One of the things I like to do is get my day started on a positive note with a quick win first thing in the morning. You can pick any activity you like, so long as it is something you can control and you have a reasonably good chance of succeeding at. Getting in a swim workout is one of my favorite ways to do this. I don’t particularly love swimming and I don’t claim to be very fast, but there’s no denying that it’s a good workout for overall fitness, so I try to do it at least three times a week. Using my morning swim as an example, we’re going to talk about three ways you can establish your morning quick win to get your day started on a positive note.
Make it a Habit
First, make it a habit. What works for me is to remove the idea that there is a decision to make. Don’t let there be a choice; make it something that you just do, like brushing your teeth.
I like making my habit a “first thing in the morning” thing. There are no distractions and nothing getting in the way of me getting up and going to the pool, so therefore no excuses. It becomes “just the thing that I do – I get up, I go to the pool and knock out my laps.” If you treat it like there is an option, you have a moment of weakness, so just get up and go. Don’t think, just do.
Reinforce with Some Accountability
Second, reinforce the habit with some accountability. I won’t pretend that every time the alarm clock goes off I’m excited about getting up, driving to the pool, and jumping into cold water. This morning it’s 32 degrees out. Sometimes I’d rather sleep in. That’s why getting some accountability built into your program is vital. If I start missing a few days, I know the guys I see at the gym will start asking me questions and I won’t have a good excuse. And it turns out my neighbor leaves her house to go to the gym at about the same time. If she hasn’t seen my car pull out of the driveway, she’s sure to hit me up about it. And I do the same for her.
When others are expecting you to do something, it is a little easier to keep doing it. So let somebody know what you are doing and when. And now your credibility is on the line – better get it done.
Give yourself a little reward
Third, give yourself a little reward when you win. I always feel better after the workout – it’s refreshing and keeps me healthy, gets my day started right, but also I can chalk it up as another day when I did what I said I was going to do; I kept the discipline. And that’s a small but important win. On the way home, I reward myself with a little cup of coffee they have free by the door. I feel like I earned it.
You can put yourself in a positive frame of mind by starting the day with your own quick win. Pick something, make it a habit, get others to hold you to it, and reward yourself a little when you succeed; you’ll be ready to take on the world.
All right, let’s get to it.
Start your day off with a quick win – it gets things moving in the right direction and will put you in a positive frame of mind the rest of the day, and that will make you better as a leader.
Question: What is your quick win?
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