Here’s a simple sure-fire technique to have a successful day: Plan to Be Proud.
What does that mean and how do you do it?
First, you realize that the only thing that you can control about your day is your own actions. You can’t control if you get stuck in traffic, you can’t control that your coworker won’t do his job or that the job you are at sucks, you can’t control if it’s pouring down rain. But you can control how you react, how you respond, what actions you take to whatever the day gives you.
Think about this: if you label the end of your day as a success or failure based on anything outside of your personal control, you will always be at risk for being worried, frustrated, angry or disappointed. But if you consciously intend to focus only on what you can do, what’s in your control, and measure your day by that standard, then every day you live can be a successful day.
So, if your success today is guaranteed solely by the actions that you take, how do you take those type of actions? How do you end up at the end of the day looking back and saying, “Yes, that was a good day.” “Yes, the actions I took were good ones.” “Yes, I RULED today!”
The answer is that you plan to be proud, you plan to be proud of yourself. At the start of your day, take a few minutes and think ahead to some situations that you will face or that you might face and imagine the action that will bring you pride. Think about how you’ll turn on the radio and start singing when you get stuck in traffic. Play in your head how’ll you tackle that project at work you don’t like head on, first thing, and get it out of the way. Imagine someone bringing chips and donuts to the office and you saying “No thanks, I’m good.” Play over 5-10 scenarios in your head first thing in the morning, before you start out to work, and ready your body and your mind.
This is the same technique that pro athletes use every day. They take time every day to visualize making perfect contact with the ball, being the first to cross the finish line, executing a play perfectly. This repeated focused visualizing of success, literally planning on being proud of themselves, has been research proven to dramatically improve their performance.
You can use this same principle to guarantee the success of your day. See yourself taking those actions of success. Later in the day, when you take that action, remember your plan and do a little happy dance for yourself and celebrate— lock it in and reinforce it.
At the close of your day, review over your actions. Give yourself plenty of grace for anything you realize that you could have done differently or better, and be sure to give yourself plenty of time to relish and be proud of every single action and situation you nailed, that made your day a success.
Plan to be proud, and you will be.