If there is one thing that life has made perfectly clear to me, it’s that things don’t get better over time unless you get better over time. I remember being in high school imagining what my adult life would look like. I assumed that with age, I would automatically become a wife, homeowner, and mother, and be financially secure enough to shop and travel whenever my heart desired. However, once I became an adult, I found out that it would be a lot more complex than just staying alive long enough to see my life progress in the order that I envisioned. I realized that it would take an intentional effort from me on a daily basis to create the life that I want for myself. I had to accept that there are consequences for each of my actions and no one was coming to save me from laziness, fear, and procrastination. I embraced the fact that me, myself, and I are the only ones responsible for my happiness and success.

When I look back at myself five years ago, I can definitely see where I could have managed my time and energy more wisely. I can imagine how much further I’d be with reaching certain goals now if I had buckled down and got focused back then. Even though I don’t have any regrets because I understand that life is about learning and growing, I’m taking into greater consideration that what I do today is going to make a difference in what I’ll be doing five years from now. When I look back again, I want to know that without a shadow of a doubt, I did all that I could to make my future self proud. So, every day, I choose to be productive and push myself to be better than I was yesterday. Having productive days every day requires discipline and focus. Here are 3 things that I do to ensure that I’m doing something every day that is going to help me to grow, evolve, and move my life forward:

  1. Plan Ahead. I map out each day the night before. My morning routine alone provides me with a feeling of accomplishment for the day. It includes praying, journaling, and exercising all before 10 AM. I break my days down by hour and dedicate a productive task to each. This can include working on business building activities, finding a solution to a problem, taking the next step towards reaching a goal, reading, taking a class, or listening to something inspirational. Whatever it is, I hold myself accountable for adding something of value to my life every day.

  2. Just Do It. I used to be a proud procrastinator. Now, I enjoy having more free time and less stress because I no longer wait for tomorrow to do what I can do today. When you are busy being productive, you are never bored and you experience more growth consistently. Having big goals can be overwhelming, especially when you’re looking at all of the steps it may take to get to where you’re trying to go. However, once you realize that the time is going to pass whether you start moving or not, you come to appreciate the power in taking steps, no matter how small, in the right direction. Just imagine where you could be five years from now if you just start now. Make the decision to do what you need to do now so that you can be proud of what you did later. Remember that the discomfort you choose to push through now will make life easier for you in the future.

  3. Focus On What You Control. There are so many things that can come up on a daily basis that will decrease your productivity. Many of these things are out of your control and don’t deserve as much attention as you give them. In the past, I have started many mornings with the intentions of having a productive day, but then allowed something unplanned totally distract me from completing my goals. Once I recognized that was a problem for me, I also realized the importance of planning ahead and sticking to the plan. By doing so, I have been able to still reach my goals even when things happen that discourage or disappoint me. Feelings are temporary and only last for as long as you decide to dwell on them. If you can get into the practice of focusing only on what you can control in every situation and commit to doing what needs to be done to put yourself in a better position regardless of how you’re feeling, you will inevitably win.

Your mindset is the key to your success. If you think like a winner, you will become one. For more tips and strategies for gaining and maintaining a winning mindset, read my book, She Wins: The Ultimate Guide for Women to Gain a Winning Mindset and Lead a Winning Lifestyle.

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