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Motivation

6 Daily Steps To Compete Like A Champion

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Each day, whether we realize it or not, we endeavor to compete for something; the affection or love of a partner, a promotion in the workplace or, with ourselves to become a bigger, bolder version of ourselves.

Herein, I provide 6 steps on how you can compete every day to set yourself up for success. As you read these steps, visualize and imagine your personal definition of success. Think about how your definition of success jives with these steps.

Determine whether you are already incorporating them into your daily routine- or if you can begin introducing them into your day. Most importantly, find what works for you, stick to it and develop consistency.

1. Plan your day the night before

I’m glad that no one keeps a tally of the number of unsuccessful days I’ve lived. Frankly, I’m willing to bet we could all agree to that. What I can tell you is, the unsuccessful days have mostly been the ones that I did not plan.

As I have grown over the years in my management consulting and professional career, I have dramatically reduced those unsuccessful days by following one simple step: I have planned my day the previous night. I recommend that you list out goals that you aim to accomplish each week. Then, at the more granular level, highlight the tasks that you want to accomplish each day.

You can choose to put them into time slots, depending on whether you use a daily planner or simply a task or milestone list for the day. Once you have something in writing, you’ve made an actionable commitment to get it done.

Always allow yourself the ability to adapt and change if it’s in your best interest to do so. As the great Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” Chances are, you won’t need to dodge monster right hooks over the course of your day, but you will encounter adversity and changes that force you to adapt and modify your plan.

 

2. Read your plan out loud in the morning

Reading your plan helps you process the information and store it in your conscious and subconscious mind. No matter how good you think your short or long-term memory is, if you don’t write or read your plan, you will forget some information. Recognizing new opportunities is a skill that comes to those who have a clear, prepared mind.

When you visualize what you want to do, you have an image in your imagination. Your imagination gives birth to the ideas, goals and plans that you have. Suddenly, you have a vivid picture of seeing yourself successfully carry out your goals for the day.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

3. Strengthen your conviction by believing in yourself

We can speak positively over our lives in two ways: Actually speaking the words and sending the same words from our mind into our subconscious mind via, “the voice inside our head.” Both are powerful ways to build faith. Here, I want to focus a little more on the second way.

Napoleon Hill once wrote: “Auto-suggestion is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature, or, by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.

The key here is to speak positively and to do this throughout the day. Don’t confuse this with ego-stroking or self-aggrandizing behavior. The most successful people practice auto-suggestion to feed their subconscious mind, in an effort to fuel their success.

 

4. Take breaks throughout the day to clear your mind

Scientific studies show that taking regular breaks help you to sharpen your focus and increase your ability to perform. Throughout my career, I’ve always built in time each day to get up, walk around and clear my mind.

We weren’t meant to spend our whole day fixated on a computer screen or working nonstop on our feet without a break. Take some time to chill and relax. Get outside and walk around a bit, fresh air will do you good. The change will give you some perspective and could take the edge off any stress or anxiety you’re dealing with.

 

5. Leave nothing to chance – always give 100%

There are two things you can always control- your attitude and your effort.

Achievement, both your sense of self-worth and that of others is well within your grasp if you have a positive, determined attitude and you’re willing to work harder than anyone else.

You may not always love everything you do. Heaven knows, our days will not be entirely comprised of pursuing our passions and loves all the time. Regardless, bring your best effort and attitude to everything that you do. The feeling, the emotional reward that comes with doing so is a brilliant sense of satisfaction to savor.

6. Rest with confidence, re-charge for the next day

Resting your mind and body are essential for living a successful, competitive life. If we never stop to rest, we’ll eventually burn ourselves out and suffer the consequences. A proper amount of sleep and rest is vital to our health and productivity.

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.” – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

We all need to re-charge our mind and body every day. Never underestimate your need to shut down, decompress and get some sleep. You’ll be better for it!

How will you dominate your market? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Chris Connors is a senior business strategy consultant, writer, blogger and basketball coach focused on self-improvement, emotional intelligence and virtue. He works each day with top executives at Fortune 100 companies, helping them build their brands and improve their efficiency. In the evenings, he’s a family man, prolific blogger and aspiring author. Check me out here to connect with me on Facebook.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. RONALD BURTON

    Sep 16, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Good article I am applying these principles today!

  2. Thea Dunlap

    May 24, 2016 at 2:20 am

    Wonderful article. The things you’ve pointed out here are very motivating. I really need this for my daily routines at work and home. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Tim Denning

    May 3, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Chris I am able to do well by also planning my day the night before. Recently, I have started going to bed early and waking up at 3am to work on my dreams rather than waiting till after work when I am exhausted. Thanks for your advice.

    • Christopher Connors

      May 11, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Awesome to hear, Tim! That’s serious dedication and VERY inspiring to see. It’s all about carving out that time in your schedule and insisting on making room for what you want most. Thanks for reading- I enjoyed reading your piece on Tony Robbins- great stuff!!

  4. Christopher Connors

    Apr 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Chris- I appreciate your comment! You’re preaching to the choir! For a long time in my life, I didn’t plan my days out and I believe that I have paid the price for that. It really doesn’t take much effort- all about discipline.

    I have chosen to not plan my day out by hourly tasks. I work in management consulting and, effectively, it’s done for me by my Microsoft Outlook calendar. But I try to keep that minimal. I highlight things the night before- essentially a milestone list- and I operate off that, allowing myself the creativity and flexibility to adapt as things come up. My personal recommendation would be to not plan your day out hourly but to definitely write down the main things you want to accomplish each day.

    I appreciate you reading! Your stateside pal, Chris

  5. Chris Targett

    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Thanks for the article Chris.

    I have always known deep down that writing a plan the day before is the way forward, but always failed to do so. This will be one thing I am going to change.

    The other point I’ll be putting into practice is reading my plan out loud, never done this before! Do you plan your day by hourly tasks?

    Thanks from the UK

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.

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