Winning is what everybody wants to do. There is a growing view of winning and success that recognizes the importance of discipline and routine. A phrase that has emerged is that “discipline is freedom.” This seems counter-intuitive since most people associate freedom with being able to do what you want and discipline with being rigid and unspontaneous.
The truth is exactly the opposite. Winning is about building the discipline and routine to achieve your goals. There is no way that success that will “just happen.” Sometimes you may get lucky, but luck isn’t a strategy. Winning requires that you need to create plans, implement discipline and competently execute in order to achieve your goals. To assist in this process, I have developed the “Ten Traits of Daily Winning” to help with your journey.
The core of winning is to develop and implement good habits. The routine that we create forms the foundation of our future success. As you execute the same habits day by day, they will become engrained in your routine. Over time, this will make winning become something you do automatically.
The Doug’s Winning Habit: Getting out of bed at 5 am or before to get a head-start on the day. (Saturday and vacation is for recovery)
Discipline means sticking to a routine of success and holding yourself accountable. It means looking at the cold hard facts and avoiding the temptation to run away from information that you don’t want to see. The most prominent places where discipline matters are health and fitness space. Achieving a personal fitness goal requires consistent, daily discipline.
The Doug’s Winning Discipline: I measure my weight and body fat % every day plus write it down in a tracking log. This makes it impossible for me to run away from my diet and exercise decisions.
Sleep is critically important to your health and productivity. Winning over the long-term means that you need to be properly rested and able to execute at your highest level. Some people hold a notion of success that is built on a non-stop work ethic. This turns a lack of sleep into a virtue. Unfortunately, this view is false. You can push for a short amount of time, but winning over the long term requires that you prioritize recovery.
The Doug’s Winning Recovery: I stop drinking caffeine after noon every, and avoid any work, food, or drinks 1 hour before bed. This facilitates smoothly going to sleep and adequately resting for the next day.
Achieving your long-term goals requires that you be healthy. It is not possible to focus when you are dealing with sickness and injuries. In practical terms, the value of health is paramount. Capital can be recovered, but we all only have one life to live. To live this life to its fullest, we must build and maintain a high state of physical health.
The Doug’s Winning Health: I do some form of strength, speed, flexibility, or condition training every day. Keeping my body strong is how I keep my mind sharp.
Gratitude is the way that we stay grounded and humble. No person does it all on their own. There are people and circumstances that have come together to create every opportunity in your life. Expressing gratitude for the people and opportunities of your life is a critically important part of living a complete and balanced life. Expressing gratitude is also the world’s most effective way to brighten people’s day.
The Doug’s Winning Gratitude: I read a chapter from Proverbs daily, clear my mind for reflection, and recite the Scout Oath + Law.
Prioritizing is the way that successful people live. The truth is that you will never have enough time or money to do everything you want. There will always be things left undone and opportunities left on the table. Priorities are about doing the most important things first. Note that I said most important, not most urgent. The #1 trap that most people fall into is doing what is urgent.
By itself, this isn’t a problem … except that many urgent things aren’t important. Important tasks are what change your life. Urgent tasks are what clear an item from your to-do list. Understanding the difference is what will break you out of being average and move you toward being exceptional.
The Doug’s Winning Priorities: I do my most important priority of the day before any email. This makes sure I constantly move forward to my goals.
A winning attitude is all about perspective. Specifically, you need to maintain focus on your goals and aspirations. This can be difficult to do when the news media serves up a constant stream of celebrity gossip and political intrigue. It is easy to get distracted by the people at work who were promoted instead of you. It’s tempting to become upset over corporate executives that get paid big bonuses.
In the end, it’s all a distraction. What matters is maintaining an attitude that is solely focused on your personal priorities. If your priority is family, that takes precedence over your other activities. It doesn’t mean you ‘only’ pay attention to family, but it does mean that family comes first. If your priority is building a successful business, it means that various social activities will need to wait while your business is being attended to.
The Doug’s Winning Attitude: I only compare myself to my goals, never to other people.
Planning to Win
Winning takes planning. It also takes doing. People who plan, but don’t execute end up wasting a lot of time daydreaming and chasing butterflies. People who execute, but don’t plan end up wasting a lot of time in chaos and re-work. Achieving your goals means build and executing a solid plan. You need to understand what is needed and break it down into small daily actions.
The Doug’s Plan to Win: I prioritize the next day’s tasks before the end of the day.
Preparing to Win
Preparation is the mundane background work that makes exceptional performance possible. Winning preparation is about taking the actions that place you in a position to perform your best. If your strategy is solid, this can take the form of executing actions from your plan. If your journey is starting, or if you are looking for new avenues it can take the form of generating ideas. In all situations, it is appropriate to create and repeat affirmations that keep your mind in the proper state of readiness to achieve greatness.
The Doug’s Preparation to Win: I do 10+ daily actions, affirmations, or ideas for business, wealth, or achievement.
Expecting to Win
All of this culminates in the expectation to win. When you have cultivated your mind, planned ahead and prepared properly, there is no reason why winning should not be your expectation. When you go into every situation with this expectation, it creates that confidence that closes sales and attracts success. This confidence is what takes you over the top. It is what opens up doors and creates opportunity. It can only exist when the work has been done to make it real. Confidence without substance is just cockiness, but substance with confidence the recipe for winning.
The Doug’s Expectation to Win: I commit to being positive and helpful in all interactions.