All successful people have daily routines, things that they must do, and refuse to change for anyone. I had a mentor who blocked 60 minutes every morning for her workout, anyone who wanted to meet with her had to work around that timeframe. She had made that commitment to herself and kept it for decades, nothing would stop her from getting it done. In fact, years later when she was diagnosed with cancer, on the mornings she had her treatment, she would run to the hospital to get in her workout. That’s commitment!
Maintaining our focus on goals can be challenging. Our lives are all very busy, and it can be hard to find time to work on your goals. We need to build a system that keeps us on-target, keeps us focused daily, weekly, and monthly. A routine that we do so consistently that we do it without thinking.
I am sure I am not the only one that wakes up with great plans for the day, but it soon falls apart and I spend the rest of the day reacting to situations instead of being proactive. I realized that the only thing I can control, is how I start my day and how I end my day, everything in the middle is unpredictable. By creating routines for both morning and night, I get to take control over my day.
Keeping your goals in mind, what routines can you put in place to help you be successful? What are the things stopping you from being the most productive?
Let me give you some ideas about the changes I made to assist me in achieving my goals:
- I realized that there were never enough hours in the day to get everything I wanted to be accomplished, so I made a small change to get up an hour early.
- I realized that I wasted an hour on my phone when I checked my emails from my bed, so I moved my phone charging station to my home office, which forces me to get up, get dressed and become productive earlier.
With these 2 small changes, I built a morning routine to help me be more productive. My alarm is set for 6 am, when it goes off, I get up, get ready for the day, and head to my office. As I walk to my office, I walk by the kitchen and turn on the kettle, then head to my office. I look at my 3“Critical Success Actions” that I need to get done that day. My CSAs are the top 3 most vital actions that I want to get accomplished. When the kettle boils, I put a teabag in and while it is steeping, I take my vitamins and my drink my first glass of water for the day. I grab my tea and head back to my office and start working on my 3 CSAs immediately before I check my email, text messages, voicemails, etc.
On a good morning, I will have all 3 CSAs done before 8 am. At which point I walk my kids to school, I don’t have to walk them, however, I count that as my outdoor activity for the day. By the time I walk them to & from school, I have gotten my 10,000 steps and I get time together with them. Bingo! Another goal accomplished! My To-Do list is longer than 3 items, however, upon completion of my CSAs, no matter what happens in my day, with those 3 items done I feel good about my day, and most importantly, I have moved closer to my success.
Evening routines set you up for a restful sleep and a quick start in the morning. Before going to bed, I write out my To-Do list and highlight my 3 CSAs for the next day. If there are actions I did not complete, I decide whether it still needs to be done, if it does, it gets moved to that list, if not, it is deleted. I then, put my phone on charge in my office and head to the kitchen to fill up the kettle with water (for my morning tea) and lay my vitamins out. I head up to my room, lay out my clothes for the morning, and read a chapter from my latest inspirational book. My alarm is already set so I don’t have to worry about that. All my tasks are written out and are off my mind. Now I can settle into a restful sleep.
Can you think of any task you can do that will set you up for success in the morning?
Critical Success Actions (CSA)
Critical Success Actions
Our daily tasks can oftentimes be very long and quite frankly overwhelming. The best way to have a glimmer of hope at getting through these tasks is making a list: the dreaded “to-do-list”. As motivated individuals, we try to jam pack our day and that alone could sabotage our efforts. It is important that, when you write down all your required tasks, you look over the list and decide:
- Do they really need to be done?
- Do they have to be done now?
- Are they critical to your success?
Weed out the ones that aren’t really that important. Look over your list and pick 3 items that you must accomplish, that are crucial to your success. We call them your Critical Success Actions (CSAs).
The CSAs are identified during your nightly routine, this is where you do a “brain dump” of all the items floating around in your head. This gives you the chance to clear your mind so that you can think better but more importantly be able to sleep well, knowing you have all your tasks written down. By putting this into your evening routine it gets you more prepared for the next day.
In the morning, you can start your day knowing exactly what you need to do. Ideally, you want to start working on your CSAs first thing in the morning, that way you have a better chance of accomplishing them before your time gets hijacked by the busyness of the day. Getting these 3 items off your list will give you the momentum to plow through the other actions on your list and if your day goes off the rails, you at least can feel good that you got the critical items done.
To add that extra layer of commitment, share your daily CSAs with your accountability partners.
Nothing will motivate you more than being able to tell your partners about your awesomely successful day or to sadly admit you did not get them done.
- Watch the videos
- Download the fillable PDF
- Create a morning routine
- Create an evening routine
- In the comment box below, fill the 3 CSAs you want to accomplish tomorrow