by Phillip Day
Most live their days ‘on the fly’ with no real planning – I did it for years. Got up, had something to eat, went to work, came home, watched TV, went to bed. These days I’m more of a fan of imagining every day as a life. Mine. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. I do the following every morning:
- I wake up (always a good idea)
- I lie in bed and contemplate the day ahead
- I ask: What do I wish to accomplish by bed-time tonight?
- How will I feel if I succeed?
- Which of these things do I personally want?
- Does the day I am planning impress the heck out of me?
Today, I will not worry about the G8 summit, a Martian invasion, suicide bombs in Baghdad, Third World hunger, an asteroid striking the Earth, or what David Beckham wore to the Met Bar last night. Today I will leave the TV off, the newspaper in the corner store, the radio silent, and clean up my input. I can be the architect of this new day which has been given to me. I intend to raise my standards and live them well.
THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS
- I will write the first page of my new book. Just one page
- I will speak to one person who thinks I’ve forgotten them
- I will practise what I am good at
- I will dominate my day and carefully steer it
- I will simplify, simplify, simplify
- I will guard what comes out of my mouth
- I will do no harm to myself or others
- I will eat food that nourishes me
- I will relish the freedom from negative input
Repetition in a state of emotion forms the attitude pattern. Every day I do this makes the following day easier. Six days of accomplishment means a whole week I have lived well. So much done in one week! Negative input was out, all the positives in. I ate simple, fresh, nutritious food. I drank clean water. I breathed. I did not watch King of the Hill.
GIVE YOURSELF A BONUS!
I agree to enjoy at least one overwhelming, optimistic experience (placebo) every day.Each day is planned around this event. If all else fails and the Martians invade, Samantha and I will still take Daisy for a walk in the forest. The dog’s tail drums in anticipation. I know things about Labradors. They are not worried about their bank manager or a Sarin gas attack on the Bakerloo Line. It’s about rabbits chased, the swim in the pond and aroma plethora.
Setting daily goals has great advantages:
- You agree with yourself in advance what you are going to do. This makes unwelcome chores easier
- Distractions are kept to a minimum
- You customise your day to suit you, not the other way around
- More of Oprah’s quality time is packed into the day
- Longer tasks are easy when kept tightly on target
- You agree with yourself the day will have the outcome you desire
- You can ‘debrief’ your day back in bed again to see if it went according to plan
- You can experience success in a single day
Setting goals and debriefing takes me sixty seconds flat. I do not micro-manage, just get a clear, mental image of what I wish to accomplish by day’s end. If I did it right, there’s satisfaction by nightfall. If I didn’t do it right, there’s always tomorrow for another go.
Impromptu events can take the best-planned days well into the hedgerow:
- The water main blew outside in the street
- You had an accident
- A phone call forced you to re-prioritise your day
- You had an unexpected visitor
If distractions force you to re-plan, simply amend the question to: What do I wish to accomplish with the day I have left?
UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, DO NOT SHELVE YOUR OVERWHELMING, OPTIMISTIC EXPERIENCE!!
The Little Book of Attitude by Phillip Day