anything and everything, size and magnitude are not important (now there's a sentence I never thought I'd write!). Life and business are enhanced by learning. A failure to learn new things, leads only to stagnation and atrophy. The mind is like a muscle; use it or lose it. We must all - in our own ways - push harder, reach farther and work diligently to expand our horizons and become pioneers of exploration.
What you do today can improve all of your tomorrows.