How do you perform at your best? How do you start and finish your day with an attitude that looks forward to the next thing? The following secret is used by top executives around the world as a means to keep a clear vision while staying in check with who they are and when they are at their best. This simple, yet impactful, exercise will enable you to do the same. By implementing this exercise into your life, you will set yourself up for success, while putting your best foot forward.
What is the secret, you ask?
Grab a piece of paper and a pen, find a quiet place and write down “I’m at my best when…” at the top of your paper. Under this, write down 3 to 5 situations, tasks, environments, or habits that enable you to perform at your best. This will help you recognize what internal and/or external factors accentuate you at your best.
Keep these factors in mind as you move throughout your days and weeks to come. If you are at your best after having had your coffee in the morning, keep having that coffee! Stay in tune with what keeps you at your best if you want to continue being your best.
For me, I have discovered that eating breakfast early in the morning kick-starts my day and enables me to be more productive. Breakfast keeps me at my best! Another habit I have grown accustomed to is writing at least one thank-you card a day. This not only enables me to personally connect with more people, but it puts me in the right frame of mind to having an excellent day, keeping my best foot forward.
I have written thank-you cards to everyone from the flight attendant who cared for me on my flight, to someone I met the day before who impressed me. Both of these daily practices create an environment in my life that sets me up to have a great day and keep me at my best.
When writing down these situations, tasks, environments or habits that enable you to perform at your best, make sure you are taking an honest look at who you are. Pay particular attention to your own life and your personality when assessing the times you are at your best. It is easy to mimic or copy what someone else does first thing in the morning, especially if it is someone who inspires, a mentor or leader in your life, but if it is not pertinent to who you are as an individual, it will not keep your best foot forward.
Once you have made your list, look at it once a day for the next few days. Let your list encourage you. Get excited about these things that keep you at your best, then start creating them as habits. Start plugging them into your day on a regular basis. Give yourself the option of starting each day with a higher chance of being your best. Keep your best foot forward by keeping yourself in mind.
Author: Jason W. Womack is the CEO of The Womack Company, an international training firm that helps busy professionals be more productive through coaching and consulting, CEO of the Get Momentum Leadership Academy, author of Your Best Just Got Better (Wiley, 2012) and most recently the co-author with his wife, Jodi Womack, of Get Momentum: How To Start When You’re Stuck (Wiley, 2016). Since 2000 he has coached leaders across industries and trained them in the art of increasing their workplace productivity and achieving personal happiness.