Start Strong, Finish Strong
I will celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary on September 1 this year (I know many of you feel very sorry for her and yes, she has probably earned her ticket to Heaven for putting up with me). In all of those 30 years I’ve earned my living and supported my family in one way or another in sales, marketing and management.
One of the many things I’ve learned is that how I start my day goes a long way in determining how successful that day will be. It’s not easy to begin the day with a bad attitude or in a bad mood and change during the course of your work or sales calls. It’s almost impossible.
My wife and I made a deal many years ago that if she was mad at me or if I had done something wrong, the morning wasn’t the time to let me know about it. For example, it’s not the time to “scream” because I forgot to take out the trash. On the contrary, my wife is very good at keeping me positive in the morning and helping me start my day correctly.
Your success hinges a great deal on getting off on the right foot every day—getting started correctly; with the right attitude, the right frame of mind and with your confidence and enthusiasm off the chart.
Personally, I’m an early riser. I’m usually up by 4:15 or 4:30 every morning. I like to have my quiet time before the rest of the house gets up. Now that all but one of our children are grown that’s not as big a deal as it used to be, but I like my “me” time in the morning with my coffee and my iPad (used to be the laptop and before that the newspaper).
I’m careful in the morning as to what I read when I skim the few newspapers I enjoy. I try to avoid depressing stories or negative articles about the economy, etc. However, I do check the obituaries for two reasons: 1) to make sure there hasn’t been a death of a customer, customer’s family member, friend’s family member, etc and 2) to take time to appreciate that my picture wasn’t in there this morning.
I write in the morning, jot down ideas and thoughts and get myself mentally prepared for the day. As the rest of the family begins to stir around 5:45, I’m up getting ready for work.
On my way to work, I listen to either upbeat music I enjoy (80’s, classic rock), motivational material or (and most often) something that puts a smile on my face and makes me laugh: Howard Stern on Sirius/XM. Yes, I have been a Stern fan for many, many years and find his program to be extremely funny—that’s just my taste. (If there are other Stern fans reading this, “Baba Booey to you all!”)
I try to avoid the news and other things that may “bring me down” before my day ever starts. That’s not to say I ignore it, I usually catch up with everything like that in the evening as I wind down from my day.
What works for me, might not work for you. You may be a morning gym person (that’s evenings for me), you may like to ride to work in silence. If so, that’s great. My point is to keep your mornings fresh and free of turmoil and negativity.
One thing I ALWAYS do is visualize success. No matter what I have planned for that day, I take some time in the morning and see it in my “mind’s eye” being successful. I go through the motions mentally of closing the sale, earning the business or whatever I am trying to accomplish that day. Take a moment in the morning and see yourself succeeding. Remember if you start strong, you have a much better chance of finishing strong!
Start your day positive and it’s much more likely to end that way, as well! Now, smile and make it a great day!