Win the Day!
Perhaps some of you are wired the same way that I seem to be. I seem to be more productive and effective when there is something to measure. That’s probably why I am a fan of checklists and task lists. Here are a few thoughts on how to “win the day”.
It is very easy to cruise through our lives- to react to events as they occur, and hope for the best. We can get caught up in surviving, get through this week, pay the bills, deal with things as they reach crisis proportions in our life. The problem with this lifestyle is that we will never achieve the life God meant us to live, and likely we will miss the unique purpose for which we were designed. If we are to be Christ’s hands and feet on earth, our responsibility is to be the best possible version of ourselves. Here are a few suggestions:
Get your spiritual house in order. Nurture your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Spend time each day reading your Bible, then other Biblically sound materials. Have a consistent and intimate prayer life. If you’re a husband and/or father, lead your spouse and family along a spiritual path. Find a place to serve your Christian community.
Define your roles. Take time to reflect upon and write down your 5 major life roles. These will be your most important identities, and you should be able to recite them if asked. Your roles will be things like Christ follower, husband, father, friend, athlete, (your profession), small group leader, etc. Understanding your roles will guide you in establishing your goals and how you allocate your time.
Define your values. Take time to reflect upon and write down your top 5 values. What qualities are most important to you. Another way to ask this is what values would you die for? Here you have a huge list to choose from, including values like faith, loyalty, fidelity, courage, obedience, perseverance, strength, passion, impact, teamwork, etc.
Set some goals. Set at least one goal for each of your roles. Each goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, have an attainment time, and should be in harmony with your values.
Make daily progress. Plan your day in advance, preferably the evening before, in writing. Decide on an action item that will move you toward the attainment of your goals in each of your roles. If you have defined 5 roles, you should have 5 actions each day, one for each role.
Execute and measure. Hold yourself accountable to perform all 5 of your actions each day. Review your results each day. Did you accomplish all 5? 4? 2? None? Decide what will constitute a win each day. My recommendation is that if you have thoughtfully crafted your 5 actions, you should hold yourself accountable to finish at least 4 of them.
Celebrate or retrench. Make it your goal to win the day. Did you complete 4 or 5 of your actions? Congratulations, you won the day! If you missed, remember that each day is a new opportunity to win. String together a series of winning days, and you are on your way to a winning life!
Track this over time, and you will develop a clear picture of your performance. I trust that we will all be able to rejoice that “I won the day!”