Are tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck? Do you feel like you can’t get ahead? You’ve got more month than money? You’ve cut all you can cut and are barely scraping by?
Maybe you’re already debt free. Maybe you’ve tasted financial freedom or even have it but still have a stressful job. Or your personal life or physical fitness isn’t where you want it to be yet. Or maybe it’s one of the other hundred things that seem to crop up every day.
I get it. Life is not easy sometimes.
It seems hard to get ahead. It’s hard to pay off debt. It’s hard to think about retirement when you have nothing saved. It’s hard to think about retirement period – it’s decades away for many of us.
And it can be exhausting and hard to stay motivated for long stretches of time. Sometimes we just want to blow the budget and go out to eat instead of cooking yet another meal at home. Or not open the mail because of the bill we’re going to find.
No matter where you are in your life, if you want to get to the place you’re dreaming of, start doing these five things every day.
They are super easy to do, they don’t take much time, and they will make a huge difference in your life.
1. Write a short to-do list
If you got to the end of your day and realized you haven’t accomplished anything of substance, ask yourself why that is.
You want a feeling of accomplishment in your life, pick one thing that’s more important than anything else to get done each day. One thing. That’s it. Not ten things, not fifteen-and-a-half things. Not seven things. One thing.
I’ve got to make a shopping list and get the groceries today. That’s almost two things, but we’ll count it as one. Call it feeding your family if you like. You do that in the morning or the afternoon, boom – you just made your day great.
If you shop for groceries you know that’s a pretty big task. And it is a big accomplishment if you’re the one running the house and taking care of the kids.
You start throwing on your list laundry, cleaning the toilets, taking the kids to the doctor, going to Michael’s and getting some glitter because Suzie’s in the play next week, and we’ve got to make her costume with the little pink ribbons and whatever. Do that and you’ll be setting yourself up for feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and defeated.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Do one thing a day. Everything else is a bonus.” quote=”Do one thing a day. Everything else is a bonus.”]
2. Review your goals
Writing down your goals can change how you handle your current situation. That’s where you start – you’ve got to put pen to paper. Or type them on a computer like I do. Whatever works for you.
Most people don’t write down what they want out of life. They don’t have a plan.
The fastest way to get nowhere is to leave without a map.
But once you get a map, you need to check it periodically to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. Are we going North? Well, we’re supposed to be going West.
If you want maximum results in your life look at your short and long term goals every day. At least once a month at a minimum.
If you start the month on budget and by the third or fourth week your off it, I guarantee you’re not reviewing your goals. And I guarantee you’re not reviewing your budget once a week.
The conscious decisions we make each day about every decision in our lives – at least the important ones – stem from what we desire the most. When you focus on those things with a laser, that’s what gets you to your destination the fastest, with the least amount of pain, and with the most amount of pleasure.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Plan the work. Then work the plan.” quote=”Plan the work. Then work the plan.”]
3. Encourage someone else
Your situation might be bad and seem pretty bleak. But there is someone out there that has it just a little worse (or more than likely, a lot worse).
A smile is free.
A kind word is free.
A phone call is free.
A text, may or may not be free depending on your cell phone plan and how much you text.
Email – free.
Encouraging someone in a Facebook group who just lost their job and doesn’t know how they are going to pay the rent – free.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Helping someone helps you more.” quote=”Helping someone helps you more.”]
4. Get inspired
I love this quote by Zig Ziglar:
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.
It’s quite difficult to keep yourself up all the time. Our emotions are like the sea with ebbs and flows, rising and falling tides.
Ask yourself when was the last time you were inspired to do something? What was it that moved you? Find that moment and try to recreate it on a daily basis.
I’ll use music as an example because most people like and listen to music. It might be a song from when you were young, and you hear it for the first time in years, and it brings you back to this amazing time.
Ok, let’s seek out ways to live that moment every day where we feel amazing. Indestructible. It’s us against the world. Free and alive.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Find more of what inspires you and immerse yourself in it every day.” quote=”Find more of what inspires you and immerse yourself in it every day.”]
5. Discover something new
Discovering new things is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. And the best part about it is it’s free.
From reading about something online, going to the library to read magazines or books, watching documentaries – growing your mind and improving yourself is a simple way to improve your overall life. The more you know, the better decisions you’ll make today, tomorrow, and every day in the future.
You can do this in 5-minutes. Skim over a blog post or a newspaper article online.
The people in this world that have achieved the greatest riches in life, and I’m not just talking about money, they are learners. And learners are earners. You can earn more, have better relationships, have better health, have better anything you want by committing to learning a little each day.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Learners are earners.” quote=”Learners are earners.”]
Bonus: Take time each day for YOU
We’re all busy. I get it. I know you are too. But I want you to take 5–15 minutes each day, at least every other day, doing something that recharges your tanks.
Whatever that is for you. Pet the cat. Call a friend. Talk a walk down the street. Drink a cup of coffee on the front step.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Refuel, refresh, and you’ll re-ignite.” quote=”Refuel, refresh, and you’ll re-ignite.”]
What if I don’t have time to do this?
Here is an example routine you can follow to get all five of these things done without taking much time or effort.
Example Morning Routine
- Determine what the one thing is you want to do today (1 minute)
- Read something educational while you eat breakfast (5 minutes)
- Check Instagram for inspirational quotes and think on one while you drink your coffee (or juice) (2 minutes)
- Review your short and long term goals (5 minutes)
- Reply to someone on Facebook or send a text to someone who needs lifting up (2 minutes)
It only takes a few minutes to do, and some of these can be done by multitasking (like reading and eating). Or commuting and listening to a podcast.
The result of doing these things will be to improve your day, not add more stuff to it. By intentionally focusing on the important stuff when you start your day, the trivial stuff will start not to matter as much. Try it for ten days and see what happens!