Every thing starts with a sunrise, but it’s what we do before it sets that matters”- K. McGraw
Win the day, what does that mean? Most of the time I see this phrase used as a way to promote or brag about something on Instagram, but I think there is deeper meaning behind those words. What it takes to win the day will be unique for each person, but the idea really boils down to three basic fundamentals. Balance, productivity, and some sort of personal growth.
For one to have balance, you must seek it and work hard at it everyday. Balance is a moving target, but with carefully laid plans it is possible to reach a place where you feel grounded and steady. We all need time to nurture our spirits, steady our minds, work on our physical needs, and of course take care of the day-to-day tasks at hand. That’s a lot of stuff to fit into one day. A few months ago, I was the queen of throwing everything onto my plate and not really accomplishing or doing a good job at anything. I was constantly worrying about how messy my house was, but had no time to keep up. I began making many mistakes at work because I was always trying to rush through and ended up doing a sloppy job. My children and spouse were stressed because of course when mom is unhappy, everyone else is too. Not to mention I severely neglected my own needs. I knew I needed rest, but refused to take naps when I had the chance. I was no longer meditating, exercising, or eating much at all. Everything in my life suffered from the pattern I had let myself fall into. Luckily I noticed what was happening and stepped in to fix it. I laid everything out, created a plan to time-block properly, and everyday my life began to feel a little more balanced.
Once you have balance, you will have the ability to make each day count. Staying productive is a must if you want to go to bed feeling like you won the day. You have laid out the plans, which is often the easiest part, but now you have to put them to good use. Once I noticed how out of balance I was, I realized that I was always busy but my actual productivity was very low. I have since learned the difference between being busy and being productive. The moment I created my daily plan, I suddenly had plenty of time to practice meditation, exercise, take care of my girls, spend quality time with my family and have plenty of time to work and get things done as well. Does it all run smoothly every day? No. That’s what winning the day is all about. You take it step by step, and day by day. You’re constantly fighting against yourself and old behavior patterns. You’re fighting against distractions, against laziness, against the clock, there is so much that can throw you off. The key is, to keep at it. Every day you will be handling something new but there is always a lesson we can take from those challenges that arise.
Then comes the growth part. A huge part of growing is learning from your mistakes. Unlike the other two components of winning the day, we don’t need to create our own opportunities to grow. Life will happily throw those lessons your way. We just need to pay a little more attention. The quicker you learn to dodge, duck, and take something positive from a tough experience, the quicker you can learn a new lesson. Sure, it’s annoying to constantly be tested and tried but with growth comes strength, and everything should get easier with time. The best way to know you won that day is to take a survey of everything that happened, and make a mental note of the events that took place. How did we react to every situation? I had a failing day yesterday. I blew off a pretty important task, I lost patience with my girls at one point and in general, I let the day get away from me. I went to bed feeling really guilty and started to get down on myself. After a while of that nonsense, I reminded myself that I am human, took a note of my losses, and I let that day go. I got up this morning and am back on track. If you reacted poorly, or failed at a lesson you were given, try again tomorrow, that’s how you win. It is good to fail every now and then, as long as you see the error and correct it right away. Eventually you will start to see the changes and realize how much growth has taken place.
To wrap everything up, I just want to say that developing balance, being productive and experiencing growth are all things that take time. Be patient with yourself and keep in mind that as long as you are moving forward in a better direction, then you are already better off than you are yesterday. How does that saying go? “The guy who is walking laps is still getting further than the guy sitting on the couch” or something like that. Apply that to yourself when you have a bad day and just keep walking those laps in a better direction. I hope this helps you on your journey.