How to Get the Most Out of Every Day
It's easy to drift and just go with the flow instead of planning to get the most out of every day. But if you want to maximize your potential and realize the fruits of success, you'll need to learn how to get the most out of every day.
Establish Your Goals
First you need to establish clear goals in key areas of your life such as career, health and fitness, relationships, education/learning, and one or more important hobbies. Goals are important to keep you focused and motivated and having them will help you get the most out of every day. Goals are specific things you want to accomplish and are timed, such as: "I will lose 20 pounds in the next six months."
Create Your Action Plans
You will need an action plan for each area of your life that you have set goals for. And you will need action plans for different time horizons including long term, annual, monthly and weekly action plans. These plans should contain the activities and tasks that you decide are needed to achieve your goals. Your final action plans will be daily ones that lead you to get the most out of every day.
Test Your Plans
You need to make sure that your goals and plans are realistic to avoid getting discouraged. Treat your initial daily, weekly and monthly plans as test plans and ask key questions as you implement them:
- Have you allowed sufficient time to accomplish your plans and achieve your goals?
- Is there enough slack time to accommodate unanticipated events (illness, family crises, etc.)?
- Do your action plans require more time and energy than you have at present?
These tests and questions will help you refine your plans and help you get the most out of every day.
Concentrate on Your Daily Plans
Your daily action plans are the keys for you to get the most out of every day. Typically, daily plans are simple to-do lists for the areas of your life for which you have set goals. You don't have to address every goal you have every day, but in the course of a week or two, all should be addressed.
Share Your Goals and Plans
Important people in your life might be able to help you if you share your goals and plans with them. Let your family, friends and co-workers help you get the most out of every day by enlisting their cooperation and support.
Monitor and Revise Your Goals and Plans If Necessary
As you execute your action plans and progress toward your goals, adjust them if they are too ambitious or are missing intermediate tasks. Review your plans at least monthly to help you get the most out of every day. Seeing your progress will help keep you motivated, too.
Use Previous Plans to Build Your New Ones
Once you have worked up your first action plans (monthly, weekly and daily in particular) you will find that making additional plans will be easier because you can use the previous plans as models for the new ones. Thus, making plans to help you get the most out of every day will become easier and faster as you go along.
Other Tips on Action Planning
- It's OK to take holidays from planning and goal seeking behavior once these are firm habits.
- In the beginning you may wonder whether the time spent writing down your plans is worth it. As the months and years pass you will realize just how valuable your planning time was.
- Don't try to make every action plan perfect. Plans often need changing anyway.