I once worked for someone who savored Daylight Savings Time in the spring when he could move his clocks forward an hour and be given a “free” hour. I’m not sure why, but the meaning he got from that one extra hour has always stuck with me. I think we all enjoy getting that extra hour added to our day, but c’mon, this is the thing you look forward to every year?
Well, apparently, this was an extremely important day for him. He explained to me that it made him feel like he was able to operate within his day more well rested and with lots of time to spare. In just that one hour he felt he was able to reset (and reorganize) his life.
Today is Labor Day and most of us have the great fortune of having a day off from work. It’s traditional to have a barbeque and visit the pool one last time. Of course, while we’re all anticipating the shift from summer to fall and quickly into winter, it’s worthwhile to reflect on the status of your work and non-work lives.
The origin of Labor Day stems from the need to help workers get more time off from their jobs. When this concept was introduced, it was commonplace for factory workers to put in 70 hours a week.
Like many areas of life, I find I must diligently continue to prune ineffective uses of my time to help me maintain a reasonable balance between my work life and my home life and to ensure I’m still on track for my immediate and long-term goals.
Days like today are perfect for taking a stepback, doing some introspective thinking, and pressing the reset button on your life.
Here is an easy 3 step process that will help you maximize today for the benefit of your future:
Set/check goals: what are you working towards?
Get organized: what systems need to be in place for you to be successful? Or rather, to make success more automatic? Automatic success sounds good doesn’t it? Well, get organized.
Execute: once you have your systems defined, it just becomes a matter of execution.
I’ll give you a couple examples of some simple processes I put in place over the past year that help automatically keep me working towards my long-term goals:
Example #1: More Time with My Family
Step 1 - Set the Goal: Not coaching during hours when my children are not in school. So, this means evenings and weekends.
Step 2 - Get Organized: Make sure the SAPT coaches are fully trained and ready to run the show for sessions.
Step 3 - Execute: If the first two steps are done correctly, step 3 becomes a piece of cake. In this case, it’s been almost a year since moving to this system and it has had an enormously positive impact on my home life. Plus, the coaches continue to get the experience they need as they develop.
Example #2: Financial Diversification
Step 1 - Set the Goal: Amplify my savings plan and future returns.
Step 2 - Get Organized: Set up my investment account for automatic purchases each month.
Step 3 - Execute: This is about as automatic as it gets.
I’m sure you’re not here for my basic thoughts on how I am managing my home and financial life. So, what about making your health and fitness automatic? Well, it’s truly easier than you may think, but you need to press the reset button and really think about goals.
Improving your overall health
Step 1 - Set the Goal: what, specifically, do you want to measure? In my examples above I measure hours at home and returns on my investments. To be successful, you MUST measure something specific!
This can really be anything, but it must be meaningful to YOU.
Common measurables in the health category include: blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, body fat, and even something like servings of vegetables in a day. All of these will work, but only pick one (of define another that is important to you).
Step 2 - Get Organized: Overall health improvement almost always depends upon foundational habits. So, making sure you are feeding yourself nutritious meals at each meal, every day and ensuring you get at least 30-min of easy aerobic exercise daily (an evening walk will do the trick nicely).
How do you make those things happen? Meal prep on Sundays for the week leads to easy grab ‘n go for meals and setting an alarm for that evening walk are just a couple of ideas.
Step 3 - Execute: Time to put rubber to the road and follow your plan. Of course, if you feel you are lacking the proper knowledge or support to achieve your goal, hiring someone to guide and support you in this journey is always a very good idea.
Improving fitness or hitting a new strength record will require a different 3-steps, but in each case it is critically important that you choose meaningful goals that contribute to the things in your life that matter most.
One final note: plans often go astray. But continuing to take days like today to reassess and even reset will eventually, as haphazard as it may seem, get you further than if you had no goals and no plans.
Since you’re here: We have a small favor to ask! At SAPT, we are committed to sharing quality information that is both entertaining and compelling to help build better athletes. Please take a moment to share the articles on social media, engage us authors with questions and comments below, and link to articles when appropriate if you have a blog or participate on forums of related topics.
Thank you! SAPT