“Men of action are favored by the Goddess of Luck.” ~ George S. Clason (author)
Passionate entrepreneurs and business owners are notoriously driven to create value in the world. When spending the bulk of your time building an empire, it’s easy to neglect your own physical and mental wellbeing.
One day you look around and wonder what exactly happened to the amazing life you had imagined. You may start to feel hopeless and simply give up on the ideals you once held. This doesn’t have to happen!
An amazing life begins with a single day. The right mindset, applied on a consistent basis, creates a string of days that have the power to transform your reality. Follow these 10 steps and you will be well on your way to living the life of your dreams.
Set Goals and Plan for Success
At the beginning of each week, decide on your goals and write them down. This helps to keep you accountable and track your progress. You may find it helpful to break goals down into categories like personal, sales, business development, and simple to-dos. Use a calendar, day planner, or another method to schedule each item on the list for a specific day and time.
There will be weeks when your schedule doesn’t work out as planned. Don’t beat yourself up, simply evaluate and regroup. At the end of the week, review the schedule you made and evaluate what went well and what didn’t. Roll over any items that didn’t get completed to the next week’s list and use what you learned to tweak your system week after week.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Sleep
Busy entrepreneurs know all about working hard to achieve their goals. You’re no stranger to staying up late to finish a project and waking up at the crack of dawn to get a jump on the day. While this may have helped to get you where you are today, the unfortunate truth is that you can’t create an amazing life while running on caffeine and adrenaline.
Prep yourself for a good night’s sleep by unplugging no later than 9 p.m. After this cut-off time, start following a ritual that will help you relax and wind down. Dim the lights, turn on calming music, light candles, or take a hot bath.
Many professionals have trouble sleeping because a surge of ideas and inspiration come flowing in as soon as your head hits the pillow. Help yourself to wind down by using stream-of-consciousness journaling or creating a detailed to-do list right before bed. Getting all of your ideas out of your head and onto a piece of paper will calm your mind and help you fall asleep quickly.
As tempting as it may be, avoid alcohol, melatonin, or other sleep aids. These chemicals can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling groggy and disoriented in the morning.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
If you’ve followed the advice above, you should wake up in the morning feeling well-rested and ready to tackle the day. There’s a real magic to the early morning hours. This is the special time when everyone else is asleep, the house is peacefully quiet, and your brain is coming online after a night of rest.
Some people find that early mornings are their most productive time of day. If you are one of these people, use the opportunity to jump right into a major project. Making epic progress before most people are even rubbing the sleep out of their eyes creates a major sense of accomplishment that will continue throughout your day.
Not a morning person? Get out of bed anyway. You don’t have to be super productive to take advantage of the early morning hours. Use this time as an opportunity to savor a cup of coffee, watch TV, or catch up on social media. You are likely to be very busy the rest of the day, so use this time to enjoy some quality relaxation.
Practice Gratitude and Set Your Intention
It’s very grounding to take a moment in the morning to recognize your abundance. Every day, write down three things you are grateful for. Then set an intention for the day. This may be a mantra like “patience,” or “success.” In some cases, it may be as simple as deciding that today will be a good day.
Recognize that many things will happen throughout your day that are beyond your control. The power you have is the ability to choose how you will react to these things. Your reactions inevitably shape the outcome of your day, so choose wisely. If you notice that things starting to go off course, take a step back and try to reframe the situation. Start to practice this consistently and notice how your life starts to change.
Fuel Your Body
Awesome days don’t start with drive-thru breakfasts. Your morning meal is first opportunity to provide your body with the nourishment it needs to power you through your day. This can be as simple as a smoothie, overnight oats, or toast with peanut butter. The most important things are that you don’t skip breakfast altogether and you avoid weighing yourself down with unhealthy crap.
Eating a great breakfast doesn’t give you a free pass on lunch. Take the time in the morning to make a healthy sandwich, a hardy salad, or grab some leftovers. You are going to work hard all day, and you don’t want to end up scarfing down pizza or a cheeseburger because you failed to plan ahead.
Learn Something New Every Day
Make it a point to spend some time every day reading or listening to something that inspires you and expands your mind. You can do this first thing in the morning, during your commute, on your lunch break, or right before bed. Check out motivational or educational podcasts, non-fiction books, articles and blog posts, webcasts, and online tutorials. Find what works for you, and stick with it. If you get bored, move on to something else, but don’t give up.
Check-In with Yourself
A few times each day, stop what you are doing and assess your physical and mental state.
Ask yourself questions like:
- How is your posture? Are you comfortable and relaxed, or tense and hunched over?
- Are you clear-headed? Is your mind racing? Do you feel slow and foggy?
- Is your breathing calm and even or is it rapid, forced, or stagnant?
- Are you tired, achy, or uncomfortable from sitting in one place for too long?
- Are you content in your environment? Do you feel bored, stressed out, or short-tempered?
If you feel like something is off, take some steps to get yourself back on track. This can be as simple as going for a walk, closing your eyes and breathing deeply for a few minutes, or making plans to meet a friend for lunch. Noticing changes and making corrections before they become a problem is key in keeping your day on track.
When you truly love the work that you do, it’s easy to become obsessed with it. Busy entrepreneurs are infamous for keeping themselves chained to their desks around the clock and loving every minute of it.
Sitting for long periods of time can have serious negative effects on your health. If you don’t take the time to keep your body in shape, it will eventually demand your time in the form of an injury or illness.
Start by committing just 15 minutes to fitness every day. You will soon begin to feel your body thriving and start to crave even more. Listening to podcasts while you exercise is a great way to multitask. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Walk, run or jog outdoors. Make it fun by bringing your dog along or inviting a friend to join you.
- Practice a short yoga session at home with a YouTube video or online subscription service
- Learn a new skill by signing up for a class like kickboxing, swimming, or ballet
- Keep things simple by doing jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, or just dancing around your living room
Nurture Personal Connections
In today’s society, it’s completely natural to have superficial connections with the outside world. Our phones and laptops dominate our lives for both work and play. Checking emails, interacting through social media, texting, and taking business calls late into the night have become the new normal.
Most people fail to realize the impact this constant electronic connection can have on our personal relationships. To create an amazing life, you must put down the electronics and connect with others on a human level.
Engage in heartfelt conversations. Focus on the people you are connecting with and really listen to what they are saying.
Don’t neglect sexual connection. When you are busy with work and life, it’s easy for this to go to the wayside. Make a conscious effort to rekindle your spark.
Reconnect with far-away friends and family. Phone conversations are best, but text messages or emails are better than nothing.
At the end of the day, your personal relationships are one of the most valuable things in your life. You may be surprised at the insight and inspiration the people you care about can offer if you simply take the time to listen.
Never Give Up
There will be times when you will make mistakes, and sometimes they will be epic. You will experience failure, lose your motivation, and feel lost. These are the moments when you can’t remember why you started this journey in the first place and you just want to throw in the towel. Don’t lose hope. If you haven’t ever been in a situation where you’ve failed, you aren’t trying hard enough. Dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and move on.
Once you have used these steps to create one amazing day, you will see the value in repeating the process. It won’t be easy and you’re not likely to master all the steps on your first day. Start with a few and stick to them. When they become a habit, add on a few more. It takes practice, but eventually each of these habits will become second nature. Before you know it, you will be living an amazing life and thriving in your new environment.
Have you been following any of these practices to create your own amazing life? Did I miss anything? Please share your comments!