Who Runs Your Day?Oct 05, 2021
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” Jim Rohn
I was fortunate enough to study with Jim Rohn in the 80s. He was a remarkable human being who insisted that “change begins with choice.”
Everyday we are faced with choices from the tiniest ones, like when to get out of bed, to bigger ones, like saying yes or no to that marriage or job proposal.
Choices are all around you. No matter how hard you try to avoid making decisions, you can’t escape them.
The power of choice is a privilege—an inalienable right of being a human being. But why do you shun it and attempt to avoid making choices in your life? Ultimately, you do make a choice when you’re forced out of bed by your need to go to the bathroom or the cry of a small child... or when that special person gets tired of waiting for your commitment to them… or when you never respond to the job offer.
Why do you give away your power to circumstances? Why do you forfeit taking charge of your days?
Could it be decision fatigue?
Could it be borne of a scarcity mindset?
Could it be a lack of Executive Function skills?
It could be any or all of these situations and more…
So what does it look like to run your day versus your day running you?
Does the day run you? Look for these signs:
- You wake in the morning and check to see whether you “feel” like getting out of bed.. You roll out of bed when you “feel like it” instead of when you said you would.
- You fall behind on your tasks or don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing throughout the day and feel purposeless.
- You often lack hope and feel exhausted physically or mentally and you are unable to determine its root cause.
- You don’t keep your word to yourself, or are afraid to promise yourself or others anything because you don’t trust that you can follow through on it.
- You allow others to give work to you rather than initiating your own work. You need their validation for feelings of self-worth.
- When things are falling apart, you act like a victim instead of finding solutions to overcome the obstacles.
- You never feel like you are enough or do enough. You feel guilty when you try to take time for self-care.
Do you run your day? Look for these signs:
- You set your alarm the night before and you spring out of bed with anticipation. You know your values and you are eager to live by them.
- You review your day’s agenda noting the priorities for the day. You follow through on your commitments. You decide what is good enough instead of getting bogged down by perfectionism.
- You take time for self-care as an established pattern at a fixed time, because you know it’s important to your health and well-being.
- You follow through on your commitments to yourself and others for your day, and if you cannot, you notify those affected to let them know the status.
- You don’t ghost others or blame others when things don’t go as planned. You take responsibility because you’re running your day—not anyone else.
- When others want things from you, you thoughtfully choose when to assist based on your values and established agenda for your day.
- You go to bed at a reasonable hour because you know that your body needs rest.
So, let’s assume you want to “run your day” and you don’t know where to begin…It takes work for sure, but it all begins with how you think.
Cultivating a growth mindset is essential in creating the change you desire. You are how you think. If you think you can then you will. But if you think you can’t, then you won’t. Both statements are true. But again, you have to choose. To not choose is already a choice made from limiting beliefs.
My mentor, Jim Rohn, believed success is a mindset. The things that we accomplish in our lifetimes are related to the risks we take—based on making good decisions according to our values. When we know our values we become empowered by them. When we’re empowered by them and take action as a result, then we are running our day and ultimately, our lives.
Take for instance one middle-aged mom I was working with. We’ll call her Mia. She was in her mid-fifties looking for a part-time job after many years of being home with her family. She didn’t have to take on a job, but she wanted to use her writing and teaching skills in a broader capacity.
She had seen her three older children through college, but still had two doing well in high school. Then COVID happened.
As Mia managed the new dynamic with everyone stuck at home, keeping them healthy and catching her children’s tears as they struggled with virtual learning, she began to think she was too old to look for a part-time job and that she was outdated. Would she even have the technology skills needed? Besides, wasn’t everyone else looking for work, too?
She could have folded. She could have given in to circumstances and doubt.
Instead, even though she had these thoughts of not being young enough or skilled enough, she pressed through them as an act of defying that mindset. She sent out a dozen applications and went through 5 interviews.
Each time, she grew more confident, even saying to herself, that she didn’t have to have a job at all. She wanted one.
She ended up with 3 offers, including two from the county government where she lived.
The hardest part for her then became choosing which job she wanted to spend her time doing and what the impact of her work would be in the big picture.
In the end, she chose the job that allowed her to maintain her values—doing work that enhanced the lives of as many people as possible, doing work that allowed her to continue to pursue her personal goals, and doing work that allowed her to have the time needed to be with her own family and others who needed her.
And, being able to decide according to her values freed Mia from allowing herself to be unduly influenced by outside pressures.
That’s what running your day or life looks like. It’s knowing your values--your worth, too--and being able to take the steps needed to follow through on the decisions you make.
And it doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes or that we need to do it perfectly, but that we’re moving forward each day of our own accord with determination.
Now, GO! Run your life to the fullest! There’s no one else who has the same exact purpose in this world as you do. Go be you! Go do you!