What does a perfect day look like to you? Are you sitting on a beach somewhere reading a book? Are you having a fun-filled day spent with family? Or are you on a mission trip in a third world country?
The first step to setting a goal of what you want in life is to envision what exactly your perfect day looks like. This will be your motivating factor while you work toward this goal.
My vision of a perfect day is a traveling the world with my family. This won’t happen without any effort or work. In a perfect world it would, but some work has to be done to achieve this dream. To reuse one of my favorite Dave Ramsey quotes “Live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else.”
There are 3 ways you can get to have your perfect day every day.
- Increase your income
- Decrease your expenses
Increasing Your Income
To increase your income you will need to get a raise at your current job, obtain a second job, or get involved in some type of passive investing.
For me, I’ve chosen to get involved in real estate.
Decreasing Your Expenses
To decrease your expenses, as I’ve written before, set up a budget, pay off your credit cards, and buy your vehicles with cash. If you can’t afford to pay for it with cash then you can’t afford it. Don’t take out a huge car loan just because driving a fancy car will make you feel good. Stop trying to impress people you don’t even know or like. The people who matter don’t care what you drive and the people who care what you drive don’t matter. Your financial freedom is more important than what model car you drive.
Identify your wants vs. needs. Do you really need the iPhone 7 when you already have the 6? Do you need the 60-inch television when you already have a 50-inch?
Practice frugality. Here are some examples of what I do to be frugal:
- Be content with what you have. When you think about buying something, think to yourself, will this purchase affect/change my life. Most of the time, the answer is no. No, buying new artwork for your living room will not affect your life.
- Pack your lunch. Lunches out can add up quickly. Packing is cheaper and also healthier.
- Store brand food. I’ve discovered the generic or store brand food tastes just as good as or better than the name brand. The only outlier I’ve discovered is canned green beans. In that case, get the name brand.
- No bottled water or pre-packaged foods. Water out of a water fountain or sink is free. Instead of buying those single-serving size bags of crackers or chips or carrots, just get the big bag and portion it out into smaller snack bags yourself.
- I reuse plastic sandwich bags as long as whatever I had in it was not messy. Ex. On Sunday’s I’ll make waffles, put the leftovers in a Ziploc bag and put in the freezer. Once I finish the leftover waffles, I’ll just turn the bags inside out, wash out the inside, let it dry, and then reuse it for next week. This may seem tedious but I don’t mind the extra work and it does save money.
- 1-ply toilet paper. Some people are very picky about their toilet paper and require the expensive Charmin kind that feels like a luxury hotel pillow. I could care less what toilet paper I use. I want to spend as little money as possible on it because you are literally flushing your money down the toilet.
Successful People Have Routines
There is a lot of research showing that some of the world’s most successful people had some sort of routine that they did every day.
A page from Ben Franklin’s journal states that every morning he would get up at 5AM “The morning question, ‘what good shall I do today?’ Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness; contrive day’s business and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study; and breakfast” This is what he did from 5AM to 8AM every day.
“Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun.” Each morning, the first thing Mr. Jefferson would do was check the temperature and wind speed. He recorded all of his observations in a small notebook. Every morning, he would host a large breakfast that consisted of tea, coffee, muffins, hot wheat and corn bread, cold ham, and butter. After breakfast, he spent the rest of the morning writing letters. He sent over 20,000 letters to friends, family, and colleagues over his lifetime.
As soon as he gets out of bed, Bill Gates gets on the treadmill and runs while watching instructional videos from the Teaching Company.
Warren Buffet starts every morning by reading several newspapers. He estimates that he spends around 80% of his day reading. His key to success, “Read 500 pages (of books) every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
I think the best time for a routine is in the morning. As you can see from the above examples, these people weren’t dashing around the house in a mad rush to make it out the door on time. They calmly checked the weather and wind speed, had time to run on the treadmill, ate a hearty breakfast, set daily goals, and read. Which sounds less stressful and a better platform for success to you?
The schedule below is what I do every morning. I look forward to it every day because it helps me stay focused and on task to complete my goals and dreams.
- 4:50am – Wake up
- 4:55-5:10am – breakfast (2eggs, toast, coffee) & watch news
- 5:25-6:10am – gym (run and lift weights)
- 6:20-7:10am – get ready for work
- 7:10-7:45 – write in journal, read bible, read personal development/business book
- 7:45-7:50 – pack lunch and leave for work
In just 3 hours, I’ve packed so much into my morning, all before even arriving to work!
- Healthy Breakfast
- News Headlines
Anybody can do this! All you have to do is set your alarm and actually get up, willingly. To me, the worst morning ever would be rushing to get ready and grabbing a granola bar on my way out the door for breakfast. Such a hectic and stressful morning trying to make it to work on time will bleed through onto your entire day. Just start out by getting up 15 minutes earlier than usual. It could change your life!
I will conclude by tying this all back into the main theme of this passage: What it takes to “Live like no one else” and have the ability to achieve your vision of a perfect day, every day.
- Envision what your perfect day, or goal, is.
- Increase Income
- Decrease Expenses
- Start a routine to allow you to stay focused on your task to complete your long-term goal